With the pressures of modern society, many people have come to rely on strong stimulants such as caffeine, to get themselves through the day and elevate both energy and mood. Whilst this is not harmful in short run, over a period of time too much coffee and other stimulants can make you feel run down and out of energy, but that energy makes all the difference. When energised, days can be productive and meaningful; when exhausted it‘s like a slow motion endurance test.
The following ten points outline way in which it is possible to boost natural energy levels, helping to feel more active and elevate the mood.
Without a doubt, one of the most important things to stay naturally energised is to maintain a healthy sleep regime.
The first tip is to have a consistent sleeping schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. It may be tempting to go to bed later at the weekends and stay in bed longer in the mornings, but have a set timeframe can work wonders for your energy levels. There is also a general consensus that 6-8 hours sleep is what should be aimed for.
If possible, consider using a dawn simulation alarm clock. These are alarm clocks that have a light on them and gradually begin to light up half an hour before you wake. This simulation of dawn signals to your biological clock that it is nearly time to wake up, allowing bodily processes to slowly start up before you actually wake. This results in often feeling wide awake when the alarm sound actually goes off. It is a much more peaceful and healthy way to wake then a sudden loud noise in the dark that jolts you into action – often leaving you feeling groggy and half asleep.
Once awake it is important to get out of bed straight away. This movement further tells the body that it is time to get up and active. If a dawn simulator has been used then melatonin should be fairly suppressed within the body, allowing it to further energise itself for the day.
Melatonin in a chemical regulated by light. It is a chemical that makes us feel sleepy and is our way of telling us it is time to lie down and recharge. Light suppresses it, so if you wake up in the dark you will find it much harder to get into action. For this reason light is a very important part of maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. By ensuring you get as much light as you can during the day you will ensure melatonin production is suppressed, helping you feel energised; whereas keeping light to a minimum before sleep will encourage the body to produce it and drift off.
Food is one of the finer things in life and enjoyed by many, but for some it may the wrong things that are enjoyed too much. It is completely natural, we have an instinctive drive to seek out fatty foods as a survival technique. What our instincts do not take into account is that the human race is much less active as a whole compared to a few thousand years ago. This natural drive for fatty foods is further enhanced by the fast-food industry, whose food is full of preservatives and flavourings. The effects of all of this can have us feeling lethargic and demotivated.
The preservatives and chemicals that can be found in many of today’s foods can also effect mood. By steering clear of them, and eating fresh produce such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and fresh organic white meat. It is also worth noting that some fat is good to for a healthy balanced diet, but it is finding that balance that is key. Not only does this cleanse the body of these preservatives, elevating mood, but also helps us feel more energised and active. Also, maintaining a healthy diet has further health implications into many other areas of health and wellbeing.
A good way to restart a clogged digestive system is through a juice fast. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are a fantastic method to clean out the intestine, and deliver much needed enzymes and vitamins to our body. Store bought, bottled juices are all pasteurised, as most countries don‘t allow the sale of raw products such as fresh juice. But the heat destroys the enzymes that make juice so healthy in the first place. This is why store bought juice doesn‘t compare with fresh, homemade juice. Also, greens and vegetables contain more nutritional value than fruits, although the latter tastes sweeter and contains more sugars. A mix of fruits and greens is often the healthiest and tastiest combination.
When it comes to juicers, make sure to get a slow mastication juicer, not one of those high speed turbo juicers. The speed of the blade oxidises much of the juice before it‘s even in your cup.
As touched on in the introduction, stimulants such as caffeine, sugar, tobacco and alcohol give only momentary boosts of energy without actually „nourishing Qi“, as the Chinese would say. This means that their use only releases stored up energy, without replenishing and nourishing new energy. It‘s life on borrowed time, as when the stimulants run out, there is no natural energy to pick up the slack. The crash between the levels of this temporary energy to the levels of natural energy can cause a psychological dependence on them to see the day through. Not only this, but stimulants blunt the effectiveness of some hormones, making it much harder to maintain natural energy. By reducing the use of strong stimulants to a minimum, or staying away from them, it is possible to build up natural energy levels, maintaining a much better feeling of health.
