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Last Updated on January 20, 2021

7 Steps to Maintain a High Energy Level and Live Better

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7 Steps to Maintain a High Energy Level and Live Better

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. However, by utilizing a few specific tips and and pulling from the natural energy sources around you, you can reduce fatigue, keep your internal batteries charged, and maintain a high energy level 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.

1. Be Kind to Yourself

We often 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? If you want to increase your energy levels, this isn’t the way to do it.

Contrary to what that nagging inner critic may say, treating yourself with kindness and patience does not make you lazy or selfish. 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.

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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.” Taking 100% responsibility for your life and giving up excuses in favor of taking the necessary action is, perhaps, easier said than done — but worthwhile.

You’ll find that when you stop spending so much energy looking for flaws and mistakes in others, you’ll have more energy to focus on your own path and responsibilities, which will help you maintain a high energy level each day.

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.

Tolerating things that aren’t serving you takes an enormous amount of energy. If there are things you can let go of or ignore, do so in the hopes of finding a high energy level at the end of that tunnel. Say “no” next time a co-worker wants your help on a project but you’re already swamped with work.

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Making sure you have enough time and energy to live your life in the best way possible shows strength, not selfishness.

4. Find Opportunities to Help Those in Need

As human beings we are designed to live in a 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 and enables us to soak in the energetic goodness of our own generosity[1]. As Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

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, look for the lesson or the opportunity. 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 prevents the energy drain, but also infuses us with a high energy level we may not have felt recently.

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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. The “now” is a place that is free from the guilt and regret over the past and from worry about the future. Next time you’re tired, instead of drinking a cup of coffee, drink in the sound and sensation of your own breath.

The past and the future are truly insignificant. The only thing that matters is where you are at this very 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.

You can learn more about adding mindfulness meditation to your routine here.

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7. Put Your Passions on Your Schedule

What do you love doing so much that you lose track of time and find yourself with a constantly high energy level? 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.

If you love to run marathons but haven’t trained in months, schedule thirty minutes each morning to go out and run before work. If you have a passion for painting but haven’t picked up a brush in years, make a plan to spend an hour each evening working on your next piece.

The Bottom Line

A high energy level starts with eating healthy, getting regular exercise, and sleeping well, but it can be altered significantly by changes to the way we speak to ourselves, how we organize our projects, and who we spend time with. Shifting each of these things can help you find the energy you seem to have left on the side of the road a while back.

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Choose one of the energy boosters above and see what working on it does for your life in the short and long term. You may find you’re finally able to muster up enough energy to get back to doing what you really love and living your best life.

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Featured photo credit: Omar Lopez via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on October 7, 2021

7 Reasons Why Your Body Feels Heavy And Tired

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7 Reasons Why Your Body Feels Heavy And Tired

Interestingly enough, this topic about our bodies feeling heavy and tired has been assigned right around the time when I have been personally experiencing feelings of such “sluggishness.” In my case, it comes down to not exercising as much as I was a year ago, as well as being busier with work. I’m just starting to get back into a training routine after having moved and needing to set up my home gym again at my new house.

Generally speaking, when feeling heavy and tired, it comes down to bioenergetics. Bioenergetics is a field in biochemistry and cell biology that concerns energy flow through living systems.[1] The goal of bioenergetics is to describe how living organisms acquire and transform energy to perform biological work. Essentially, how we acquire, store, and utilize the energy within the body relates directly to whether we feel heavy or tired.

While bioenergetics relates primarily to the energy of the body, one’s total bandwidth of energy highly depends on one’s mental state. Here are seven reasons why your body feels heavy and tired.

1. Lack of Sleep

This is quite possibly one of the main reasons why people feel heavy and/or tired. I often feel like a broken record explaining to people the importance of quality sleep and REM specifically.

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The principle of energy conservation states that energy is neither created nor destroyed. It may transform from one type to another. Based on the energy conservation theory, we need sleep to conserve energy. When getting quality sleep, we reduce our caloric needs by spending part of our time functioning at a lower metabolism. This concept is backed by the way our metabolic rate drops during sleep.

