Just think for a moment before you answer this; Are you feeling more and more run down as the days, weeks, months or even years go on? If you answered yes, you are not alone in fact 80% of us report that they are lacking in energy as time goes on.
In fact more and more people are reporting they are feeling more and more tired because the environment we live in has changed but the human body has not changed at all! Now this could be because modern technology is the ‘new convenience’ but at the same time it causes a consistent amount of distractions which results in relaxation time (or down time) for our mind, body and spirit a thing of rarity.
Keeping that in mind there are four main types of energy; Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual and while we tend to think of us having low energy being related to physical tiredness, it’s actually a little bit more complicated than that for example.
Your working long hours in front of a computer and your relationship with your partner are strained. It’s not your physical energy that is making you feel tired, it’s actually your emotional and mental energy that is failing, resulting in you feeling tired.
The natural healthy way to keep all four of our energy tanks full is by incorporating plenty of periods throughout the day of 100% rest and recovery, which will refill your energy banks and here are a few ideas on how you can do that.
Our physical body needs to be fed, rested and completely healthy for our physical energy bank to be full and over flowing. But this can be difficult when our lives get so busy and it’s easy to stop being in tune with our physical body because we end up staying up late every night to complete our list of jobs to do, skip meals throughout the day or slowly change our diet so it’s not packed full of the nutrition our body needs and of course we begin to skip exercising to the point where we can’t remember the last time we did any exercises. By not being in tune with the physical us we just forget what our body needs.
Here are a few way we can get back in tune with our physical body, while nourishing it and filling up our physical energy tank;
- Eat less but more often – Food results in energy, like a car won’t work if you don’t put fuel in it, so our body is the same. By maintaining a steady stream of healthy, nutritional meals spread out throughout the day we are maintaining and filling our energy tank. It’s important that our nutrient levels are at the right level as well because low levels of vitamin D or B can result in us feeling tired, so if your diet is not giving you enough of these vitamins each day, it would be an idea to take a supplement or increase the foods that contain vitamin D and B in your diet to keep your daily requirements on an equal level.
- Exercises – Exercise boosts our endorphins, which are our feel good hormones and by doing some intense bouts of exercise such as running, walking at a fast pace or cycling for 10 minutes, followed by a period of rest, increases our physical energy bank and builds over all physical strength. If you schedule you exercise routine for early afternoon , just before you start to feel a afternoon slump in your energy levels, your intense bout of exercise will top up your energy tank with enough energy to get you through the afternoon.
- Breathe – Breathing is a simple thing that we take for granted but by flooding our body with energy boosting oxygen with simple deep breathing exercises will fill our energy tank up in no time. One simple deep breathing exercise you can do is; Inhale slowly into the abdomen to the count of five, gently retaining the breath for the count of ten and then exhaling for the count of ten.
- Sleep – There has been a lot of research on sleep and all of the research has concluded that even small amounts of sleep deprivation takes a massive toll on our health, mood, cognitive capacity and yes you guessed it our energy levels. If you struggle to sleep try using some lavender essential oils diffusing in your bed room or drink camomile tea before you go to bed. You can also take an after nap in your lunch break as studies have shown a short siesta can make up for an hour of lost sleep at night and can boost your alertness, performance, mood and energy levels.
Our mental energy includes everything from problem solving, remembering how to do things as well as our whole cognitive ability. When it’s low we make mistakes, forget tasks, feel cranky and tired. Here are a few ways we can boost our mental energy tank;
- Change things up – This is simple I know but it works, close your lap top, turn off your smart phone / tablet and go and do something else. Go and do any mindless task that gives your brain a chance to rest from what you were doing, while boosting your energy tank. Your mindless task can be anything from, folding the washing, cleaning out your desk draw or even running up and down the stairs for 5 minutes.
- Drinking water – Studies have found that even being mildly dehydrated can cause us to experience fatigue and loss of focus. Keeping ourselves completely hydrated is not only good for our health but is keeps those mental energy tanks full. Try to drink 2 litters of water a day but if you don’t like drinking water, try popping some fresh fruit in your water to add a bit of flavour or try some herbal teas. You can also snack on high water foods such as melon, oranges, tomatoes and homemade soups to help you stay hydrated.
- Exercise your brain – Any mental stimulation increases our mental energy in the same way as physical exercise strengths our body. We can boost our mental energy by learning a new language; completing puzzles or quizzes, changing the route we drive or walk to work, learning a new hobby or even the tango.
- Take time off – Not enough of us take time off from work, kick our shoes off and chill out according to a recent study. In fact a high percentage of us bring work home to do in evenings and weekends instead of relaxing. Let alone taking a taking a few days off (not necessarily to go away) and have a small holiday at home or away chilling out. One study found that our work performance actually improved by 8% for every 10 hours we took off work.
Worrying about money, job security, your relationship and thinking about ourselves in a negative light all leave us emotional drained with an energy tank nearly empty. Try these simple daily practices to help boost and keep your emotional energy tank full;
- Avoid energy draining vampires – We all know these people and have them in our life; they complain, criticize and generally suck the life out of us. Reduce the amount of time you spend with these sorts of people and set limits on how long you are going to spend in their company. Don’t suck in or take on their negativity, instead try and see a positive spin on what they are complaining or criticizing you about. I have someone in my life just like energy draining vampire and when I look at them, I imagine them wearing something funny and it stops them from draining my emotional energy tank.
- Let it just hang out – Holding onto negative emotions is the quickest way to empty your emotional energy tank. In one study, they found people who repressed their feelings where at a greater risk of suffering from sleep disorders, depression and anxiety than those who embraced their emotions. So put on a sad movie, write down your feelings or punch a pillow, do whatever it takes to release those pent up emotions, to keep that energy tank full.
- Stay positive – Easy thing to say sometimes but fear, anger, and worry are not necessarily bad but when they take over your positive thoughts they drain that energy tank faster than you can make a cup of tea. If you are consumed by worry, take a piece of paper and write the positive and negative things about what you are worried about. You may find that ‘the worst’ is not that bad at all and in fact a positive thing or opportunity may happen.
Spiritual energy is all about your ultimate purpose in life, the things that motivate you and gives your life meaning. In fact your spiritual energy is the most powerful energy we have as it controls our physical, mental and emotional energy banks. Here are a few ways you can make your spiritual energy bank stronger;
- Live the right way for you – Are your actions in alignment with your values and beliefs? If not you are putting a massive strain on your spiritual energy tank. Take 5 minutes before you go to bed each night to look back on your day and ask yourself if your actions today may have deviated from your values and if so how you can get to being in alignment with your core values.
- Create a ritual – Rituals create meaning and propose, as well as allowing ourselves to be grateful for all we have and all we have been able to do. By creating a simple ritual that reinforces our core beliefs, we are able to keep our spiritual tank full. These rituals can be as simple as keeping a gratitude journal, welcoming the day in with some yoga or lighting a candle and meditating every evening.
- Know your purpose – Be leave me you don’t have to change the world to have purpose. Your purpose in life can be as simple as raising your children, helping people heal, holding out your hand and sharing your knowledge. If you don’t know your purpose and are having a hard time trying to figure out your purpose, find a health coach who will help guide you to you highest aspirations.
Which of these energy tanks are not as full as you need them to be in order to live your life the fullest it should be?