Usually after noticing my energy reserves are getting low, the next thought that comes to mind is “Oh I should have got more sleep” or, “I shouldn’t have eaten so much at lunch”.
It’s always too late.
I’m steeped in regret and feel the only way to continue is to wait it out and start afresh tomorrow.
There’s a lot of practical guidelines out there for improving energy—eating more greens, getting more sleep, avoiding caffeine—but let’s face it, sometimes life doesn’t care about the guidelines.
Life is unpredictable and sporadic. Thus when we find ourselves staring blankly at your computer screen after a bad night’s sleep or a stress-filled morning, we crumble.
Thankfully it doesn’t have to be this way. When life throws a curveball, you adapt, regroup, and smash it out the park.
So check out these 6 little known ways to quickly re-energize yourself in the times you need it most.
1. Make yourself wet
Shock has gained a bad rep over the years—maybe from it’s presence in movies and shows where it inevitably leads to fainting or heart attacks. The reality is, shocking the body helps burn fat, induce muscle growth, stimulate the brain, and improve alertness.
Ideally, hop in a cold shower for 5 minutes. But if this isn’t practical, James Zacny, an Anesthesiologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center, suggests simply splashing cool water on your wrists or face. This has its own energy boosting effects due to the high concentration of nerve endings in these areas.
2. Get a hit of oxytocin
You know that feeling when you are talking to a friend and all your weariness and troubles just seem to just fade away? It’s largely thanks to oxytocin, a brain chemical that’s often referred to as the ‘trust hormone’. Through its release you not only trigger a sense of greater connection with others, but one of the body’s most powerful mood boosting effect too.
Send a message to a friend, have a chat with a colleague, or if you’re feeling cheeky, try a little flirting. It’s fun, harmless, and nothing quite gets the heart racing like it.
3. Think like a maniac
A common symptom of mania and manic depression is fast thinking or racing thoughts. But in one study from Princeton University, they found manic thinking to be a healthy way of improving energy, along with feelings of happiness, creativity, and power. During an average day, our thinking is rarely turned up to max speed. Shift to fifth gear, and watch as everything else follows suit.
4. Change your mindset
Chances are when I’m feeling lazy or burnt out, it’s primarily down to a problem of perception or relativity. “Wow two projects completed before lunch, I need to slow down” or, “Jenny has only done half the amount of work I did, I should relax”.
I like to think of not what those in the next cubicle are doing, but those in different walks of life. Those who are pushing their body’s stress levels to the limit working down mines or crab fishing in the vicious storms of the Pacific. Thinking in this way has the power to lift your energy and mood in any situation.
5. Touch yourself
Be honest, how often do you take a little time out of your day to touch yourself?
We stimulate the brain almost incessantly throughout the day while the body just sits there like a sack of potatoes. This is troubling as the physical state and actions of the body have a big impact on how we think, feel, and behave.
Treating the mind through the body is common in Eastern medicine—just look at acupuncture. But in the West, little is know about practices such as bioenergetics which help release trapped energy and anxiety through active expression and movement of the body. It all starts with a little bit of self-massage to loosen muscular tension and facilitate the free flowing of energy through the body.
Yawing may be the most misunderstood natural function of the body.
It’s usually something that’s seen as a bad thing and even suppressed, when in actual fact it’s an important process for keeping the body running at peak performance.
Research shows the strenuous movements involved in yawning help our mind reboot, primarily by pumping cerebrospinal fluid around the brain. On top of this, yawning is also proven to help regulate brain temperature to prevent overheating, increase blood flow in the neck, face, and head, and force spinal fluid down into the body.
Yawning can be triggered by reading or even thinking about doing it—you don’t need to be tired. So yawn away, and reap the brain boosting benefits.
Joseph Pennington is a writer, mindfulness teacher, and the founder of Bebot, the world’s first AI mindfulness coach. You can try out the Bebot Alexa app here and sign up to make sure you hear the latest from Joseph and your new mindful robot friend.Want to take the next step to consistent and longer-lasting energy?
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.