Saturday, November 7, 2009

9 Ways to Increase Energy

1. Maintain adequate hydration: While it used to be said that the average sedentary person should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, this has come into question. Some experts say that this includes foods that contain water. In addition, while the thirst mechanism is said to kick in when it is too late, there is also some question about this. Exercise, heat and other variables also affect how much water one should drink. Thus, all I can offer is a personal reflection which is: when I want to increase my energy, I sometimes drink water and this seems to bring me back to life even when I have not consciously recognized that I am thirsty.

2. Diet: The best personal experience I can offer here is: get that breakfast in. Skipping breakfast is tempting when one is on the go, but breakfast is a very important meal and just eating breakfast can make you feel much more energetic throughout the day. I do love satisfying meals, but I find that if I do not keep my lunch light, I feel an energy drain in the afternoon. I have often thought that siestas were a good idea, but this doesn’t really fit in with most of our lifestyles.

3. Meditation: I have noticed that meditating twice a day for at least 20 minutes at a time significantly increases my energy. My thought processes seem to be more efficient.

4. Short naps: A short nap in the middle of the day (5-10 minutes) can do wonders. Some research has shown that 60-minute power naps can be very restorative but a usual day for me does not allow this.

5. Music: For me, listening to music that I love on the way to work gives me a much needed energy boost. Sometimes, having the radio on and suddenly hearing a song I love gives me a thrill and euphoria that lasts throughout the day.

6. Exercise and regular stretching: I find that when I exercise, I usually feel more energetic, especially directly after exercising. A brief stint of dancing or going for a walk can also help.

7. Concentrating: Getting absorbed in my work allows me to focus and this focus seems to decrease my energy requirements. When I am more scattered, this is also more draining. Thus, focus is not just a result of having more energy but it can increase energy as well.

8. Giving: Giving a loved one a little gift can be such an energizing experience. Any random act of kindness can be energizing. Receiving can also be wonderful when the opportunity arises.

9. Letting go of negative mind states: Addressing anger and forgiving can be wonderful ways to suddenly enhance energy. Often, our brains are drained by something that has been unaddressed. The anticipation is worse than the event. When something is troubling you, address it as soon as you can. This will cause great relief and a surge of energy.