Do you feel constantly tired? Learn how to boost your energy, naturally
Energy is existence. Without energy “la dolce vita” becomes a dull life. With energy everything is enlightening and enlivening. Enjoy a fully charged life by plugging energy leaks and tapping into natural power sources.
Are you tired of feeling tired? When you’re fighting fatigue it’s a struggle to summon energy to engage and evolve in life. You’re like a pauper begging for personal power. Yet, when you accumulate energy you become rich with vital potential. Studying any inspirational figure you’ll find they share one common factor: an indomitable dynamism. Energy is your currency exchange with the world. When you have an abundance of energy it fills you and overflows to all around. With this creative force you can turn dreams to reality; as Benjamin Franklin said, “Energy and persistence change all things.”
If every atom encases enough energy for an atomic explosion, imagine your limitless life force. Accessing this powerhouse can feel like quivering frissons flowing through your circuits — a fountain of effervescent energy ascending and escalating from tingling toes to crown. Incredible things occur when energy is channelled in an aware way. As teacher Abraham Hicks said, “The universe is asking, ‘Show me your New Vibration and I will show you miracles!’”
What to do when you want to feel buzzed but your battery is drained? Feeling flat is a call to reconnect with your inborn capacity for energy, chi or prana. If you’re running on empty, stop and take stock of energy blocks. Reassess where you’re losing energy and reach out for an energy infusion. Explore these avenues to get off Sleepy Street and move on to Power Place.
Why do you get worn out? Tiredness due to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), excess exercise, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, illness, overwork, negative emotions or draining people are life’s landmines. Chronic fatigue can be hard to understand and uproot. If you’re sleepwalking through your day it’s time to wake up and do things differently. As neuroscientist Dr Joe Dispenza advises, “Our life begins to change when we change our energy, and we begin to take our power back.” It’s time to shift self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours. For extra oomph, exorcise these energy vampires.
EMF buzz kills
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are areas of energy that surround electronic devices. EMFs can increase fatigue, particularly for those who are sensitive, depleted or overexposed to them. Michael Lam MD, a specialist in adrenal fatigue syndrome, says, “Excessive EMF exposure, while inconsequential to most people, can ultimately trigger an adrenal crash. In extreme cases, one has to live far away from modern civilisation, to avoid EMF exposure in order for symptoms like heart palpitations and anxiety to subside.” Other symptoms of EMF overload may include brain fog, headaches, irritability, insomnia, muscle pain, poor concentration, rashes, tinnitus and weakened immunity.
Reaching for an AM caffeine kick and an afternoon sugar buzz can send your energy on a rollercoaster of abnormal peaks and troughs.
To protect against EMFs consider using an evidence-based EMF blocker on your computer and phone. Dr Christiane Northrup warns, “Every time you hold your cell phone to your ear, you are absorbing over 50 per cent of the cell phone radiation it transmits.” Avoid body contact with your phone and computer. Don’t carry your phone on your body, put your laptop on your lap or have either of these within six metres of you while sleeping. Look at other options to a wire coil mattress. Replace your wireless devices with wired equivalents. This includes replacing cordless DECT phones, turning off Wi-Fi routers (at least use a timer to turn it off at night), using an Ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi and opting out of having a wireless “smart” electricity meter installed.
Walk barefoot on the wet earth or sand to soak up the earth’s negatively charged electrons and reduce inflammation. Dr Northrup explains, “The Earth’s electrons act like a magnetic mop, cleaning up positively charged, inflammation-causing electrons and creating balance in your personal electrical circuitry.” Take time out from electronic devices to absorb nature through the soil, sea, sky and sun. For more information see emfwarriors.com and mitometer.com.
You can get too much of a good thing. Extreme fatigue from exercise isn’t healthy. Overtraining can lead to adrenal exhaustion, anxiety, compromised immunity, depression, inflammation, injury, impaired performance and pain. Select a suitable exercise for you, preferably perform it when your energy is at its daily peak (usually the morning), have a wind-down routine, stop before you get tired, ensure you’re well hydrated, eat within an hour after exercise and schedule adequate rest days. If exercise leaves your exhausted rather than energised, take it easy until your reserves are restored.
