Advertising
Advertising

7 Steps To Maintain A High Energy Level

7 Steps To Maintain A High Energy Level

Over the course of a day, your energy level may feel like it fluctuates or runs on empty in response to external circumstances — everything from the demands of work or family, to the weather or even the change of seasons. But as human beings, we have a boundless source of universal energy that is available to us all, all the time. By utilizing it, you can keep your internal batteries charged and your energy levels high for whatever life brings.

Here are some effective ways to tap into your innate power source and sustain a high energy level throughout the day.

Advertising

1. Be Kind to Yourself

Fact is, we can treat ourselves more harshly than others do. How often do you find yourself talking more kindly to a co-worker or even a stranger who made a mistake than you would to yourself in the same situation? Contrary to what that nagging internal critic may say, treating yourself with kindness and patience does not make you lazy. It may feel challenging at first, but train your mind to speak to you with the compassion and understanding that you would give to a friend and watch how it inspires and motivates you over time.

2. End the Blame Game

Placing blame on other people, situations or circumstances takes our power away because we are left thinking, “It wasn’t my fault. There was nothing I could do.” One of my favorite principles from Jack Canfield, originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, is to take 100% responsibility for your life. Giving up excuses in favor of taking responsibility and the necessary action is, perhaps, easier said than done — but worthwhile.

Advertising

3. Stop Tolerating Things That Don’t Work For You

Tolerating comes in many forms. You could say, “Yes,” when you want to say, “No,” have to deal with leaky faucets, interact with people not keeping their word or missing deadlines, look around at a messy house or office, and more. Anything that you like but also feel that you are putting up with is also something you are tolerating. And here’s something you may not realize — toleration, though quite polite, takes an enormous amount of energy away from you.

4. Find Opportunities to Help Those in Need

As human beings we are pack animals designed to live in community and we feel really good when we can make a difference for another person, whether it’s through small acts of kindness, volunteering or just listening to a friend who is upset. Helping another is a natural mood booster because it takes our attention off our own problems for a while and enables us to soak in the energetic goodness of our own generosity. As Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Advertising

5. Practice Unwavering Optimism

Focusing on challenges and defeats will slow us down and stop us in our tracks. A better approach: Even when things are going wrong — no, especially when things are not going the way you want them to go — look for the lesson or the opportunity. Again, shifting the focus from the “problem” to the solution, seeing new avenues to take, and having a greater awareness of what’s possible not only prevent the energy drain, but also infuse us with all-new energy. New possibilities cause our energy to go up. We are interested, engaged and willing to keep moving forward.

6. Have a Daily Centering Practice

Take time to just breathe and observe yourself in the present moment. Right here, right now is a place that is free from the guilt and regret over the past and from worry about the future. The past and the future are truly insignificant. The only thing that matters is the present moment. By focusing on your breath and the present moment, you can instantly reduce stress and reintroduce yourself to the power you have within you to take action now.

Advertising

7. Put Your Passions on Your Schedule

What do you love doing so much that you lose track of time and find yourself almost in another dimension? Allowing yourself to engage in those activities more often can prevent your battery from getting low or recharge it if you find yourself running low on energy. To make sure you have time in your schedule for what’s important to you, work your priorities around your passions rather than vice versa —and watch your energy soar.

Do you have some tried and true ways to maintain a high energy level? Share them in the comments!

More by this author

Worrying About What Other People Think Of You 6 Steps to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think Of You Energy Boost 7 Steps To Maintain A High Energy Level Businessman in his office, looking depressed 7 Impossible Goals You Need To Stop Going After

Trending in Productivity

1 The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain) 2 What to Do When Bored at Work (And Why You Feel Bored Actually) 3 6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills 4 How to Concentrate and Focus Better to Boost Productivity 5 15 Productive Things to Do When Bored (So Time Is Not Wasted)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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!

More About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next