But first let’s talk about some factors that decrease it!
1- Foods you eat that can decrease your energy:
Coffee, tea and soft drinks. Stimulants are almost always used to support an overworked lifestyle or to push the body and mind to perform at the expense of sleep and cumulative nutrient and immune deficits, says David Crow owner of floracopeia.co. Coffee and tea in certain circumstances are hiding a deep fatigue. They’re like putting a band-aid on a gushing wound. As a result we are even more deprived because we haven’t addressed the core of the issue.
Processed foods. Too much processed foods that contain simple sugars or excessive amounts of salt can also decrease our energy. They lack the nutrients, vitamins and minerals necessary for vitality!
Too much protein, especially animal protein or not enough. Protein, especially animal protein, is harder to digest. So when we eat too much of it, our digestive system spends a lot of energy metabolizing it and getting rid of its waste. The result is low energy, fatigue, fogginess and heaviness. But too little protein could also be a problem. Especially if you live on a mainly vegan or raw diet. From the point of view of Ayurveda some of us need a little more grounding foods, depending on our nature. By the way this has nothing to do with the “blood type” diet. Some of us have a tendency towards being highly hyperactive and prone to overthinking, anxiety and worry. In Ayurveda we call this a Vata imbalance. In order to feel more balanced we need to make sure we have foods that ground us. Protein, animal or plant-based, will do that! If we don’t address this, then chances are we will start experiencing low energy. It’s even more important to have a little more protein than usual during the winter time. In its infinite intelligence, the body caters to our need for energy-giving protein in winter by creating more bacteria in the gut that can metabolize protein!
Alcohol, artificial sweeteners and trans-fats. Trans-fats are found in processed baked goods for a longer shelf-life. Harder to digest than fresh baked goods made with little or better quality fats, trans-fats, and chemicals in artificial sweeteners all decrease our energy. Alcohol has a depressant effect that slows our nervous system and disturbs normal sleep patterns. On the other hand drugs and smoking stimulate the nervous system and can cause insomnia.
2- A lack of exercise and movement
A sedentary life robs us of our energy. Sitting long hours in front of a computer at work and then sitting long hours in front of the tv set once we’re home only makes us more tired and unmotivated to move.
3- Emotional stress
Stress, especially emotional stress can decrease our energy big time! That’s because emotional stress is usually long term. Most of us are just not able to easily let go of our distress. Rather we can hold onto it for months, sometimes years. What that does, is that it creates a state of chronic stress. Any time we’re reminded of the situation or the person at the origin of the distress, our body is flooded with stress hormones that waste all of our energy to prepare to fight or flight!
4- Lack of profound restful sleep
Can you think of factors that rob you of your god-given energy? How about hormones? Yes and no. Our hormones are affected by stress, sedentariness and diet!
So how can you gain your energy back?
Here 10 top ways to increase your energy
# 1: Reduce caffeine: When you reduce your caffeine intake, you’ll be better able to address the underlying fatigue with lifestyle strategies.
# 2: Drink water. Many of us are chronically dehydrated. We don’t drink enough water. And as we age we lose our sense of thirst. Oftentimes when we have low energy all we need is to hydrate.
# 3: Eat fresh green vegetables. Green vegetables are full of vitamins and nutrients. They’re great for lifting the mood and strengthening our immune system
# 4: Use whole sweeteners. Avoid artificial sweeteners or chemicalized sugar, and use gentle sweeteners like honey, maple syrup or sugar, coconut palm sugar and whole fruit paste. Read on about healthier sweeteners here.
# 5: Get physical activity. Start with simple activities like walking or a Yin yoga class. Start with 15 minutes a day and increase 5 minutes weekly.
# 6: Get more sleep, rest and relaxation. Go to bed a little earlier. Studies show that you don’t get the same kind of rest when you sleep from 12 am to 8 am than if you slept from 10 pm to 6 am. Take a break from your hectic life. Disconnect from social media for a day.
# 9: Have a spiritual practice. Find ways to connect with your spiritual nature. Pray. Meditate. Listen to affirmations. Go in nature.
# 10: Surround yourself with like-minded people. Seek out the people in your life who support and love you unconditionally. Hang out with people who inspire and elevate you.
What’s one action step you can take today to increase your energy?