Reaching for an AM caffeine kick and an afternoon sugar buzz can send your energy on a rollercoaster of abnormal peaks and troughs. Small quantities of caffeine before 5pm are OK, but it cues the adrenals to release epinephrine, which increases all metabolic processes including urination. This dehydrates and depletes energy while weakening our stress response in the long run.
If work’s a loveless labour with unreasonable demands, reconsider your career options or alter your current work style.
Sugars, including refined carbohydrates, raise energy initially but leave your blood sugar level lower than your original level. Using carbs for energy is like borrowing money at high interest, leaving you poorer in the end. Sugar also feeds candida, which contributes to brain fog, fatigue and malabsorption. It also prematurely ages you through advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which wreak free radical damage and supress immunity. Other dietary disasters to delete from your menu include high-calorie, toxic, low-nutrient items such as deep-fried foods, excess salt, soft drinks, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and high-carbohydrate meals.
Sleep is nature’s nurse, replenishing our mind and body for a fulfilling life. Rest is the yin to yang’s activity. Create a comfy snooze zone that’s dark, quiet, ventilated and free from EMFs, and has supportive bedding and a comfortable temperature and is used solely for sleep or snuggles. To ease you into sleepytime, avoid alcohol, caffeine, food, work and intense conversations two hours prior to bed. Blue light blocker glasses can help to eliminate the stimulating effect of screens. Wind down with a warm bath, warm nutmeg milk, a sedative herbal tea such as passionflower, diffused lavender essential oil, relaxing music and a soothing activity. Debriefing about the day and organising things for the next day can help you let go.
Serious conditions can cause chronic fatigue. It’s important to consult your healthcare practitioner to eliminate underlying issues.
Possible causes of fatigue can include anaemia, cancer, depression, diabetes, hypothyroidism, hypoglycaemia, malnutrition, obesity, viruses and toxicity to name a few. Pinpointing the cause is pivotal to prescribing the most appropriate treatment.
Work stress can drain colour from your life and literally kill you. “Karoshi” is the term for death from overwork in Japan where workaholism is the norm. According to a study in occupational and environmental medicine, the top factors causing work stress and related illness are “long hours, work overload and pressure, lack of control over work; poor social support; and an unclear management and work role.” Another fatigue-feeding factor in the workplace is dealing with difficult people and a toxic environment. Poor air quality, toxic building or decorating materials, strong electromagnetic fields, fluorescent lighting and chemical cleaning agents create an unhealthy workplace. If this isn’t workable then it’s ideal to change your work. Our health is too high a price to pay for a pay cheque.
If work’s a loveless labour with unreasonable demands, reconsider your career options or alter your current work style. How can you share your unique skills without working yourself into the ground? Take time out before you burn out. Rest breaks refresh you to work smarter and happier. As Laurence Boldt said in the Zen and the Art of Making a Living, “Discovering your life’s work is not a mechanical process of assembling facts; it is more a matter of trusting yourself.”
Emotional energy blocks
Complementary medicine recognises the role emotions play in liberating or lowering energy. Feelings such as fear, grief, anger, shame, guilt or disappointment block your joie de vivre. Energetic mentor and author of Hacking the Wellbeing Code through Energetic Intelligence, Martine ML Negro explains, “We can no longer be complacent in wasting energy from within through worry, anxiety, or holding on to old emotions. The most powerful state that lifts your energy on all levels is when you are enthusiastic, En-Theos, with God’s energy. You are naturally in that state of flow when you live authentically in resonance with your core values and needs.”
There are many ways to clear negative emotions, including counselling, flower essences, homoeopathy, meditation such as the Taoist Inner Smile or Six Healing Sounds, journaling and connecting with others or nature. Negro offers this simple practice. “Breathe in the life force through your lower abdomen as you slow down and deepen your breath. Beam love and gratitude from your heart. Bathe yourself in light from Source. Then you can gift that life-force, love and light to anyone else and humanity.”
Poisonous people and pastimes
Some people are simpatico and others are energy sappers. Notice if your energy increases or decreases around a person. If they drag you down, avoid them like food you’re allergic to. Keep interactions short and sweet. Learn to say No and So long. If you have to deal with them, do so with a gentle smile, focus on their positive traits, surround yourself with protective white light and breath light out to them. Your infectious positivity will eventually repel or shift them.
