While there are many reasons why people achieve success, I believe one fundamental element is energy. I know when I am feeling drained, getting anything accomplished is like pulling teeth. It’s challenging and painful.
In addition, it is almost counterproductive to try to get our work done when we are feeling mentally tapped. I know I do my best work when I’m feeling energetic and alive.
Think about it, how productive can you be if you are feeling lethargic? As Aristotle said, “The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” When you are tired, not only does your body lack motivation to even get started, your brain runs like a computer that has been bogged down with viruses.
Tired of being tired, I diligently looked through the research on how to have more energy. I then began applying many of these ideas to my life trying to find the secret to having long-lasting energy throughout the day. I discovered the following six ways to quickly give myself a natural energy burst throughout the day.
Drink a full glass of water.
This is without a doubt the healthiest and most efficient way I know of to get a quick burst of energy. I know many of you turn to caffeine when you’re feeling sluggish, and I understand, I used to be the same way. I was addicted to caffeine from the age of 10 to almost 46. Because of this, my energy level was always like a roller coaster. I would get tired, drink caffeine, have a small burst of energy, get tired and then repeat this cycle all day. It was exhausting. However, once I decided to leave caffeine in the past and just drink water, I was able to step off the energy roller coaster. My energy level is no longer a series of dips and valleys, I now feel a steady flow of energy all day.
Science backs me up on this. Research shows us that while caffeine does give us a quick lift, it is also a diuretic. While the caffeine is giving us the energy burst, it is also causing us to become dehydrated. And even a 1% fluid loss can leave us with low energy levels and reduction in brain performance.
I start my day off with a full glass of water and then continue to sip on it all day. And if I start to feel sluggish I consume four or five ounces quickly.
One last note, research also show us that cold water is more effective than warm. Warm has a relaxing effect on the body. While cold has a more refreshing effect.
Many times, when we are feeling tired it is because we are not getting the appropriate amount of oxygen to our brain. We may also be holding in too much carbon dioxide.
A quick remedy is what I call energetic breathing. Begin by breathing in deeply through your nose for a count of 2 or 3 deep into your diagram. Hold it for another count of 2 or 3. Next, exhale through your mouth to the count of 5 or 6.
While performing your energetic breathing, imagine that you are inhaling pure energy. Using your imagination to see it circulating through your body. Begin by seeing it flow through your brain and then continuing down through your chest, arms, and legs. When you exhale imagine you are expelling negative and lethargic energy out through your mouth. For the full benefit, repeat 7 or 8 times.
Stretch, squat and jump.
If you are at work, you may have to find a secluded location to do this. I often do this in the privacy of the bathroom because I don’t want others to think I’ve lost my mind.
Stretching helps improve blood flow and allows more nutrients and oxygen to get to your cells. Squatting allows your largest blood vessels, located in your thighs to open up, also improving blood flow to your cells. Jumping helps to increase your heart rate which pushes more blood and oxygen through your now open blood vessels and capillaries.
Take a brisk walk.
This one is so obvious, I almost left it out of the list. However, it is such a great source of energy that I thought it should be included. Even if you can’t get outside, you can still take a stroll to the water cooler. One note of caution, if you do walk to the water cooler, don’t get drawn into water cooler gossip. Nothing slows down your productivity more than getting pulled into office gossip. If others are hanging out at the cooler, fill your cup with cold water and politely excuse yourself.
Have a snack rich in water.
Water-rich foods are about the healthiest way to get your water while also getting energizing natural carbohydrates. Apples, grapes, and watermelon are all great choices when you need a quick pick-me-up. These fruits provide vitamins, amino acids, fiber, and minerals that your body needs. Plus, they are nature’s own water purifying system.
Research done in a 2009 study by researchers at the University of Aberdeen Medical School found that watermelon or cucumber hydrates your body twice as fast as just drinking a glass of water. So instead of reaching for a candy bar or sports drink to give you that energy burst, reach for nature’s own sports drink and see how much better it makes you feel.
Take a reading break.
Research has shown that reading a fiction book for as little as six minutes relaxes your mind and body. A short read also relieves stress as well as meditating and 300% more than taking a walk.
Why? When we read fiction, we allow our minds to disengage from our current challenges and slip into the world of fantasy. In doing so, our heartbeat slows down and we just naturally relax.
Take a twenty-minute power nap.
Almost religiously around three in the afternoon, I stretch out on my back, prop my feet above my head, close my eyes and practice clearing my head for twenty or thirty minutes. The benefits are amazing.
By propping my feet higher than my heart, I allow my blood to circulate, which provides more to my brain. I also get the amazing benefits of clearing my thoughts, and I allow my muscles to let go of all the tension they have been holding throughout the day.
I know some of you are saying you don’t have time for a nap, but if you are feeling worn out mid-way through the day, can you really afford not to take a quick time-out? For me, this short rest provides me the energy to be effective and productive for another couple of hours. It also gives me the energy to be present for my family in the evenings.
So there you have it, Seven quick, healthy energizers, that can get you feeling better in no time. And the best part is they are all natural.
Question: What healthy energizers do you use when your energy starts to drain? You can leave a comment by clicking here.