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Last Updated on December 11, 2020

14 Simple Hacks to Increase Energy No Matter Your Age

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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.

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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 October 20, 2021

7 Daily Stress-Management Rituals that Improve Your Productivity

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7 Daily Stress-Management Rituals that Improve Your Productivity

If you’re trying to be as productive as possible, stress will always be your biggest obstacle—and it’s not an easy one to overcome. To do it, you’ll need to develop a plan to make stress management a core component of your daily routine, but doing that takes commitment. The good news is that if you succeed in learning how to manage stress, you’ll unlock your potential and be well on your way to peak performance. But first, you need to learn how to make it happen.

The best way to do that is to learn about and integrate some stress management rituals into your daily routine. To help you get started, here are seven tips on how to manage stress and improve your productivity.

1. Give Yourself an Extra Hour in the Morning

If you were to do some research on some of the world’s most successful—and productive—people, you’d notice that many of them have one thing in common: they tend to be early risers. Apple’s Tim Cook gets out of bed before 4 AM each day.[1] Michelle Obama is already getting in her daily workout at 4:30 AM.[2] Richard Branson gets up at 5:45 AM each day, even when he’s vacationing on his private island.

There’s a good reason why they all do it—once you reach the point in your day that your work schedule kicks in, you no longer have control of your time. That means you have a limited opportunity every morning to reduce your stress by taking care of the things you need to do without anyone making other demands on your time.

What’s important about this isn’t the time you get up. The important part is getting up early enough to start your day without feeling rushed. For most people, getting up an hour earlier than you normally would is sufficient. This should give you ample time to complete your morning tasks without having to hurry or fall behind.

But when you implement this ritual, be careful. Don’t do it at the cost of getting the right amount of sleep each night. If you do, you might increase your stress instead of relieving it. Sticking to a proper sleep schedule and getting enough sleep is, in itself, a critical part of stress management.[3]

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2. Determine and Review Your Most Important Tasks Each Day

If there’s one productivity tip that almost all experts agree on, it’s that you should spend some time before bed each night to write down your three most important tasks for the following day. But if you want to maximize that practice and turn it into a stress-buster, you should turn that notion on its head.

Instead, you should do this as a part of your morning routine. There’s a couple of reasons for this. First, it’s that our always-on, always-connected business world means your priorities can change overnight, literally. You may list your top priorities, go to sleep, and wake up to find them woefully out of date. That means the best time to set your priorities for the day is in the morning. This will keep those priorities up to date and let you think about them before the distractions of the day begin. But don’t stop there. You should take some time before bed each night to review that day’s priorities.

Ideally, you’ll be able to check them off as accomplished. If not, though, think about what prevented you from getting to them. This is your chance to figure out some of the common daily interruptions that get in your way. Chances are, these also cause some of your stress. So, spend the time before bed game-planning how to remove those interruptions and stressors from your day. If you make this a habit, you’ll be more productive and far less stressed out in no time.

3. Save Your Emails for Later in the Morning

Another tip on how to manage stress is to save your emails for later. One of the key causes of stress comes from our inability to cope with the unexpected. If you stop to think about it, what is your most prominent source of near-constant unexpected information every day? You guessed it—it’s your email.

Now, you can’t simply ignore your email. The only thing you can do about your email is to learn how to manage it most effectively. But no matter what you do, it’s going to remain a source of daily stress and distraction. That’s why you should make a habit out of giving yourself an email-free hour or two at the beginning of each day’s schedule.

In that time, try to tackle one of your daily priorities and get it taken care of. Your email will still be there when you’re done. And when you do get to it, you’ll do so in a much better frame of mind knowing that you’ve already gotten some real work done before having to deal with anything unexpected. That alone will improve your mood and reduce the amount of stress you’ll feel—no matter what’s waiting for you in your inbox.

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4. Take a Walk After Email Time

Since you’ll have to deal with your email sooner or later, there’s no way to completely avoid the stress that will come with it. Although you’ll be in a better frame of mind after putting off your email to get some real work done, you’ll still feel some stress when you get to it. That’s why you should make a post-email walk a part of your daily routine.

