10 Ways to Increase Your Energy Levels
From time to time we can all find that our energy levels begin to drop and we begin to feel sluggish. Knowing what to do to increase our energy levels can be difficult as we might need to take different approaches at different times. For example sometimes we may need to engage in more activity and do more exercise whereas at other times we may need to rest more and do less.
I have tried to include a range of different methods in this list so there is something for everyone and for all occasions.
- Do more of what you enjoy and less of what you don’t.
I’ve put this at the top of the list because it is one of most overlooked options. Doing what you enjoy doing will give you more energy. Doing what you don’t like doing will drain your energy. So whether it’s going for a quiet walk in nature, reading a good book, phoning a friend for a chat or painting a picture, if it is something you enjoy then making time for it in your life will help to energise you.
- Learn to love the things you hate.
Sometimes we have no option but to do things we would rather not do. If something is inevitable we can help ourselves by improving our attitude to it. Hating something is a sure-fire way to lose energy and increase stress levels. Quite often the things we hate doing have a lot to teach us. If we can learn to see the positives in these activities and see what they might have to teach us we can change our approach from one of hate to one of gratitude.
- Improve your diet.
It has been said many times before that eating more whole & fresh foods and cutting down on high-sugar and highly processed foods can help to improve our energy levels but it is all too easy to slip back into bad habits. Also, even if you think your diet is pretty good already, it may be worth occasionally reviewing it and asking whether changes might be required. We also need to be careful not to make too many changes too quickly as this can cause side-effects which can make us feel worse in the short-term. My advice would be to consult a qualified nutritionist or read some books about diet and energy levels which have been recommended by people who have read them and successfully followed the advice they contain.
- Eat consciously and mindfully.
Many people believe that the only energy they can obtain from food is contained in the calories, but I believe that there is another kind of energy we can gain from food and that is by eating consciously and mindfully. Instead of watching TV, reading or talking whilst we eat, if we give our full attention to eating we can make eating a more enjoyable experience. This can give us more energy because (as we saw at the beginning of this list) doing more of what we enjoy energises us, but more than that, if we are truly present when we are eating we can gain energy from feeling gratitude for the food we eat and also from not allowing energy to be expended by thinking about other things.
- Practise meditation & learn to quieten your mind.
Most of us have minds which are almost constantly engaged in some kind of activity. Constant mental activity is one of the ways in which we lose a great deal of energy. If we are constantly busy thinking about the past or the future and worrying about what might happen, we are using up our precious energy resources. Learning some kind of meditation practice, even if it is just learning to sit quietly for 15 minutes each day, can help us to quieten our minds and regain some of that lost energy.
- Take up yoga, Chi Kung, Tai Chi or a martial art.
Taking up a physical discipline such as yoga, Chi Kung, Tai Chi or a martial art such as Jujitsu can help us to improve our energy levels by improving our physical fitness on the gross and subtle levels. Not only can exercises like these help to strengthen our limbs and organs, but they can also help to strengthen the subtle parts of our bodies which carry energy from one part of the body to another. Quite often when we feel low on energy it can be due to an energy blockage rather than a lack of energy coming into the body. Working on these subtle levels can help us greatly in these situations by releasing blocked energy.
- Learn to breathe deeply and slowly.
One thing that the exercises mentioned above have in common is conscious breathing control. When we are busy and stressed our breathing can easily become very shallow. Learning to breathe deeply and slowly can help us in many ways. Not only can it help to draw more oxygen into the lungs, it can also help to draw in more vitality as well as bringing us more into the present moment. Not being present and allowing our minds to wander away from the here and now is one way in which we tend to lose a great deal of energy.
- Selective TV viewing.
We probably don’t realise this most of the time but watching a lot of negative news reporting and watching dramas with storylines based on fear, crime and death can weaken our energy. They can lead us into more negative and darker thought patterns which drain our energy levels. Switching off the TV altogether or watching comedies & nature programs can have the opposite effect and help us to become more positive.
- Visit a natural energy spot or power place.
Nature is a wonderful source of energy. If you think about it the natural world supplies all of our energy needs (in the physical sense at least) so its importance should not be overlooked. Going out into nature can be a very good way of raising our energy. Around the world there are a number of places which are reputed to have great power and very high energies, but almost anywhere that there are trees, hills, wilderness or running water will have energy that we can tap into. If you are lucky enough to live near the coast then the sea can be a great revitalising place to go, as can forests or streams. If you live in a town or a city then parks or small green areas with a few trees can work wonders. If we can quieten our mind for a while and truly be in the presence of an old tree we can often come away feeling uplifted and refreshed.
- Accentuate the positive.
Last but not least in this list is accentuating the positive. Even if life seems very tough at the moment we need to be aware that complaining, self-pity and blame can all further drain our energy resources which may already feel depleted. Most of us who live in the so-called developed world have a great deal to be grateful for and one way we can help ourselves is to develop the habit of regularly making mental or written lists of good things which happen or aspects of our lives that we can be grateful for.
I hope you find some of these suggestions useful. We are all different so we need to find what works for us and not necessarily works for others. We also need to make changes at our own pace and ways which serve our own development. My own personal experience is that being present and doing things more mindfully is the best way of all. Changing our diet and getting more exercise can be great ways of improving our energy levels but they can work even better if we learn to “be here now” when we do them.
This list is by no means exhaustive - I’m sure there are many other ways in which we can help ourselves to become more energised - If you have any tips of your own please feel free to leave a comment below.