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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

4 Ways To Increase Your Energy Throughout The Day

4 Ways To Increase Your Energy Throughout The Day

Few people feel energized throughout an entire day. Sure, there are plenty of those “morning people” that drive everyone nuts and even more of the late-night party type who can sleep past noon on any given day. What is really rare nowadays is people who can wake up early and remain energized and mentally alert all day, and then repeat that every day.

The reason it is rare is because it is hard. It often takes a lot of discipline to get into the right schedule and to live the way that one must live to feel that way all day. For those that have the discipline, here are the four best ways to keep yourself alert for not just party of a day, but all of it.

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Understand Food

Most people never get past a basic understanding of the food pyramid. Your supposed to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and not a lot of sugar and that is about it. There is so much more to food, and especially to utilizing food to stay energized throughout the day.

Donuts, sugary cereal, and pretty much any food high in refined sugar can reduce your energy. If you choose to eat these types of foods for breakfast you will be tired and exhausted all the way until lunch, which can be a long way away. Foods that are high in protein tend to do the opposite. Some examples are nuts, eggs, lean meats, and yogurt. These will not only leave you feeling better immediately after eating, but will digest much slower in your body and release the energy in a much more stable manner. This will inevitably lead to a day with much more energy. Here is a more inclusive list of foods that can do increase long-term energy.

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Sleep

One couldn’t discuss energy without discussing sleep. There are a lot of misconceptions about sleep out there.  A lot of people think that the key is to simply get eight hours of sleep and you will be rested. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are plenty of people that get more than eight hours of sleep a night who still feel unrested the next day. There are plenty of others who wake up extremely early and barely scrape seven hours of sleep, and yet feel rested all day. The difference is quality.

People actually have different stages of sleep. There is light sleep, REM sleep, and deep sleep. If you can cut down the amount of hours you spend in light sleep, and increase the other two, you can get less overall sleep but still feel more rested the next day. There are quite a few ways to do this. One of the big ones is ensuring a comfortable bed. Every time you move around or try to get comfortable you bring yourself back to a light sleep.

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Memory foam is one way that people have chosen to increase sleep quality. If you have never heard of memory foam, there is a pretty good memory foam mattress guide here. Essentially memory foam is a mattress that can customize itself to the user, ensuring a better quality sleep experience.

Exercise

No one likes to hear that they need to exercise more, but exercise benefits virtually every part of someone’s life. It has been proven dozens of times that exercise increases energy and efficiency throughout the day. It is extremely important and also extremely underutilized. Just thirty minutes of exercise in the morning can lead to hours saved throughout the day via increased energy, focus, and efficiency. Make the investment and reap the rewards.

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Power Nap

People are much more willing to try this out than exercise. A power nap is just a 15-20 minute snooze right in the middle of the day. While it may not seem as if that much sleep could make a difference, power naps have been proven to make significant differences in energy levels through the rest of the day. There is actually a science behind it.

Power naps can help in quite a few categories including increased creativity, as well as greater capacity for love, efficiency, and more. Just as with exercise, a small investment of 20 minutes of time can yield much greater results.

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Try these because they work! Most just require a bit of discipline—the discipline to wake up ten minutes earlier to make a better breakfast or thirty minutes earlier to exercise. Once you start getting into the habit, you won’t want to go back.

Featured photo credit: Zac Durant via unsplash.com

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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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Published on June 8, 2021

What is Mental Energy And How To Maintain A High Level of It

What is Mental Energy And How To Maintain A High Level of It

We all understand “energy” in the physical sense, and we mostly experience the feeling of having a lot or a lack of physical energy. But physical energy is very different from mental energy. So, what is mental energy?

Mental energy is a mood and a measure of the willingness to undertake cognitive tasks. When you are experiencing an abundance of mental energy, you will feel motivated, efficient, and focused when dealing with tasks. You may feel like you can take on more and have the capacity to throw yourself into a situation without feeling stress or anxiety.

However, unfortunately in the busyness of modern society, you may relate more to the feeling of having a lack of mental energy. Take yourself back to a situation where you are juggling lots of tasks, work is hard, and home life is emotionally exhausting. This is the feeling of a lack of mental energy. You may have felt like being on the verge of burnout, found yourself procrastinating, and had the feeling of just not having the capacity to take on any more emotional or cognitive tasks.

You must deal with a lack of mental energy before it develops into mental exhaustion. Let us take a look at the symptoms of mental exhaustion and the toll that it can take on you as a person and your life.

Signs of Mental Exhaustion

Here are the mental, physical, and behavioral signs of exhaustion.

