Many people treat their body’s a lot like they do their car: they don’t bother to understand the inner working, don’t fill the tank, don’t change the oil, drive it into the ground, take it to the mechanic and say, “Fix it.” Hardly a way to treat the vessel of your soul. Everything from daily medication to fix our problem or help our pain, to hard water to lethargy to junk food gets put into our body’s until we are sick, tired, fatigued or mentally/physically exhausted.
Your body and mind are meant to be a whole. To ensure that they are, your whole existence is based on feedback loops. Body listens to mind; mind listens to body. Awareness is the key: every cell in your body knows when you are unhappy, anxious or stressed. A cell’s awareness is expressed in chemical reactions instead of words, but the message comes through loud and clear.
It’s not always easy to be open about what’s happening health wise, or to explore your own wellness journey. But don’t you want to be your own medication? Don’t you want to be able to STOP that panic attack, or gain immense self control before you lash out, or look in the mirror and absolutely LOVE your body? Don’t you want to stop relying on pills and doctor’s that only treat symptoms and avoid the causes? Don’t you want to LIVE instead of TALK about living? Or worse yet – complain about living?
I have a few tips for being caught in depression, lethargy or sickness that will help to Energize your Life!
This seems counter intuitive to people who tell me that they can’t move, can’t walk right now or can’t go on. How can I possibly get up and go for a walk when my entire problem is that I cannot get up? you wonder.
I’m regularly amazed at the difference between what I think I can do, and what I can actually do. And every time I do something that I thought I could not, and pushed my mental and physical boundaries, I’ve created NEW cells in my brain. Long term exercise can boost brainpower, as does anything that affects physical health in a positive way. Recent research, though, shows that cognitive function is improved immediately after just ten minutes of aerobic exercise. If you need a brain recharge, you might want to walk up and down the stairs a few times. Also, basic Yoga exercises can be done from right IN your bed – Yoga was invented specifically for everyone, including the bedridden! The stretching, slow controlled movements, and focus on breathing reduces tension (and stress). The benefits include better sleep, feeling more relaxed, and being mentally sharper. I love to take Raelie out on long walks, I do my Total Transformation fitness plan every day, I ride my bike, take 1-3 hikes a day and I take short runs at night for stamina!
The deep breathing you do during meditation means more oxygen in the blood and therefore in the brain. Breath through your nose and you’ll notice that you use your diaphragm more, drawing air deeper into your lungs. Several deep breaths can also help to relax you, which is conducive to clearer thinking. A simple meditation you can do right now is just closing your eyes and paying attention to your breath. Tensing up your muscles and then relaxing them to start may help. When your mind wanders, just bring your attention back to your breath. Five or ten minutes of this will usually relax you, clear your mind, and leave you more ready for any mental task. I always find that it helps when I lose focus to concentrate on my breathing and inner thoughts again! Don’t let life wrap you up: wrap yourself around life!
Get Less Sleep
I know this seems counter intuitive, but when I start to wake up later than I intend, the first thing that I do is go to bed earlier that night and set my alarm earlier for the next morning. It immediately re-energizes my entire life to wake up with the sun instead of a few hours after. It’s widely reported that we get too much sleep (8 hours) and that between 5 – 6.9 will suffice. Sleeping more than 8 hours a night has been linked with depression and lethargy. Not only that, almost all of the most successful and financially gainful people only function – fully energized – on around 5 hours of sleep a night. Something to consider!
Avoid Caffeine & Energy Drinks
Want to know the world’s most consumed psychoactive drug? It’s probably not what you think…
Energy drinks are like energy credit cards — you’re spending future energy to get short-term energy. The resulting energy deficit gets worse until you hit energy bankruptcy. Luckily for me, I’ve been allergic to caffeine since before I can remember. But in that time, I’ve seen it literally destroy people’s hard life work: negatively affect their moods and anxiety level, block their paths to wellness, destroy their bowel movements and intestinal tract, and make them pretty much all around irritable people with a slight addiction. Listen: no matter how much we all love it, Caffeine is a drug. It is the high without the happiness, and it gives us a crash that most people agree is not worth it. Skip the Starbucks for some lavender tea or a home made smoothie – packed with essentials that you’ll need throughout the day that will get you energized naturally. An afternoon snack of yogurt, berries, and nuts will provide the boost of energy to carry you through the day. Especially berries that are blue, red, or purple. The color comes from anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant, that boosts energy. Any kind of berry will contain tons!
& drink plenty of water! Dehydration is a menacing cause of fatigue and it creeps up on you slowly. If you consistently drink less than 8 cups of water a day, you may be sluggish all the time. Get a 32 oz (1 quart, 4 cups) water bottle. Your goal is to polish off 2 of those a day. Try it for a week and see if your general energy level increases. As far as food, an optimal diet is key, and we’ve heard it a hundred times, but what does it really mean? While it’s been widely debated, a mostly vegetarian diet is optimal if you can do it correctly. Honestly, how much nutrition are we getting from cooked, dead flesh? Debatable. But some people follow a semivegetarian diet — also called a flexitarian diet — which is primarily a plant-based diet but includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion or in small quantities.
I read at least a half an hour every single day (often I spend entire mornings or afternoons reading), and it has changed my life! I mean really reading – not reading an article online or picking up a magazine. Books – but substantial books: fiction, non fiction, spiritual, autobiographical, business, life advice, adventures, poetry… you name it, I’ve read it. It’s important for me to read really substantial, life changing information daily. Reading is my drug: it forces your mind to shift gears, it improves your analytical thinking, helps your memory, increases your vocabulary, and I feel relaxed after my read. It impassions and energizes me! I am also a huge fan of writing, and reading is the perfect inspiration for everything in my life: my music, especially! I find it absolutely fascinating that almost every problem I’ve ever had has already been solved by someone else in the pages of some book – I just need to find the book and read and understand the pages!
I have a lot of fun with my life, and I keep only people around me who like to have fun! Laughter is great medicine for exhaustion and an important part of stress management. Make sure you laugh regularly to keep your mood up. Great monks laugh to themselves all day long for no reason! This may seem crazy, but I don’t think it’s any crazier than laying around depressed all day long! Have FUN with all of your passions, with your school work and with your co-workers! Poke some fun at your loved ones today and buy a silly hat! It really does help long term to boost your emotional well being!
Listen to Your Body
There is a natural ebb and flow of energy. Once you understand this natural rhythm of energy throughout the day, you can work on the important tasks during your peak hours and avoid naps and things that steal your day! So feel what you feel, and accept it. Open yourself up to listening to others, trust what your body is telling you. I don’t like to say that I am happy that negative things have to happen sometimes to learn, but I certainly am grateful to have gone through them and used them wisely in the future. Value your spirit and your emotional changes. Enjoy every moment. Be active. Get creative! Enjoy yourself. Once your GOOD thoughts become your GOOD actions that become your GOOD habits you will feel (and I guarantee you LOOK) much better!
Not only am I telling you that eating well, thinking positively and reading a lot can cure you of depression and chronic disease, I believe firmly that it’s the only way to true happiness. Divine blessing, bliss and ecstasy don’t belong in the souls of saints alone. They course through the bodies of each of us, bringing a sense of light, alertness, energy and excitement. Your cells feel all these things and want you to feel them too. How? By learning, day by day, to pay more attention to what your body is saying.
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