Ever see a little kid running around with boundless energy and you think, I’d sure like to bottle some of that! Certainly it is common for young ones to have boundless energy, and for energy to decrease a bit as we age, however many of us are lacking in energy unnecessarily.
There are habits that many people practice often without much thought that can contribute to energy waxing and waning, too often waning, leaving us frustrated that we are not able to complete the tasks we need to and have energy to spare for the recreating we want to do.
Why do we just assume that growing older is synonymous with being energyless?
Let’s look at some common things we humans do that are energy zappers:
1. We eat a crap diet. When we eat a crap diet, we’re going to feel, well you know…
Eating the standard American diet with its high sugar, salt and fat content, fried, bready, heavy fast food will just leave you feeling lethargic. So why do we eat this food knowing it does not serve our health or energy well? It’s quick, cheap and readily accessible, and it’s a big energy zapper.
2. We don’t move our bodies nearly often enough. It may seem like working out or engaging in some form of exercise will cause one to lose energy, in fact just the opposite occurs. Yes, it does require effort and energy to engage in fitness, however we expend and then recoup energy. The strength and energy we get from a good workout can last for hours after we work out. It also helps us to mentally and emotionally feel great another awesome benefit.
3. We don’t pay attention or intervene with our stress levels. When we are carrying high or chronic stress loads, that will zap our energy every time. If we are in an ongoing high stress job, a difficult marriage, or a chronic problem that is not getting resolved, the mental energy and stress that occurs from this day after day can rob of us of energy.
4. We become passive participants in our own destiny. In other words we allow our circumstances to dictate our mood, energy, outlook and attitude, and when our circumstances feel out of control, or challenging we lose energy with each negative thought.
5. We become creatures of habit. Some habits are great and serve us well, and other habits are energy zappers. For example, do you have the habit of hanging out with a friend because you have known them for so long, but you notice that it feels like they suck the life out of you when you are in their presence?
Things to do to counteract these ENERGY ZAPPERS:
1. Clean up Your Diet: Food is meant to nourish and taste good but eating well does require a little bit of effort. Meal planning is one way to avoid eating anything in site because you have gone too long with out eating. Drive by the Fast food restaurants and instead keep some healthy snacks on hand to hold you over in between meals. Keep your diet as clean and wholesome as possible and reap the benefits of increased energy.
(Visit Maxx nutrition, Kitsap Fresh, Fuelrz, and Sol Nutrition on the Live Well Kitsap site to help you begin to shift your diet.)
2. Move your body, daily. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to accomplish this either. Even building in two times of 20 minutes of physical activity can be of great value for your body, brain and energy levels. Go on a family walk after dinner, lift weights, do some yoga, play tennis, or racquetball… the point is make it fun.
3. Don’t let stress become a runaway train. We all feel some stress and some stress actually serves us well. It is the chronic distress that wears us down and zaps our energy.
Engage in a stress reducing technique daily such as deep breathing, getting out in nature, stretching or calling a friend to keep stress in check.
(Call Seven Massage or Shanti Living Wellness to schedule a relaxing massage)
4. Take your thoughts captive. Circumstances come and go. Bad bosses, difficult interactions, misunderstandings, differing values colliding, financial stresses, too many tasks – all these things and more can add up to a whole lot of reasons to manage our thoughts more intentionally. Remind yourself to control that which is yours to control and surrender or release the rest. Sometimes remembering that 6 months from now you’ll be concerned about something else can also be helpful. Don’t let your negative thoughts rob you of joy and energy.
5. Choose the habits that serve you well and repeat. The other habits may require you to slow down enough to realize that not all habits are worth repeating. Notice how you feel in the company of certain people, whether friends, relatives, colleagues etc. Minimize your time with people that are critical, negative, unengaged or mean spirited and save your energy for the people who you feel energized by their presence.
Energy is not infinite like we all wish. Energy is finite, and unlike those little energizer bunny little ones, we expend energy and we need to replenish it. Consider paying closer attention to your energy levels and notice when yours seems to dip. What did you do right before that? Did you have a meal that bogged you down, a stressful event, or some negative thoughts that zapped your remaining energy?
There are things you can do daily to bring your best most energetic self to home and work. Today make reenergizing habits a commitment.