In today’s fast-paced, high-stress world, energy is too often in short supply. Modern life seems designed to drain us of our inner resources, and many people feel so sapped at the end of the day that they do not even have time to pursue personal interests. This can be incredibly frustrating at times. For example, if you have an artistic bent or a passion for writing but no time nor energy to pursue your craft, it is easy to feel as if your life is wasting away. Similarly, hard-working parents often feel as if they are hardly there to see their kids grow up.
The one thing that could make this all better, or at least mitigate the problem, is energy. If you had a deeper well of energy that could be called upon when you are exhausted and your nerves are frazzled, then you could pursue that creative project or participate in more family activities.
While working hard is undeniably draining, there are certainly things that one can do to boost one’s energy and to use it better. There are many possible approaches, but here is one plan that can work wonders.
Step 1: Tackle your stress. Many energy-boosting plans start with exercise, eating better, or sleeping more, but it is very difficult to do any of these things when you are constantly nagged by feelings of stress. So while those things are an important part of the plan, start with the thing that is draining all your energy.
There is no magic formula for making stress go away. It may take some sacrifice, but it is important. For example, can you afford to cut back a few hours at work? If so, stop pushing yourself so hard. Are there more efficient ways to use your work time so that you can maximize your personal time? Do you often get bogged down in trivial things that you should ideally just let go? Take an honest assessment of your major sources of stress and take real steps to address them. Often, simply recognizing and addressing sources of stress is a big relief.
Step 2: Assess how well you are sleeping. Most people can get away with not exercising enough or eating somewhat unhealthy food, but if you are not sleeping well it taints everything you do. If you do not start your day with energy, how will you possibly have some to spare when work is over and it is time to do personal things? Make sleep a top priority, even if it means cutting other things from your schedule.
Step 3: Make quiet time. Set aside twenty or thirty minutes (at least) every day to turn off all your screens and gadgets, get away from the world, and be alone with yourself. During this time, focus on your breathing and try to get your mind off things that cause stress. Some might call this period of your day meditation, but there is no need to label it. Just take the time to quiet your mind, and you will notice the calming effect through the rest of your day.
Step 4: Consume only good things. This should be a no-brainer, but it is amazing how often we reach for the junk food or sodas whenever we feel stressed out or low on energy. But bad foods and drinks actually worsen the situation. Sure, it is okay to have things that are not great for your body every once and a while, but it should just be a matter of routine to consume only things that boost energy and provide increased wellness to the body. Also do not forget to have plenty of water.
Step 5: Elevate your heart rate for at least half an hour a day. The type of exercise is up to you. Of course, it is best to get into the habit of doing multiple types of exercise as part of your routine, but use whatever makes you feel good. And somewhat counterintuitively, exercise does not lessen your well of energy. Sure, it may in the very short term take something out of you, but in the long term it makes your body and mind more vigorous.
If you manage to go through all these steps and sustain all your efforts over weeks and months, the energy boost will be significant. And if these essential five steps still do not seem to rejuvenate you, then it is time to either see a doctor or look into other more specific natural ways to boost energy.
By Marc Courtiol