I used to struggle to find the endurance to make it through the day without crashing by the mid-afternoon and looking for external energy boosters. Before I discovered how to increase and then maintain my energy levels, I was a bit of a pain to be around.
When my energy was low, I felt tired and tended towards mild headaches and lethargy, accompanied by sudden uncontrollable bursts of grumpiness and snapping at others. Everything seemed to annoy me and I was quick to act in unnecessarily negative and impulsive ways.
I didn’t feel able or motivated to exercise, cook, socialize or efficiently get things done. In fact, everything took longer than necessary. I would crave time sitting on the couch in front of the TV, eating cupcakes or drinking wine. These energy lulls would lead to bad food choices and time spent doing things that further drained my energy instead of boosting it.
That was all before I unlocked the appropriate diet and lifestyle practices necessary to keep myself happy, energized and productive all day long. Nourishment for the mind and body does not just come from the food we consume. It is also derived from the lifestyle choices we make on a daily basis. Everything we do or eat is a choice between increasing, maintaining or draining our energy.
Evaluating Your Mental State
Assess and jot down some thoughts about your current relationship with energy by asking yourself these questions:
- Do I struggle with not having enough energy?
- How do I feel when my energy is low?
- What challenges do I face when I lack liveliness?
- What types of things do I do and eat when I feel this way?
- Are my choices the best ones?
- How can my life be improved if energy were never an issue?
We often fall into behavior patterns that are not the healthiest.However, we struggle to break free from them and find a better way. The first step is identifying your triggers and the second is finding ways to prevent them instead of reacting to them in the moment.
The following are my top five tips for increasing energy:
1. Reduce Or Eliminate Caffeine
Caffeine causes fluctuations in mood, energy and blood sugar in addition to dehydration. The need for caffeinated beverages to get you through the day or wake you up in the morning is a sign of inadequate rest or dietary nutrients.
2. Drink More Water
Dehydration can cause headaches, hunger and sluggishness. Beverages containing sugar, sodium or caffeine can dehydrate us even more.
3. Increase The Amount And Quality Of Rest
When you are tired or stressed, your body will crave energy. Keep to a regular schedule, waking up and going to bed at the same time and get sufficient number of hours of sleep (8 hours or more). Set the atmosphere for restful, quality sleep. Be sure you bedroom is neat, comfortable and calming.
4. Increase Your Physical Activity
Over time, you will learn that regular exercise will boost your energy rather than making you more tired. It will also offer the added benefit of better quality sleep. Start out slowly with 30 minutes of walking, Tai Chi or Yoga each day and increase the pace and time allotted for exercise over time.
5. Improve Your Diet
Increase the amount of healthy fresh foods you eat and reduce processed, junk foods. Some great foods to try for increased energy are: vegetables (especially dark leafy greens), Goji berries, coconut water, almonds, cashews, fresh and raw fruits, steel cut oats and whole grains.
Following these tips are a sure-fire way to feel more energized. So what are you waiting for?