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15 Ways To Make Your Energy Balanced Throughout The Day

15 Ways To Make Your Energy Balanced Throughout The Day

According to the Textbook of Biochemistry and Human Biology, energy balance can be equated as, “Energy intake = internal heat produced + external work + energy stored.” Learning how to keep your energy well balanced throughout the day can lead to a more productive and resourceful you. The following 15 points can be the catalyst for a healthier lifestyle, and much more energy.

1 – Ditch Caffeine, Sugar, and Cigarettes

    Caffeine heavy drinks/foods may seem like the ideal way to lift your energy, but they’re an artificial boost which does nothing for you in the long term. Worst offenders include: coffee, energy drinks, power bars, and sugar. Unfortunately they lead to energy slumps and depression due to excessive sugar and artificial flavorings. Moderation is key, as well as avoiding fizzy drinks, sweets, and confectionery items like donuts.

    If you’re a smoker, cigarettes should be dropped from your life. They drain your money, make you smell, ruin your appearance, and destroy your energy. For advice on how to quit visit Smoke Free.

    2 – Drink Water

      Keeping yourself hydrated is vital as dehydration leads to fatigue. As soon as you wake up you should drink a glass of water to wake your body up and get your organs functioning properly. Be wary of bottled water though, as it is often merely tap water and has no special significance. Worse still, flavored bottled water is often laden with added sugar. Head for your nearest tap for the ideal glass of H2O.

      3 – Drink Tea/Herbal Tea

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        Tea/herbal teas offer essential nutrients and antioxidants. Tea itself has only a small amount of caffeine compared to coffee, and green tea (consumed without milk or sugar) can help you lose weight. You can also buy an amazing tea pot. Just looking at one of these is enough to boost your mood right away.

        4 – Eat the Right Food

          Fresh vegetables should be a daily part of your diet. Meats such as turkey, chicken, and fish are also great sources of protein, whilst carbohydrates like brown rice and wholemeal bread can provide welcome energy boosting nutrients.

          For  a treat, try dark chocolate. It can be a wonderful boost for your mood and mental alertness as the cocoa has flavonoids which will keep you going. The stronger the cocoa the better, although limit the amount you eat. Magnesium is also a good energy boost, and you can find it in fish and various nuts.

          5 – Exercise

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            It’s a word which many people don’t like to hear, especially after a long day of work, but 30 minutes of exercise over several weeks would be enough to improve energy levels. Exercise takes many forms; try running, cycling, badminton, tennis, swimming, go-karting, martial arts, or drumming for rapid health improvements..

            6 – Lose Weight

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              Over numerous years, office work can lead to unnecessary weight gain. This in itself can make you feel sluggish, so with regular exercise and a good diet you can expect to lose pounds as the weeks tick by. As well as a confidence boost, you’ll find your energy and sleep patterns will improve.

              7 – Get Up and Stretch

                If you have an office job, or sit down a lot, then fatigue will inevitably set in. Standing up and moving around can wake your body up, as will adopting a silly pose for a healthy stretch.

                8 – Yawn

                  Although it isn’t known for certain why we yawn, research suggests it is the body’s way of cooling the brain. This effectively “wakes” it up, according to the work of Andrew Gallup of Princeton University. Incidentally, you can wow friends with this geeky fact; the term for when you stretch and yawn is called pandiculation.

                  9 – Listen to Lively Music

                    If you’re lacking energy then listen to one of your favorite songs. If it’s upbeat and invigorating, it can be an instant energy producer and mood lifter.

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                    10 – Avoid Procrastination

                      The art of doing nothing can make you fatigued as you’re no longer alert. If you really struggle with procrastination you should try online tools such as Pomodoro, which sets you 25 minutes of work followed by a rewarding break. Making this your working mantra should lead to consistent levels of energy.

                      11 – Bask in Sunlight

                        The sun is the reason why we’re all here, courtesy of its energy providing sunlight. Opening up a window, sweeping back some curtains, or heading outside for 10 minutes, can all help keep the energy flowing.

                        12 – Limit Alcohol Consumption

                          Drinking is a great social pastime and can be very enjoyable, but limiting your alcohol consumption can do wonders for your energy, health, and appearance. Obviously many of us want to enjoy our social time, but not getting utterly wasted on a Friday night is a step in the right direction.

                          If you can keep off alcohol entirely, you can expect: better sleep, improved mood, boosted energy levels, better health, improved physical appearance, better productivity, and a lot of saved money.

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                          13 – Reduce the Stress in Your Life

                            Stress contributes to fatigue a great deal. You can try many simple techniques to reduce its impact; Yoga, reading, classical music, certain teas (such as chamomile or Valerian root), a warm bath, a massage, a stint in the sauna, or exercise regularly.

                            14 – Have a Midday Kip

                              It should be perfectly acceptable to take a 20 minute kip/nap once a day. If you leave it longer your body can enter its natural sleeping cycle, which will make you even more tired, but 20 minutes of rest can restore your energy. Just remember to ask for permission from your boss.

                              15 – Sleep Well

                                Sleep is mandatory if you want to be energetic when you wake up. To achieve a good nights sleep you can try: reading a book before bed, drinking a small amount of Chamomile/Valerian tea, and laying off alcohol.

                                Booze badly affects sleep patterns, so it should be avoided, especially during a working week. Regular exercise can help promote good sleeping patterns, as will going to bed at similar times.

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                                Alex Morris

                                Content Manager, Copywriter, & Blogger

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                                Last Updated on July 17, 2019

                                The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                                The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                                What happens in our heads when we set goals?

                                Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

                                Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

                                According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

                                Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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                                Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

                                Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

                                The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

                                Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

                                So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

                                Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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                                One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

                                Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

                                Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

                                The Neurology of Ownership

                                Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

                                In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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                                But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

                                This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

                                Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

                                The Upshot for Goal-Setters

                                So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

                                On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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                                It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

                                On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

                                But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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                                Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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