How to boost your energy

Posted on: 25 June 2014 by Lynda Shaw

Dr Lynda Shaw shares some non-diet tips that will have you feeling refreshed- both mentally and physically.

boost energy levels

In a world when we are continually asked to multi-task, juggle many roles and do it all to the very best of our ability, as well as exercise and stay fit, it’s hard to keep our energy levels up.

You might feel your feet barely have time to touch the ground which leaves you often feeling deflated, lethargic and stressed about the lack of time you have to recuperate. It’s really important you have time to relax and reflect, as this will allow time to de-stress and release any negative emotions that may have built up over time. In so doing, this will physically relax the body and prevent negative thoughts draining energy even more.

Importance of Oxytocin

Cuddling or spending time with our pets, even for just 15 minutes can really help to boost your mood as it causes a release of feel good hormones in our bodies. It’s not just a cuddle from your dog that can lift your mood, human touch is incredibly important. Oxytocin is popularly known as the ‘love hormone’ and it is stimulated when we touch. It promotes trust and bonding and has a positive effect on our health.

Laughter reduces the amount of stress hormones released in our bodies, relaxes our muscles and lowers blood pressure. When we laugh, we automatically come away feeling more refreshed- both mentally and physically. Get together with the fun people in your life.

Anxiety causes stress, and this drains our energy, leaving us feeling down and exhausted at the end of the day. Try and deal with and talk about stressful situations, so you can move on and focus on the positives in your life.

Mood and energy levels

Our moods highly influence our energy levels. Listening to your favourite songs automatically lifts your mood and, if it’s an upbeat track the beat will lift your energy levels!  Music has an incredibly powerful effect on the brain; it can even help our memory. Volunteering can also have a positive effect on our mood. Giving something to someone else without expecting anything in return puts our brain in a pleasurable state, lifting both our mood and energy levels.

Eating three meals a day is essential for brain functionality. The feeling of hunger is often highly distracting and draining. One of my favourite breakfasts is blueberries, ground nuts and seeds in yoghurt which is great brain food and really sets you up for the day. Another favourite is porridge with blueberries

It is staggering the number of people who don’t consume enough water. However, keeping hydrated really does make you feel alert and attentive. Remember, energy drinks only provide a short term boost of energy, and try not to overdo the caffeine intake, water is free and the most healthy thing we can consume! Remember that dehydration can make us seem a bit confused and if we’re older people often assume this is the start of dementia. It may not be, so make sure you are properly hydrated.

Fresh air thinking

Getting fresh air by going for a stroll revitalises energy levels. Going for a walk is therapeutic and rejuvenating and may help you clear your mind. Whether it’s walking alone or with company, it’s a great way to let of steam and boost your tired mind. The brain guzzles a huge amount of the body’s oxygen, so if we want to think clearly and feel good, fresh air helps enormously.

If you can, get eight hours of good sleep at night. This is the recuperation stage not just for your muscles but for your mind. You may find it difficult to switch off at night time; so try to avoid technology if you are a high user during the day. Find time to relax. Reading a book however, taking a bath, doing a crossword or listening to therapeutic music are all great calming influences for the brain to gradually shut down.  What ever you choose to do to prepare for a good night’s sleep is important, because the brain needs sleep in order to concentrate and coordinate properly, to remember well and to be in a positive mood the following day.

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