50 ways to improve your energy levels and raise your spirits
Posted on 28th June 2017 at 07:30
As promised last week, this week we’re going to give you 50 ways to improve your energy levels and raise your spirits. These are among the many ideas we give clients and have stood the test of time. Some are quick and simple, others take a little longer, but all have benefits well beyond the issues we’re focusing on today.
Our advice, as always, is to choose one to start with and practice it until it becomes an automatic part of your life. Then add another. And another. That’s how change happens, one small step at a time.
So, without further ado, here we go:
Out and about
One. Spend some time outside every day. Not will you feel better for some fresh air and natural light, but it also helps reset your natural rhythms, body clock and hormones.
Two. A daily walk, lasting as little as 20 minutes, helps to burn off stress hormones so you’ll instantly feel calmer and happier. Improved fitness also means that you’ll have more energy and be able to better handle any stresses that come your way.
Three. Even better get some sunshine too. Sunlight not only boosts serotonin production – hurrah (!) – but Vitamin D levels too. And, as an added bonus, don’t forget how much better you feel with a bit of a tan.
Four. Find a form of exercise you enjoy and do it regularly. It doesn’t matter what it is, as any exercise increases serotonin levels and so your spirits. As an aside, it’s been found that doing any form of exercise you enjoy has much greater benefits than doing one you hate doing; but is more strenuous. So, for all those people who hate going to the gym but still drag themselves there, why not find something you actually enjoy doing instead?
Five. If you fancy a curry, turmeric has also been found to increase serotonin levels in the brain. It also reduces blood pressure.
Six. Seafood, particularly oily fish, contain high levels of Vitamin D and Omega 3 oils which help improve the efficiency of neurons – the wiring (!) – in the brain.
Seven. Other foods that help boost serotonin levels include nuts, seeds and good quality animal protein. These all contain tryptophan which is needed to make serotonin.
Eight. If you enjoy a chocolate “fix” replace the sugar laden milk chocolate bars with a good quality dark chocolate bar. As an added bonus, you’ll find that you want less of it as the more intense taste – and lower sugar levels – turn off your cravings more quickly.
Nine. Eat little and often during the day – grazing – to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable. This prevents the “peaks and troughs” which lead to comfort eating.
Ten. Adopt the KISS approach to food – keep it simple stupid. Base all your meals round fruit, vegetables and salad that are in season, ideally from your garden or local farm shop. Eat raw food and salad every day to maximise the nutrients obtained from them. Always steam foods, rather than boiling. Avoid processed and pre prepared foods, that way you know exactly what you’re eating.
Eleven. Eating small amounts of protein regularly during the day also helps maintain energy levels. This includes the traditional forms of protein as well as nuts, seeds and bananas. Protein is the body’s long term fuel and eating it regularly helps stop you reaching for those naughty sweet and sugary foods as your blood sugar dips. Carrying a banana or a bag of nuts / seeds with you is the easiest way to prevent comfort eating later in the day.
Twelve. Acidophilus not only balances your “internal flora and fauna” – we love that expression (!) – but improves the digestion and nutrition received from food. It also helps to prevent the build up of Candida in the Digestive System, which is linked to low energy levels and mood.
Thirteen. Make the microwave a thing of the past. Not only does it destroy the nutritional content of food but it also produces radiation. Ironically this is at its strongest just in front of the door – which is where people tend to stand while they’re waiting for their food to cook. Ah!
Drinks and easy detoxing
Fourteen. Drink more water (!). How can that possibly make me happier or raise my energy levels, we hear you say. Well, it’s all about being hydrated – and the brain is 80% water after all – as well as helping to flush the body of toxins, so helping you feel happier in yourself.
Fifteen. If you want to do a detox simply take Milk Thistle tincture twice a day for a month. How difficult is that? Traditionally a detox is done in the spring and autumn, in preparation for the change of season from winter to summer and back again. This is one of the tinctures we hold so, if you’d like to do a detox, let us know!
Sixteen. Herbal teas can be used to help detox and include nettle, mint and parsley. Just one word of warning, don’t drink them just before going to bed, unless you want to get out to the loo in the middle of the night. Don’t say we didn’t tell you!
Seventeen. Green tea is calming, as well as being high in antioxidants, helping prevent damage by free radicals, including to your precious “grey matter.”
Eighteen. A sauna or steam bath is another great way to do a detox and is guaranteed to make you feel relaxed, as well as giving a boost of energy.
Having a great day
Nineteen. Give – and so receive – a hug (!). And you can always give yourself a hug if no one else is available – two footed or four footed (!).
Twenty. Or what about holding someone’s hand for a minute or two while you chat to them? Older people, particularly those on their own, really appreciate it – and you’ll feel good too.
Twenty One. And don’t forget all the good vibes you get from doing something for someone else without expecting something in return. It doesn’t need to be big or complicated and you’ll be amazed how often someone else then does something nice for you.
Twenty Two. Spend time with those you love and who raise your spirits. Even a few minutes with them can make a huge difference to how you both feel.
Twenty Three. Set clear boundaries. Don’t be afraid to use the “No” word. If you need a reminder, just ask us for our “No” sheet, which can also be used as a gentle hint for those around you!
Twenty Four. And, equally, keep those “heart sinkers” – and we all know who they are (!) – at arm’s length. If you’re in any doubt, use the “pocket of change” exercise to work out who falls into this category. Although, if you’re not sure, then you’ve already answered the question for yourself (!).
Twenty Five. Having a good laugh is a great way to boost your levels of serotonin, so why not dig out your favourite comedy show for a rerun? They may be corny but nothing beats a dose of “Blackadder” or “‘Allo ‘Allo” (!).
