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Last Updated on May 4, 2020

14 Simple Hacks to Increase Energy No Matter Your Age

14 Simple Hacks to Increase Energy No Matter Your Age

The human body is a bioenergetic system. Bioenergetics is a field in biochemistry and cell biology that relates to energy flow through living systems. The essence of bioenergetics is to determine how living organisms acquire and transform energy in order to perform biological activities, and it can help you learn how to increase energy, no matter your age.

Energy, at its core, is acquired by a number of means, from breathing, movement, consumption (food/water), exposure to sunlight, and more! In this article, I will focus on each of those areas to help you learn how to increase energy, no matter your age.

What Affects Energy Levels?

Our energy levels can be affected by a number of prevalent things in our society. Lack of sleep is one of the leading causes of lack of energy, and this is further aided by the fact that many gaze for hours on end at their devices and TV screens even after turning in for the night. I’m always surprised to hear that even some close friends of mine fall asleep many nights with the TV remaining on, or with a sleep-timer.

Unhealthy foods, including processed/refined sugars and even carbs can cause sleep problems. This is because refined sugars cause issues ranging from inflammation, to effects on cognitive function, and worst of all, to the well-known “crash” that comes after consuming refined sugar. Lack of hydration is right up there with sleep in terms of what most widely impacts people throughout the world.

14 Simple Energy Hacks That Work

Let’s get started finding ways to help you address your lack of energy. The methods that work for you are going to depend on what’s causing your lack of energy in the first place, so self-awareness is a good first step.

Rest and Recovery (Sleep)

Sleep is the most valuable activity for your body!

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1. Put Away the Devices

I suggest removing all devices from the bedroom, and not just your TV but your mobile devices, laptops, and tablets as well! The main reasons for this are to calm a busy mind before bed, to avoid the impacts of low-level EMF exposure, and to reduce blue light exposure (from devices) that can suppress the production of melatonin (sleep-inducing hormone).

2. Get Adequate Sleep

Falling asleep at a reasonable time (between 9 and 11 pm) is ideal to maintain healthy Circadian rhythms. These are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. They respond primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. When I was in my teens an early twenties, I used to stay up all night working or partying, and would ultimately go to sleep around 6 am, and it took a huge toll on my body and mind. Now let’s just say I’m lucky if I make it past midnight, and partying involves playtime with my Doberman.

3. Take Naps

Sleep experts have found that daytime naps can increase alertness, boost creativity, reduce stress, improve perception, stamina, motor skills and accuracy, enhance your sex life, aid in weight loss, reduce the risk of heart attack, brighten your mood, and boost memory![1] It’s a great quick-fix for increasing energy levels as it only requires 30 min to 1 hour.

Movement

Energy efficiently utilized begets more energy!

4. Get Your Heart Rate Up

Cardiovascular exercises, like walking, hiking, running, and dancing improve blood flow/circulation, boost immune function, and much more! The great thing about this energy hack is that your body operates like a rechargeable battery, and as you continue to walk and perform other activities, it will produce more energy and beneficial biochemicals in your brain and body.

5. Lift Weights

Aside from benefits to your heart, improving your balance, strengthening your bones, and helping you lose weight, strength training helps boost your metabolism (the rate your resting body burns calories throughout the day). When you do strength, weight, or resistance training, you stimulate the muscles (and central nervous system) and improve overall circulation. In turn, your body demands more energy based on how much energy you’re exerting (meaning the tougher you’re working, the more energy your body demands).

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Nutrition and Hydration

You are what you eat (or don’t)!

6. Drink More Water

Though this one seems like a no-brainer, many neglect hydration. Up to 60% of the adult body is water. The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.[2] What all is this means is that your body needs a constant flow of water in order to function at its best. So buy yourself a reusable bottle and keep it filled throughout the day!

7. Be Careful What You Eat Before Exercise

This is a tricky one, and you’ll need to be careful how you apply it. There’s quick digesting carbs and sugars such as bananas that work great for exercise, and as long as you work out soon after consumption, you’ll benefit from the energy boost. You may even see some bodybuilders or powerlifters eating candy and sugar sweets before a workout, and the same logic applies as it allows for rapid access to energy. Instead of candy, try eating fruit as there is a difference in terms of impacts on the body and long-term chronic inflammation.

8. Mind Your Gut

The gut is essentially the human body’s second brain, and most people do not treat it as such. The gut has close ties to all aspects of human physiology as it is connected to everything in some way, and that means correlation to energy levels. One very simple hack is to consume probiotics, such as natural Greek yogurt or kombucha.

Sunlight

Let the sun shine through!

9. Watch the Sunrise

Many meditation practices involve sun-gazing or watching the sun rise, and there’s a reason for this. As Molly Maloof, MD, puts it:[3]

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“The blue light that’s outside in the early morning gives you a natural energy boost, no caffeine required! Blue light turns off melatonin production and turns on wakefulness.”

It also sets your body’s circadian clock for the day, priming you for maximum efficiency — particularly when it comes to metabolism.

10. Get More Sunshine

Vitamin D is an excellent source of energy, among other things. Our body’s don’t just run on Vitamin D and sun exposure, they thrive on it! Vitamin D helps fight disease, depression, and boosts weight loss — need I say more?

Grounding

Staying grounded means more energy!

11. Go for a Barefoot Walk

Because the earth’s surface has a negative charge, it’s believed that you can absorb negative ions through your feet by walking on the ground barefoot[4]. Other sources of negative ions include beaches, forests, and ion bracelets.

12. Practice Meditation

This is an excellent way to replenish our energy reserves. Meditation acts to clear your mind of all the distractions and allows you to focus our energy where it’s best suited towards your greatest good.

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If you don’t have experience with meditation, this article can help you get started.

Forest Bathing: ‘Shinrin-Yoku’

Adopt the pace of nature.

13. Take a Nature Walk

Shinrin-Yoku, translated into English as “forest bathing,” means taking in the forest atmosphere during a leisurely walk. It is a therapy that was developed in Japan during the 1980s, becoming a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Research says Vitamin N (N, as in Nature) can boost your energy and improve your physical and mental health[5]. However, a recent study found that more than half of American adults spend 5 hours or less outside each week[6]. This disconnect with nature can lead to a drop in energy levels, but the good news is that it’s an easy fix — just get outside!

Creative Expression (Bonus)

Creativity brews energy!

14. Engage in Any Creative Activity

An effective way to generate more energy is to be creative! The best approach to this is to determine what makes you happy and allows you to express creativity. In practice, this one touches on the psychological aspect of self-actualization in terms of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, as well as biochemical aspects that include the production of serotonin, endorphins, dopamine, and more. Creative expression also enhances memory and brain function and can reduce the risk of mental disease/disorders later in life.

Conclusion

This list may seem overwhelming at first if you haven’t adopted these approaches, but once you integrate them into your daily life, they will gradually become second nature. Analyze why you may be feeling a lack of energy and pick and choose which practices will help you generate and utilize energy better within your mind and body.

More Tips on How to Increase Energy

Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Adam Evans

BioHacker, competitive athlete, researcher in many fields including health and fitness, science, philosophy, metaphysics, religion.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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