Taking a walk is one of the best ways you can relieve stress. It’s a form of meditation that will put you back into the right condition to be productive, and there’s no better time to do it each day than after taking care of your emails.

Ideally, you’ll want to take a walk outdoors, and preferably in the most natural setting possible. If you’re in an urban environment, a nearby park will suffice. Studies have demonstrated that walking in such environments for as little as 20 minutes per day leads to an overall reduction in the body’s cortisol level.[4]

Cortisol, if you’re not aware, is your body’s main stress hormone. It helps regulate your blood pressure, energy levels, and even your sleep cycle. Every time your stress goes up, cortisol production also increases, throwing your body into chaos. So, taking a walk right after dealing with your email will help you to relax, reset, and get ready to be productive for the rest of the day.

5. Reserve Time to Research and Plan a Vacation

By now, everybody knows that taking vacations every now and then can improve your productivity and lower your stress level. But did you know that even thinking about a vacation can help you to reduce your stress? It may sound strange, but it’s true.

A Cornell University study in 2012 found that the anticipation of a positive experience—like a vacation—can reduce stress and make you measurably happier. It logically follows, then, that adding to that anticipation each day can maximize the stress-relieving effects of a vacation.[5]

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To do it, set aside at least a half-hour each day to research or plan an upcoming vacation. You can read about destinations. You can research airfares. You can even look at places to stay in locations you’re interested in visiting. And if you’ve already got a vacation booked, use the time to take a deep dive into what your destination has to offer.

This is an especially important daily ritual to observe right now, while the COVID-19 pandemic may be limiting your vacation options. If it’s been a while since you’ve been able to take a trip, the act of planning your next vacation will have a therapeutic effect. With vacation rental bookings still hovering below 50% in most major markets, there’s no doubt that the vast majority of people are in desperate need of their next stress-relieving vacation.[6]

6. Create a Shutdown Ritual to End Your Day

Another simple yet effective way to manage stress is to create a shutdown ritual. Just as it’s important to get your day off to a stress-free, unhurried start, you’ll want to do the same when the day is through. It’s because after spending each day in a reactive mode—dealing with the unexpected—you need to get back into a proactive mode to relax.

Studies have shown that having the perception of control over what you’re going through acts as a buffer against negative stress.[7] In other words, feeling like you can manage even a small chunk of your own time counteracts the stress from the parts of your day when you can’t.

This also means that your shutdown ritual can be whatever you want it to be. You might write in a journal, get in a quick light workout, or prepare your outfit for the following day. As long as you’re the one in complete control over what you’re doing, anything goes. Just make sure that you include the aforementioned review of your daily priorities somewhere in your routine!

7. Set a No-Screens Rule to End Your Day

Even though your shutdown routine is important, there’s one more ritual to include before bedtime that will help you manage stress. Spend the last 30 minutes to an hour before you plan to go to sleep observing a strict no-screens rule. Not only will this give you time to disconnect from the stresses of your day, but it will also allow your body to make a transition into a proper sleep mode.

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The screens we use—smartphones, tablets, laptops—all emit a wavelength of blue light that disrupts our sleep patterns. It’s the same type of light that our bodies recognize as daytime, so seeing it is like telling your brain that it’s the wrong time to be asleep.[8]

By eliminating all sources of this type of light before bedtime, you’ll increase your odds of getting restful, deep sleep. And since getting proper sleep is one of the best ways to manage your stress, this is the perfect way for you to end each day.

Final Thoughts

Although a totally stress-free lifestyle would lend itself to achieving maximum productivity, not many people will ever manage to live that way. So, the next best thing is to work some or all of these daily stress-busting rituals into your day to minimize the inevitable stress instead. Doing so will put you in the best possible position to succeed. And there’s no better antidote for stress than to make the most out of every day no matter what it has to throw at you.

More Tips on How to Manage Stress

Featured photo credit: Kaboompics via kaboompics.com

Reference

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