This article is part 1 of a 2 part series on increasing energy in our fast paced world. Look for tips on increasing energy in part 2:How to Increase Energy in our High Demand World.
During the hustle and bustle of our busy life, many of us become so consumed in our day-to-day and trying to be the best version of ourselves that before we know it, we are tired, stressed, and without energy to enjoy the benefits of all our hard work. Figuring out where to focus our energy can be daunting, but if we start by eliminating things that deplete our energy sources and implementing ways to regain our energy, life can become much easier.
Three things that can significantly deplete our energy sources are the stories we consistently tell ourselves every day, how we let stress or negativity affect us, and what we are putting in our bodies for fuel.
1. The Stories We Tell Ourselves
Telling ourselves things such as, “I have to do my hair a certain way, I have to get my nails done every two weeks”, or, “I have to go see an old friend, who I have known forever, even though I don’t really feel great when I see that person…” are all just stories which with time, become so ingrained in us. But if we stop to think about ‘why’, we can ask the question “Why am I doing this? Is it because somebody told me I have to? Is it because society told me I need to be doing these things?” The micro stories we tell ourselves everyday can begin to add up and take a toll on our energy sources. Its important to ask ourselves if we are doing something we really value and enjoy, or if we are doing it because we told ourselves we had to. Pinpointing exactly what we want to spend our time and energy on can save us from becoming exhausted and depleted.
Negativity is a powerful energy zapper. If we are negative we attract negativity just like if we are positive, we attract positivity. Sometimes may feel like we are carrying bricks on our backs or walking though quicksand and we come home feeling heavy or sad. This is normal, but if it begins to occur al the time we must re-shift our thinking and ask better questions.
Our brain is a powerful tool, it can become our best friend or our worst enemy depending on the thoughts we choose to fill our head with. Instead of thinking about the worst that can happen, we can try shifting our thoughts to thinking of the opportunities and possibilities that we can gain from a situation. We can think about what beautiful things are going to come out of that situation, so we can learn and grow from it. In our world, energy is currency, it is how we survive, if we let people take our energy and taint it with their negativity then we can no longer be our best self and the negative, stressful, spirals begin. But if we can create space in our minds and rid ourselves of the negativity, then we are inviting positivity and love to fill the space.
Stress is a huge energy drainer but unfortunately, it is always going to be present in our lives.So it is up to us to find mindful ways of managing that stress on a daily basis, whether that is through meditation, exercise, or food. It is also important to be forgiving with ourselves; if we are having a stressful day we can decide to acknowledge that, be ok with it and decide that since today is our stressful day, tomorrow we can find a way to manage it. Though we must not forget to choose other things which nourish us during our stressful day and allowing ourselves a bit of freedom. Finding ways to combat stress will not only boost our energy but also our immune system. We will feel less tired and have more time to do the things we actually want to do.
Food can create so much energy, yet it is important to understand that we only get energy from two different foods; glucose, which comes from carbohydrates, and fats.Many of us believe that we need to stop eating all carbs and fats in order to stay healthy, but the truth is that we all need carbohydrates and fats in diet for energy, it’s simply a matter of making sure we are consuming healthy and good carbs and fats. When we remove carbs, we are taking away an energy source that our body needs. Processed white flour carbohydrates and sugars are the types to avoid as they deplete our energy. They give us a great spike but then a very fast dip in energy, which makes us crave more of the sugary carbs again and again.. and eventually this takes a toll on our hunger hormones. Good energy comes from good carbs such as: sprouted wheat bread, sourdough bread and plant based carbs such as sweet potatoes or lentils.
The body will react to the energy we’re giving it, but each body is different, what might be one persons energy source might make someone else feel sick or depleted. When we Tap into our own energy we can determine what our body really wants — this is called intuitive eating, or intuitively knowing what foods give us energy. If this is a new concept and it’s hard to tap into this, then starting a food journal and paying attention to the foods which give us energy or make us not feel great can begin the process. Many of us rely heavily on caffeine as an energy source but the truth is we can get a lot of that from food. Give your body the energy it needs, good carbs and really healthy fats — pay attention to what your body is telling you, always listen to yourself, and try having fun finding what works for you personally.
Thank you to Mission Wellness & Anchor Meditation for their wonderful talk inspiring ways to increase our own energy within this crazy, chaotic, beautiful world.
Head over to Anchor Mediation to book your mediation session.
Author: Nicole Sallee, @maitemedicine