Research suggests that eight hours of sleep for human beings can produce a daily energy savings of 35 percent over complete wakefulness. The energy conservation theory of sleep suggests that the main purpose of sleep is to reduce a person’s energy use during times of the day and night.[2]

2. Lack of Exercise

Exercise is an interesting one because when you don’t feel energized, it can be difficult to find the motivation to work out. However, if you do find it in you to exercise, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by its impact on your energy levels. Technically, any form of exercise/physical activity will get the heart rate up and blood flowing. It will also result in the release of endorphins, which, in turn, are going to raise energy levels. Generally speaking, effort-backed cardiovascular exercises will strengthen your heart and give you more stamina.

I’m in the process of having my home gym renovated after moving to a new house. Over the past year, I have been totally slacking with exercise and training. I can personally say that over the last year, I have had less physical energy than I did previously while training regularly. Funny enough I have been a Lifehack author for a few years now, and almost all previous articles were written while I was training regularly. I’m writing this now as someone that has not exercised enough and can provide first-hand anecdotal evidence that exercise begets more energy, period.

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3. Poor Nutrition and Hydration

The human body is primarily comprised of water (up to 60%), so naturally, a lack of hydration will deplete energy. According to studies, 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%.[3] If you don’t consume sufficient amounts of water (and I suggest natural spring water or alkaline water), you will likely have more issues than just a lack of energy.

In regards to nutrition, a fairly common-sense practice is to avoid excess sugar. Consuming too much sugar can harm the body and brain, often causing short bursts of energy (highs) followed by mental fogginess, and physical fatigue or crashes. Generally, sugar-based drinks, candy, and pastries put too much fuel (sugar) into your blood too quickly.

I have utilized these types of foods immediately before training for a quick source of energy. However, outside of that application, there is practically no benefit. When consuming sugar in such a way, the ensuing crash leaves you tired and hungry again. “Complex carbs,” healthy fats, and protein take longer to digest, satisfy your hunger, and thus, provide a slow, steady stream of energy.

4. Stress

Stress is surprisingly overlooked in our fast-paced society, yet it’s the number one cause of several conditions. Feeling heavy and tired is just one aspect of the symptoms of stress. Stress has been shown to affect all systems of the body including the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems.[4] Stress causes the body to release the hormone cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal glands. This can lead to adrenal fatigue, the symptoms of which are fatigue, brain fog, intermittent “crashes” throughout the day, and much more.[5]

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It’s important to look at stress thoroughly in life and take action to mitigate it as much as possible. Personally, I spend Monday to Friday in front of dozens of devices and screens and managing large teams (15 to 30) of people. On weekends, I go for long walks in nature (known as shinrin-yoku in Japan), I use sensory deprivation tanks, and I experiment with supplementation (being a biohacker).

5. Depression or Anxiety

These two often go hand in hand with stress. It’s also overlooked much in our society, yet millions upon millions around the work experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. Many that are depressed report symptoms of lack of energy, enthusiasm, and generally not even wanting to get up from bed in the morning.

These are also conditions that should be examined closely within oneself and take actions to make improvements. I’m a big proponent of the use of therapeutic psychedelics, such as Psilocybin or MDMA. I’m an experienced user of mushrooms, from the psychedelic variety to the non-psychedelic. In fact, the majority of my sensory deprivation tank sessions are with the use of various strains of Psilocybin mushrooms. Much research has been coming to light around the benefits of such substances to eliminate symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more.[6]

6. Hypothyroidism

Also known as underactive thyroid disease, hypothyroidism is a health condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce sufficient levels. This condition causes the metabolism to slow down.[7] While it can also be called underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism can make you feel tired and even gain weight. A common treatment for hypothyroidism is hormone replacement therapy.

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7. Caffeine Overload

I’m writing this as someone that went from five cups of coffee a day to now three cups a week! I’ve almost fully switched to decaf. The reason I stopped consuming so much coffee is that it was affecting my mood and energy levels. Generally, excessive consumption of caffeine can also impact the adrenal gland, which, as I covered above, can almost certainly lead to low energy and random energy crashes.

Final Thoughts

The most important thing is to identify that you feel heavy or tired and take action to improve the situation. Never fall into complacency with feeling lethargic or low energy, as human beings tend to accept such conditions as the norm fairly quickly. If you’ve made it this far, you’re on the right path!

Examine various aspects of your life and where you can make room for improvement to put your mental, emotional, and physical self first. I certainly hope these seven reasons why your body feels heavy, tired, or low on energy can help you along the path to a healthy and more vibrant you.

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Featured photo credit: Zohre Nemati via unsplash.com

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