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Mental Signs

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anger

Physical Signs

  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Change in appetite
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Increased illness

Behavioral Signs

  • Poor performance at work
  • Social withdrawal
  • Inability to keep to commitments
  • Increased time off sick at work

The signs of mental exhaustion are less than desirable, and you should reiterate the importance of maintaining your mental energy and do not let it be an afterthought.[1]

How to Maintain a High Level of Mental Energy

The maintenance of mental energy is all in the approach. We can not always control our situation or the number of tasks that we have on at a particular moment in time. However, we can control how we manage and maintain our mental health and mental energy at these times. Just as our physical energy can be maintained through various methods, so can our mental energy.

Now, let us take a look at some of the useful methods that can help us to maintain a high level of mental energy starting from today.

1. Get Adequate Sleep

Sleep may sound like the most obvious method to help maintain a high level of mental energy, however, it is very important.

There are two stages of sleep, REM (rapid eye movement) which is the stage of sleep when you dream, and Non-REM. Non-REM can be divided into three stages, the final stage being deep sleep. The deep sleep stage is where scientists believe that your body renews and repairs itself and also the stage that is most important in terms of energy maintenance.

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There are many ways in which you can create good sleep hygiene. These include having time away from devices before sleep, stopping caffeine intake a few hours before you plan to go to sleep, and going to sleep at the same time each evening.

2. Structure Your Day

Structuring your day can apply to either your home or your work life. The key is to prioritize the important tasks so that if you run out of time, you are safe in the knowledge that these have been completed. If you don’t do this, then you are at risk of overworking yourself, staying at work late, or doing household tasks into the evening.

At home, this may be washing first or tidying the house before you sit down to have a relax. At work, you can write down a list of your tasks for the day and then, list them from the highest priority to the lowest. You can tick off each task as you go along. Any uncompleted tasks can then be transferred to the next day. Furthermore, if you are running out of time, you’ll know in advance and can delegate the priority work to ensure that this is completed on time.

3. Eat Well

Eating well is important for both physical and mental health. Eating a well-balanced diet and certain foods can aid memory, concentration, and focus and thus, helping you maintain mental energy.

Let us take a look at some foods that can do this:

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  • Wholegrains – can improve concentration and focus as it provides a steady supply of energy throughout the day.
  • Blueberries – can boost short-term memory as they contain protective compounds called anthocyanins.
  • Blackcurrants – can reduce anxiety and stress as they contain Vitamin C which is widely thought to increase mental agility.
  • Pumpkin seeds – can enhance memory and boost mood as they are rich in magnesium, B vitamins, and tryptophan, which are believed to be important in serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that has a positive impact on mood.

4. Get Some Fresh Air

Going outdoors can have a restorative effect on mental health. You do not have to undertake a ten-mile walk to reap the benefits. Simply being out in the garden, going for a stroll in the countryside, or doing a brisk walk to the shop can have a positive effect on mental energy. Research has shown that spending time outdoors can relieve anxiety and depression. Furthermore, it promotes relaxation and can improve confidence and self-esteem.[2]

5. Take a Break

Taking a break every so often whether at work or when doing any task can maintain a high level of mental energy and focus when needed. A break can involve something as simple as walking away from your computer and changing your environment for a few minutes by going to make a cup of tea to strolling around the block on your lunch rather than staying in the office.

This change of environment takes your mind off the task at hand, rejuvenates, and reenergizes you. Focus can then be maintained and the task at hand can be done to the best of your abilities without mental fatigue.

6. Exercise Your Brain

Challenging your brain does for your mind what exercise does for your body. Physical exercise can stimulate your physical energy just as exercising your brain can stimulate your mental energy.

There are many ways to exercise your brain including:

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  • Brain training exercises can stimulate the mind and also boost intelligence.
  • Learn something new to create new challenges for your brain.
  • Socializing can stimulate multiple areas of the brain. The array of activities involved in socializing engages different areas of the brain with each activity.

7. Meditate

Studies of meditation have shown to have many benefits to the brain. Such benefits include an improvement in brain function and energy levels.

One such study found that practicing meditation for just 25 minutes a day can provide this boost. This is because meditation has been found to release endorphins and increase blood flow to the brain. When meditating, you focus your attention on your breathing and the aim is to eliminate the busyness of the brain and your thoughts. This provides a much-needed rest for your brain thus increasing your mental energy levels.[3]

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, a lack of mental energy is experienced by many and potentially, it is more commonly felt than the feeling of having a high level of energy. Once you spot the signs of a lack of mental energy, it is time to take action before those feelings worsen and develop into mental exhaustion.

However, the good news is that there are basic steps that you can take to maintain a high level of mental energy, and it is just as important as maintaining a high level of physical energy. These steps can be incorporated into your daily life with minimal effort. Eat well, sleep well, get some fresh air, take a break, challenge your brain, structure your day and meditate—it is as simple as that.

More Tips on Boosting Mental Energy

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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Reference

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