How to Get More Energy

Post written by Warren. Follow him on Twitter.

Turn off the yawn. Turn on the energy.

Turn off the yawn. Turn on the energy.

Are you tired of being tired?

If you are, you are not alone. In fact, many of us are wound up so tight with stress, worry and fear we simply become zapped of energy every single day.

We’re currently living in a society that demands we’re constantly on the go-go-go.  From the time our feet hit the floor in the morning until our heads hit the pillows all too late at night, we’re being barraged with information and requests.  It’s a byproduct of living in such a technologically advanced age.  With email, cell phones, and Internet access, we’re available to the entire world practically all day long.  Add to that the 24-hour of cable television, and if a person didn’t have to sleep, he could be learning, shopping, and communicating around the clock.

Of course, this all takes its toll on our bodies and minds.  Let’s face it.  We’re just plain tired a lot of the time.

It shouldn’t be any big surprise when you think about the fact that we have more ways to save time (consider the microwave or the answering machine) but somehow have ended up with less actual time in the end. Even our leisure time is often scheduled to the hilt with television programs we “have” to see or social networking sites we “have” to check!

If you find your energy levels dragging, there are some things you can do about it.

Of course, the best solution would probably be to unplug ourselves from the media and technology that seems to keep us constantly distracted.  If you’re not willing or able to do that, however, here are some helpful tips on how to perk yourself up throughout the day.

1.  Avoid the “obvious” energy-boosting solutions. Many of us turn to caffeine and energy drinks in order to get a boost, but they really have a sinister side to them.  Get started with caffeine, for example, and you’ll find that you continually need more and more to make a difference in your energy level.  So-called “energy drinks” do pick you up for a little while, but you can expect a big crash at the end.  The crash will actually put you at a lower level than you would have attained if you hadn’t had the energy drink at all.

2.  Get the blood flowing. There is nothing wrong with taking a little break in the afternoon.  In fact, it’s so important that most jobs are required to give you one.  Take this time to walk around, maybe even step outside and get some fresh air.  Do a few stretching exercises, and you will find that not only do your muscles feel better, but you will be able to think more clearly, as well.  You can even practice some simple deep breathing exercises while you’re working in order to improve blood and oxygen flow to the brain.

3.  Eat the right things. We all know that diet can have a major impact on our health and energy levels, but many of us don’t know what are the best choices to make.  Try eating lots of berries, as the antioxidants are good for energy.  Vitamin C has been found to help stave off chronic fatigue, and the B vitamins help convert blood sugar to energy, so make sure they’re a part of your regular diet.  It turns out that getting plenty of fiber in your diet can also make a difference, as it smooths out the absorption rate of sugar to keep your energy levels from riding a roller coaster all day.

4.  Make sure you’re well rested. Sometimes the most obvious solution to a problem is the one we’re most likely to overlook.  If you find yourself feeling overly tired, it may be that you’re, well, overly tired.  Most of us need a full 6.5 to 7.5 hours of sleep a night to be fully rested.  If you can’t get this or you’re still feeling sluggish, a 15 minute catnap in the middle of the day can do absolute wonders to refresh and refocus.  It’s a good idea not to lay all the way down and get too comfortable, as you want to reinvigorate yourself, not settle into an afternoon coma.

5.  Keep things interesting. It’s generally a lot easier to devote yourself and your energy to a project when it’s exciting.  Sure, we still need to do the boring daily activities, but try interspersing them with things you enjoy or even trying something new.  The change of pace will help keep your attention level up.

6.  Get a checkup. If you find that no matter what you do, you still seem to be tired all the time, you should make an appointment with your doctor.  Not only will he or she offer advice on worthwhile lifestyle changes, but you will also likely get a thyroid test to ensure that your lack of motivation isn’t caused by something more serious.  Fatigue can be a warning sign for a number of medical issues, so don’t overlook the importance of ruling them out.

Our daily lives are growing more and more hectic, and we continually find ourselves scrambling to keep up.  Rather than looking around and appreciating where we are, we are instead always urged to look to the next thing and the thing after that.  We’re scheduled to within an inch of our lives, and heaven forbid we fall behind on that schedule and put everything else in jeopardy.

One of the most beneficial things you can do to increase your energy is to take a break and slow down the pace a bit. Meditate. Clear your mind and watch what happens. Or use your senses to clear away excess stress.

Make sure your overloaded schedule includes some fun activities, and even some “down time” to help balance things out.  Of course, there are times when we just can’t have complete control over our schedules.  When this happens, having a good diet, keeping things interesting, and getting plenty of rest are really important not only for increasing your energy, but also for overall health.

Take plenty of breaks to stretch and even get the occasional cat nap.  If you find that you just can’t get your energy level under control, however, it may be time to make an appointment with your doctor.

“Happiness gives us the energy which is the basis of health.” – Henri-Frédéric Amiel

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Posted on October 28, 2009

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