We are dynamic, bioenergetic systems with spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical components. At our foundation, energy sustains us all. The interplay of this vital force is referred to as ‘energy economics’ within the holistic healing field. Like monetary economics, tracking the production, distribution, and consumption of energy is important.
To live life well, it helps to look at our vital energy in units or as a currency in a bank account. Daily, we do things to accrue interest and build our vital force. Likewise, we exert ourselves depleting our energy like spending money. The key is to maintain a positive balance. When our account is high, we feel vital, charged, capable of anything. When our energy account is low, we feel drained, sluggish, and experience signs of system breakdown or sickness. 
There are a number of areas to invest our attention for acquiring energy. Below, they are outlined in a three-tier system.
The first tier consists of food, air, and water. These are the primary sources of amassing energy. Good, nutrient-rich food obviously helps us sustain life better than empty calories, too. Just as clean air and water are more powerful to boosting our energy account than breathing industrial pollutants and drinking chemical-laden runoff water. Granted, any food, air, and water are better than none at all. 
The second-tier of the energy exchange takes place when we engage with people, places, and things. Some interactions yield positive returns and others have negative costs. It is up to us to maintain a positive balance in our accounts so as to successfully achieve all of the day’s goals, and ultimately life’s vision.
The third-tier of our energy exchange takes place within us. Our psychological mode can either exponentially empower us or drain us. The reactivity of an undisciplined mind along with unrestrained desire and imbalanced emotions is by far the quickest ways to lose energetic capital. A practice of mindfulness and meditation is the key to effective investing. This skill helps us to curb the reactivity of our minds and emotions and to tap into the infinite energy of the supernatural. This is how we earn compound interest in our bank account of vitality.
For sake of brevity, this article focuses on the second-tier of our energy withdrawals. Our second-tier energy expenditures fall into three categories: people, places, and things.
Looking at who, where, and what costs us energy can be challenging. Yet, many times our best intentions, ideals, and goals never materialize, because our energy is tied up in the wrong areas. Sometimes, prior investments keep us stuck in a downward spiral as they consume the capital needed to move forward efficiently, effectively, and easily.
People, places, and things
As for the toughest area to address—people—this is perhaps the largest area we lose energy. As the saying goes, the emotional, energetic attachments we create in relationships can ‘suck the life right out of us.’ For instance, fulfilling obligations that we do not want to do (whether they were put upon us by others or ourselves) is a big energy drain. Spending too much time with people who gossip or complain will drain the funds right out of our energetic bank account. The colloquial nicknames ‘Negative Nancy,’ ‘Debbie Downer,’ or ‘Victim Victoria’ came about for a reason.
Regarding places, attractions that have crazy activity, intense lights, excessive noise and the like are energy vacuums. They just suck our force right out. A short drive down the Las Vegas strip or a trip through Times Square can attest. It is simply sensory overload. Our energy gets pulled, extracted, and sucked out of us as our attention chases the next shiny object…until we are low on energy, tired, and need food or sleep. A day at a theme park is a great example; once home, everyone feels whooped.
With respect to things, an excessive attachment to things and/or an unwillingness to let go of things can drain us. A dirty car, a messy house, or a cluttered desk definitely can cost us extra. The drive to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ can have a bigger price tag, too. Specifically, though, a modern-day ‘thing’ that consumes energy are screens: TV screens, phone screens, computer screens, tablet screens. Screen time is a health issue; we end up fixating on what we’re doing and our eyes leak out energy. Anyone who has worked too long or too late on a computer or stayed up late watching a movie knows that the next day there will probably be some bags under the eyes.
On the other hand, certain people, places, and things can boost us.
Particular people can leave us feeling on top of the world. Such people don’t say or do anything out of the ordinary, but after visiting with them we feel extraordinary. They seem to be like lucky charms that leave others blessed. These are the best kind of friends to keep.
A good indicator that you are in an inequitable relationship is if you need to nap or eat after an encounter to recoup. If that’s the case, you’ve identified a huge energy dump in your life. Not to say you should or could cut off that person from your life, but the way you interact with that person can be improved. Establishing boundaries can help, like using the five-minute rule. After five minutes of interaction, politely disengage and move on with your day. This kind of restriction is like putting a spending limit on a credit card. It’s handy for preventing energetic bankruptcy.
If you’ve ever been to a healing spa or a sacred place, like Ojo Caliente Hot Springs  in northern NM, there is clearly a healing, restorative influence that people flock to for its revitalizing power. Such healing places tend to become renowned for their beneficial effects. Simply being in a healing place helps us feel better. It’s like magic.
Everyone can make improvements in their routine to go outside. Nature is the best place to recharge our batteries. Stroll in the woods, spend some time walking barefoot, or just lay in a park. But, don’t make the great outdoors another place to drain you. John Muir put it best with regards to hiking:
“I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.”
Of course, getting energy from ‘things’ is another source. An example of this kind of acquisition is laying on rocks to absorb their stored energy, as though to pull power from solar-charged batteries. Laying on the beach soaking in the sun is an experience most can relate. The sun, rocks, plants, trees and all of nature are great things where we can acquire energy to recharge ourselves.
Bringing balance to your personal belongings can be easy too. Seasonally do a spring cleaning to pass on items that will serve others better. Then, relax into the new space you create around yourself. Energy likes to flow, and it does so best within open spaces.
Do An Internal Audit
Periodically, it is helpful to evaluate how important particular people, places, and things are in terms of the energetic value to you. When you feel depleted or stuck, ask yourself some tough questions.
In relationships where you feel wiped out after a visit, consider every minute spent interacting with a particular person is like draining all of the money out of your checking account. Quickly, you go flat broke.
Ask, “will I go into debt or potential bankruptcy to maintain this particular relationship?”
Count how many hours you go to places that irritate you. Now, quantify it by paying attention to how you feel. Do you feel drained? Irritable? Even if you are getting paid money, leaving anywhere with an upside-down account does not make sense.
Ask, “Why am I putting so much energy into a place I despise?”
Having too many things to maintain can be a huge drainer. Piles of stuff can go neglected month after month. Is it worth the hundreds of hours you complain about it in your head? That’s life force literally wasting away with your sanity.
Ask, “Is the energetic cost that I’m paying for this stuff really worth it?
Putting everything into this perspective of energy economics makes it easier to manage and maintain our energy account so we can live within our budget. If your energy account withdrawals are higher than your deposits, then do something about it. Conserving our resources is key to being truly wealthy. How you generate and spend your vitality currency can be the exact reason why you do not or do reach your next big goal.