Think about how many times you hear yourself or your friends and family complaining that you’re tired. Most people chalk it up to stress, not having enough hours in the day to do everything, and the general everyday stressors of life. While these are contributing factors to our tiredness and lethargy, they aren’t really the cause of constant fatigue and energy. Often the true things to blame lie in our everyday habits and the way we live. A lack of energy and that constant nagging tiredness is usually related to something we can control: the food we choose to consume, our sleep patterns, and how we cope emotionally with things. Imagine never feeling lethargic and fatigued again. It seems like a dream, but it’s completely possible by tweaking your lifestyle a little.
Energize yourself by eating properly.
Have you ever noticed that when you eat your favorite bowl of pasta or munch on a delicious, supposedly healthy sandwich, you begin to feel sleepy, foggy, and even forgetful? Your nutrition and general diet play a huge part in the way you function and your everyday energy levels (JET, 1996:15) You’ve heard it a million times before – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s true. Even if you don’t feel hungry at the time, it’s essential to eat something in the morning. Breakfast preps you for the rest of the day and as a result you’ll feel both mentally and physically better. According to researchers, just one spoonful of cereal in the morning will reduce the body’s stress-related hormone, cortisol. Eating breakfast religiously will help your body replenish its blood glucose levels, which is the brain’s main energy source. Not only will your energy levels benefit from tucking into a delicious morning meal, studies show it also boosts endurance, strength, mood, and a person’s general attitude (JET, 1996:16). Eating regularly - For example every three to four hours, throughout the day will also give you more energy. Smaller meals and snacks scattered throughout the day will help stabilize blood sugar and energy levels. However, these snacks and meals aren’t just any old snack and you need proportionate amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats to help boost and sustain your energy levels (Perlmutter, D. 2014:12). Fueling your body on fiber - will also give you a noticeable amount of energy. Carbs from fiber-packed food are released at a slower rate into the bloodstream, which in turn will give you more energy and that much needed staying power. Delicious fiber-filled options include a small portion of raisin bran, apples, and whole-wheat spaghetti (Perlmutter, D. 2014:14). Not only do you need physical power throughout the day, you also need brain power, which is why it’s essential to feed your brain with omega-3s which can be found in fatty fish, walnuts, eggs, and canola oil.
It’s not all about your diet and food intake.
Staying hydrated throughout the day is also imperative. The mildest form of dehydration causes a person’s blood to thicken, which in turn forces the heart to work harder to pump blood, resulting in unnecessary fatigue. Unfortunately for coffee lovers, it’s essential to curb your caffeine intake, especially after midday. One or two cups of your favorite coffee a day is harmless and can actually give you a kick when it comes to short-term energy, but excessive amounts affects sleep quality, resulting in fogginess and heavy puffy eyelids the following day. Caffeine is a stimulant and although your body might tell you it’s time for bed, your brain will be active. Too much caffeine leads to chronic sleep deprivation, so swap your café latte for an herbal caffeine-free tea instead (Nehlig, A. 2005:14). Mental exhaustion can also play havoc on your energy levels and the common feelings that people regularly feel such as boredom, sadness, anger, angst, and stress will wear you out. Depending on how you react will depend on how your body’s affected. One of the best ways to de-stress is to vent your feelings. When you keep strong feelings of anxiety, stress, and fear pent up, it will result in restless nights, which of course leads to tiredness. Work on discussing. Air any negative feelings through discussion to ease negativity and the negative repercussions of no sleep. The same goes for letting go of grudges. When you nurse a grudge, without even realizing it both your mind and body automatically react. Such stress leads to an increased and irregular heart rate and high blood pressure, both of which can lead to a compromised immune system and chronic exhaustion. Even if you believe you’re still in the right, a simple act of forgiveness can help you regain control over your emotions, which results in lower stress levels and more energy. If you find that you’re suffering from constant fatigue, listen to some music. Researchers have found that one of the most effective ways to reverse a bad mood, decrease stress, and increase your energy levels is to listen to music just like a jogger or a person working out might do while running on the treadmill. Studies have proved that those people who listen to music while doing sport work harder, run faster, and generally push themselves more. Music is a great distracter, and if this is not a good reason to stick your earphones in and listen to your favorite tunes, what is? (Nalapat, S. 2008:18). Deep breathing exercises otherwise known as belly breaths will give you more energy throughout the day. Typically, people take what’s referred to as chest breaths, which are short and shallow and result in less air being transferred to the lungs, which in turn reduces the body’s much needed supply of energizing oxygen. When you don’t receive the necessary energizing oxygen, your body and brain will be drained. Concentrate on deep breathing from the diaphragm every day and you’ll notice your energy levels soar with very little effort (Zi, N. 2000:18). While breathing exercises may be one of the more traditional methods to reenergize and revitalize yourself, there are also other more unlikely ways to boost your energy. Can you honestly look around your home and say there’s no clutter or mess? Clutter and mess is easy to make and even the tidiest of people are guilty of it. However, clutter in the home or office has a way of making you feel overwhelmed and out of control. De-cluttering your life will energize you and you’ll also get the extra added positive feeling having accomplished a goal. Once you’ve decluttered your physical space, you can then work on decluttering your life (Austin, D. 2011:35). A person’s energy levels can be compared to that of a rollercoaster – they go up and down all the time, sometimes with a massive drop. The secret to boosting your energy and never being tired again is your lifestyle. It’s related to the food you consume, what you do, and how you think and live, so give yourself a gift of boundless energy through a positive and healthy lifestyle.