Activities can also be energy vampires. Reduce time-wasting, tiring habits such as long phone calls, obsessive cleaning, negative media, over-striving for material accumulation and sustaining toxic relationships. Instead focus on what fuels your eternal energy. Rather than envying, emulating or impressing others, just be you! As poet AD Posey wrote, “Be the energy you want to absorb.” When you emit a joyful vibe, a plethora of positive people will want to party with you.
Now that you know the things that drain your energy, here are some ideas on how to replenish your energy reservoir.
Happy place, happy you
The ancient arts of feng shui and vastu shastra emphasise the effect your environment has on your wellbeing. Your exterior and interior surroundings can depress or uplift you. Clear clutter and anything that carries a negative neuro-association.
Enlist nature’s elements to invigorate you. Here are simple steps to recharge elements in your environment for a sparkling space.
- To balance, either play inspiring music or sing, minimise disturbing noises like creaky doors, traffic, loud ads and alarms. Clear psychic cobwebs with sage smudging, a spring clean and fresh air.
- To enhance air, burn pleasing scents, let fresh air in, avoid air-conditioning, use a negative ioniser, light up a Himalayan salt lamp, practise yogic breathing or Wim Hoff method and keep indoor plants.
- To stoke fire, watch the sunrise, gaze at a candle flame, lie naked in the morning sun for a few minutes, wear bright colours and exercise to sweat.
- For a flowing water influence, place a water feature in the northeast of a room or garden, keep indoor plants, ensure poor guttering, plumbing or rising damp is addressed and have regular Epsom salts baths.
- For grounding earth energy, walk barefoot on damp grass or the beach, check the building foundations, repair cracks or gaps in the walls and ceiling, do weight-bearing exercise and eat nourishing meals.
To digest is divine according to Ayurveda. When assimilation and elimination are, optimal energy surges. If lassitude lingers, address any digestive issues. General tips to improve gut health include only eating when hungry, having regular wholesome meals, maintaining good posture, chewing at least 10 times, sipping warm water, releasing gas and evacuating daily with the help of herbs or fibre if necessary. A regular, short fast along with a gentle cleanse will eliminate toxic backload. Avoid heavy, late dinners and overeating in general.
“Be the energy you want to absorb.”
Foods famous for increasing energy include: antioxidant açaí, fat-fuel avocados, potassium-plus-B6 bananas, blood-sugar-balancing carob due to its pinitol, antioxidant goji berries, vitamin C-rich gooseberries, stamina-sustaining honey, probiotic kefir, phytonutrient-loaded legumes, endurance-enhancing maca, nutritious oats, low-glycaemic-index carb quinoa, omega-3-packed seeds, superfood spirulina, iron- and protein-packed urad dal.
As Negro advises, “We are primarily energetic beings and we need to remember that our energy is our most precious asset.” You can dig into Earth’s dispensary for five favourite energising elixirs.
- Cordyceps — This mushroom fuels endurance and accelerates recovery by increasing cell oxygenation by up to 50 per cent.
- Liquorice — This herb (not the sweet black sticky candy) spares cortisone in the adrenals, thus maintaining energy through trying times.
- Rhodiola — An adaptogenic Chinese herb that helps you bounce back from stress and improves concentration.
- Schisandra — This stress-busting berry gives you calm energy and endurance via its adrenal tonic affect.
- Siberian ginseng — Studies have shown this root can raise energy and enhance physical performance due to its eleutherosides increasing energising enzyme secretion.
- Ashwagandha — This wonder herb, also called withania, regulates the adrenals and thyroid, which is vital for resilience and recovery.
Vibrational medicines can address emotional imbalances underlying fatigue. Bach flowers to consider include olive for exhaustion, clematis for dreamy detachment, impatiens for irritability, elm for overwhelm, gentian for despondency, gorse for hopelessness, hornbeam for lethargy, oak for overwork, walnut when drained by change or outside influences and wild rose for resignation.