Twenty Six. Have a regular massage or other “hands on” therapy. Not only will it give you a chance to relax and have some time out but helps reduce levels of stress hormones too.
Relaxation and time out
Twenty Seven. Meditation, visualisation and relaxation techniques all help reduce levels of stress hormones as well as improving energy levels and your mood. As with exercise, as little as 20 minutes a day can make a huge difference to your health over the longer term.
Twenty Eight. Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and Chi Gong combine gentle exercise with relaxation and have lots of benefits. As does swimming or walking. They’re also great for the non sporty among us!
Twenty Nine. Find – or rediscover (!) – something you love doing and completely absorbs your attention. It doesn’t matter what it is – or what anyone else thinks about it (!) – so long as you enjoy doing it. Not only is it a great antidote to stress, but doing something you love instantly raises your spirits and improves you energy levels.
Thirty. A regular soak in the bath is a great way to relax and unwind at the end of the day. Adding Sea Salt or Epsom Salts – both of which are high in magnesium – will also soothe the Nervous System and help with a good night’s sleep. As an aside, magnesium helps prevent cramps too.
And remember it’s your servant, there to make your life easier, NOT your master. And, yes, we know this is a radical thought for many people (!))
Thirty One. Turn off your phone. Not only is it a great time waster and distraction, but it’s linked to increased feelings of anxiety and depression. It also prevents you from focussing on whatever you’re trying to do – or those you’re spending time with. Remember, as we’ve said many times before, being busy isn’t the same as being productive.
Thirty Two. Similarly – and you’re probably not going to like this one – avoid social media for the same reason. If this isn’t an addiction you’re ready to break, then limit checking it to a few minutes twice a day. Spend your time with real people who make you feel good instead.
Thirty Three. At the very least, turn off wi fi when you’re not using it. Going back to old fashioned cable – which you turn off when it’s not being used – is much better for many reasons. Not only will it stop you from using it at all hours of the day and night (!) but wi fi – like other electric equipment – broadcasts at a similar frequency to the Nervous System affecting concentration, memory, mood, sleep and energy levels.
Other modern addictions (!)
Thirty Four. Another addiction that you may want to break is to television. Not only to the news and all the other “doom and gloom” but soap operas and other mindless programmes. If it doesn’t make you laugh or feel happy, give it a miss. Television is a huge distraction and time waster.
Thirty Five. And, finally, give the newspapers the heave ho too. Not only is most of the content negative, but they also increase feelings of fear and anxiety.
Getting better sleep
Thirty Six. Go to bed at the same – or similar – time each night. This helps to set your body clock and research has found that a regular routine encourages a better quality – and more consistent – sleep.
Thirty Seven. While on the subject of sleep, the old wives tale – an hour’s sleep before midnight is worth two afterwards – has also been borne out by research.
Thirty Eight. Make sure your bedroom is well ventilated and cool. Overheating is associated with poor quality and broken sleep. In fact we’ve recently come across research saying that the best way to get a good night’s sleep is “au naturel (!).”
Thirty Nine. Turn off any electric / electronic gizmos in your bedroom before you go to sleep as they broadcast at a similar frequency to the Nervous System and interfere with sleep.
Easy energy and mood boosters
Forty. An under active thyroid is a common cause of low moods and energy. An easy way to see if this is an issue for you is the Basal Temperature Test, which simply involves taking your temperature first thing in the morning. Even better the solution is easy, taking Lugol’s Iodine every morning to balance and boost thyroid function. However do bear in mind that not all Lugol’s Iodine available on the internet is the same. To find out more about the Basal Temperature Test and the form of Lugol’s Iodine to use, please contact us.
Forty One. A tincture to help to balance hormones generally – and so help energy levels as well as mood (!) – is Siberian Ginseng, particularly for women.
Forty Two. St John’s Wort / Hypericum – often known as the “sunshine herb” – helps balance neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin. However it can lead to sensitivity to the sun as well as interacting with some conventional medications. For these reasons is should not be bought off the shelf without first checking that it’s suitable for you.
Forty Three. Alternatives to St Johns’ Wort include Passiflora and Avena Sativa, which both have similar effects but without the restrictions. In addition, Avena Sativa is high in B Vitamins and other minerals required by the Nervous System.
Forty Four. Talking of vitamins, Vitamin B Complex – a mix of all the B Vitamins – is well known for helping improve energy levels by supporting the Adrenal Glands. Vitamin B Complex can be safely taken over the longer term.
Forty Five. Lavender essential oil is well known for its relaxing properties and can be used in the bath, on your pillow or in a burner. Other relaxing essential oils include chamomile, jasmine and geranium.
Forty Six. Essential oils to give your energy a boost – and so not best used at night (!) – include rosemary, lemon and ginger.
Energy drains you can easily overlook
Forty Seven. If you have any ongoing health concerns, don’t put your head in the sand and ignore them. As with any ongoing stress they can slowly run down energy levels, often before you’ve realised what’s going on. It’s never too late to do something about them and small steps can often make a big difference over the longer term.
Forty Eight. Similarly, if you’re taking medication on an ongoing basis make sure it’s reviewed regularly and consider other approaches.
Forty Nine. We know this is a big one, but it’s a huge energy drain as well as mood damper (!). If you hate your job / home / significant other dare to think the unthinkable. Take time out to imagine what it is you really want – which is often much simple than you think.
And if you can’t work out what you do want it’s very simple. Exactly the opposite of what you currently have! You’ll be amazed how often things change simply by you considering the options and how much better you’ll feel by doing this, whether you make any changes or not.
Fifty. Let’s finish on a positive note.
Remember that life is here to be enjoyed. Have fun, laugh out loud and be kind to all those you meet. And, you’ll get the same in return. Life really is that simple. It’s just us humans that make it complicated.
As always, the choice is yours.
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