Exercising daily is not only good for your physical health, it can create an enormous sense of wellbeing when done regularly. Preforming regular exercise increase the production of both serotonin and dopamine, often making the experience not only feel rewarding, but also having positive long term effects on the mood.
Exercise does not need to be intensive or long, whatever fits into your schedule can help the body feel much more energised. Be it marital arts, a long walk, a jog round the block or even a few sit ups and push ups. Recent findings suggest that just 7 minutes a day of exercise can have a positive effect – there are many apps available on smartphones now that can help you go through this daily regime in the comfort of your own home, helping keeping you motivated.
Our bodies are made up of 65% water on average (this can vary a lot person to person). Just 3% dehydration has shown to hinder brain functioning, making us feel fatigued and unresponsive. For this reason it is extremely important to stay hydrated. The U.S. National Research Council suggests that we should drink 1ml of water for ever calorie we ingest, meaning the average person should be consuming 2-3 litres of water a day to stay healthy and energised.
Breathing exercises can be used to energise, calm and centre the mind. The peace they can bring is a perfect way to help regulate mood, get extra oxygen to the brain and induce a feeling of control. It is through this control and extra oxygen that can make one feel energised. The breathing exercises can be anything from full on meditation and diaphragmatic breathing techniques such as breath of fire and alternate nostril breathing, to simply sitting down for a few minutes, closing your eyes and concentrating on regulating a set deep breathing pattern.
Following on from point 6, yoga postures and sitting meditation can be used to calm, reduce stress and create focus and clarity. As part of a regular regime, hey can help elevate mood and make one feel much more energised. There are hundreds of techniques, all varying in how advanced they are. A very simple technique is to sit down take any breathing exercise, close your eyes and count on every inhalation, clearing your mind of all other thoughts. You will find that your mind begins to relax and your body feels revitalised.
There are many herbs and supplements out there that can be used to boost natural energy levels, herbs and supplements that do not rely on caffeine or quick sugar rushes.
A good few examples of herbal remedies that energise and nourish are rhodiola, ginseng and Eleuthero. These herbs all have natural energy boosting qualities as well as acting to improve the mood. The large benefit is that as they work in tandem with your natural energy, they do not cause a crash or psychological dependence the way some stimulants do. For example, rhodiola is thought to increase energy, stamina, sports endurance as well as elevate mood.
Supplements can also be used to keep the body a well-oiled machine, maintaining a healthy and active brain. Good examples of this are hemp or falx oil supplements that contain Omega oils and other fatty acids that are essential to the regulation of the mood. Another good example is vitamin B6, which is used by the body to maintain and regulate brain function. By ensuring your body has all of the vitamins, minerals and natural chemicals it needs, you are much more likely to maintain a natural level of energy.
The human attention span only really lasts a few hours, after this energy and will for the task at hand will begin to wane. Take a break from what you are doing every few hours for 5 minutes or so. Take a quick walk, get some fresh air and change what you were doing. This change will help you feel refreshed and reenergised when you go back to your task. The same applies for longer periods of time. That‘s why holidays increase productivity so much.
As mentioned above, juicing is a great way to clean out the system and provide fresh nutrition. One particular spin on this is the one day juice fast. The idea is that you spend one day a week consuming nothing but fresh juice. It rids the body of toxins, promoting a sense of wellbeing and it gives the digestive organs a much needed braek. It‘s a good idea to break the juice fast with a light meal the first day, as to ease back in again. By doing this once a week, the body gets into a rhythm and becomes more and more efficient at flushing toxins and waste.
Caution: This information is not intended to replace medical advice and all material is for informational purposes only. No warranty whatsoever is made that any information is accurate. Review any information with your health care provider.