Homoeopathic remedies that your practitioner may consider for fatigue are alfalfa for tiredness from malnutrition, calcarea carbonica for physical exhaustion, avena sativa for agitation with debility and sepia for weakness.
It’d be perfect if Roger Ramjet’s protein pill pepped us all up instantly. The reality is that energy is accumulated over time with good diet, exercise, rest and leisure. However, supplements can assist the process by enhancing energy, hastening recovery and promoting deeper rest. Antioxidants are the primary energy assistants. Options your health provider may suggest to support adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production and adrenal function include alpha-lipoic acid, green powders such as wheatgrass, iron, GABA, glutathione, selenium, zinc, vitamin B complex and vitamin C. Probiotics may also enhance energy as studies have shown that low gut flora can contribute to fatigue. Magnesium, calcium and potassium may be deficient in those who are very active or chronically stressed.
What tops up your energy stores? A 15-minute yoga nidra-guided meditation keeps me going on busy days. Yoga also advocates the bridge, camel, downward dog, cobra, sphinx and upward bow poses to light up your chakras.
International healing tao teacher Jutta Kellenberger has inspiring stamina in her golden years. “I know of many energy-boosting exercises, abdominal breathing, spinal cord breathing, activating the qi muscle. From Chi Kung, the Golden Turtle gives me amazing energy.”
Mark Gadd and Louise Phegan are Tiandi Qigong practitioners offering effective energy-increasing practices. Their teacher Master Zhao was invited to Australia by Bob Hawke’s daughter after he helped her overcome chronic fatigue.
Deeply inhaling and exhaling say, “I’m blessed to be breathing. Every breath brings me more energy.”
Phegan shares instruction for the qi-increasing horse stance to overcome fatigue. Phegan explains, “Practising horse stance can be thought of as a standing meditation where we learn how to unify the body and mind. Externally there is no movement, however internally the qi and breath are moving. It is both active and passive, yin and yang. Start with two to three minutes and then gradually increase to five minutes and beyond. When practising this posture, you can experience the qigong state which is a state of deep relaxation where you feel one with the universe and all your worries disappear.
“Start with feet approximately one and a half shoulder widths apart, toes pointing out slightly. You can try different widths, though your stance should be wide and firm. Flex your knees and lower your pelvis, like a squat position, ensuring your spine is kept as straight as possible and tail bone slightly tucked under. You can try different heights. Both legs share weight equally. It’s important that you feel natural so that you relax, find your centre and balance easily. Hold your arms out in front of your body in a rounded position, as though embracing a sphere, palms facing your heart, relax your shoulders. Imagine you are holding an energy ball of light. Your breathing should be natural — slow, smooth, soft and deep. Push your feet down and feel your feet connecting with the earth’s energy (yin) — imagine you’re a tree growing roots beneath your feet. Feel your spine gently elongating and the crown of your head lift upward and open to the sky. Imagine connecting with the universe’s energy (yang) funnelling through the top of your head. Imagine your whole body being strong and stable as a mountain. Although fresh qi will flow into your body and stale qi will flow out, you don’t need to try and do anything with the qi, simply become aware of it — how it’s moving, where it may be blocked, whether it feels clear or murky, smooth or rough. As you finish and straighten your legs, slowly lower your arms as if still holding the ball, feel as though the energy ball is being absorbed into your belly, three finger widths below your navel, and rest both palms there for a few minutes.”
Fake it and make it
Another essential aspect of sustaining energy is your beliefs and dialogue. You become what you believe. Close your eyes and see yourself as a vivacious, energetic, enthusiastic, life-loving person. Post and put up where you can see them happy pictures of yourself as a reminder of your innate energy. Catch what you say to yourself and others as your body is listening. If you’re always complaining that you’re exhausted, whacked, tired, what effect does that have on your cells and state of mind? Instead say, “I’m choosing life-enhancing options. I’m practising positive habits. I’m excited to experience and explore many things. I love my life and life loves me back with endless energy. I’m empowered on my meaningful mission.” Deeply inhaling and exhaling say, “I’m blessed to be breathing. Every breath brings me more energy.”
NOTE: This article is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is recommended to seek the guidance of your qualified health provider for individual assistance.