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5 Strategies

To Feel

Energized

Debbie Schroeder RN, BSN
08/25/2008
Professional Health Coach
www.HealthCoachTeam.com

Do you wish you had more energy? One of the main concerns of my health coaching clients is their lack of energy. It can be difficult to accomplish goals when you are exhausted all the time. This article will explore some of the reasons you may be low on energy and how to fill up your energy tank.

One energy drainer is a lack of oxygen. Most people are breathing very shallow. If you watch a baby, you will see their stomach rising and falling with each breath. They are filling their lungs with oxygen and oxygenating their body. Adults tend to breath shallow and you see only a slight movement in their upper chest. It is impossible to receive sufficient oxygen with these shallow breaths.

The first strategy to increase your energy is to begin consciously taking deep breathes. There are several deep breathing exercises we can explore, but we will cover one simple one now.

Sit comfortably, breathe in slowly through your nose, to the count of 5 taking in as much as air possible to fill your lungs, hold your breath to the count of 20 and slowly exhale through your mouth, to the count of 10. This exercise will draw oxygen into your lungs and as you hold your breath it allows your cells to soak up the oxygen before you slowly exhale. Repeat this deep breathing cycle several times in a row. Consciously deep breathe at least 3 times per day.

At first you may feel a little lightheaded or dizzy because you are not used to receiving a lot of oxygen all at once. After doing this deep breathing exercise for a little while, you will notice you feel more energetic and alert.

The second strategy to increase your energy is to be well hydrated. The average healthy adult has about 60% of their body weight in water. The standard American diet is filled with concentrated foods that have very low water content. Americans tend to drink a lot of caffeine products which will further dehydrate the body.

According to Dr. Vernon Mark at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston "A deficiency of water can alter the concentration of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride, water has a profound effect on brain function and energy level."

The best way to keep your body well hydrated is to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of fresh pure water per day. For instance if you weigh 150 pounds you require approximately 75 ounces of pure water daily. You will require more water if you engage in heavy physical activity. Raw fresh fruits and vegetables also contain a lot of water. They are another terrific source to keep your body well hydrated.

The third strategy to increase your energy is to clear your clutter. Messy, unorganized spaces will quickly drain your energy. It only takes a few minutes a day to de-clutter your house. Taking just 15 minutes a day to organize one area really adds up over time and simplifies your life. For a quick energy pick up, set a timer for 15 minutes, clean, and organize your space during that time, like a race. As you eliminate clutter in your life you are clearing space for energy to flow in.

Another benefit to de-cluttering is; cleaning experts have found that getting rid of clutter in your home will cut down your housework by 40%. The time you save on cleaning can be spent on doing something for yourself or family.

The fourth strategy to increase your energy is to get some sun. According to a 3 year study at Harvard University exposure to bright sunlight first thing will have a positive impact on the retina that leads to better focus and energy production in the brain. For many people, bright sunlight in the morning will improve their mood and increase their alertness.

Most people get a powerful surge of energy from sunlight or bright indoor light. Try moving your desk chair closer to a window or better yet; take a five minute walk outdoors every few hours. This is a simple technique that yields big energy rewards.

The fifth strategy to increase your energy is to evaluate your emotions and relationships. Holding on to negative emotions, such as resentment, hostility, grievances and regrets can be toxic to your body. Let go of these negative emotions and experience an increase in energy and vitality.

Relationships can either nourish us or drain us. Evaluate your relationships, do you have people in your life you annoy you, interrupt you, criticize you, yell at you or do anything else that drains your energy. You do not need to tolerate people treating you in a disrespectful manner. Begin to set boundaries with people.

To set a boundary with someone, let them know what is and is not acceptable to you. For instance, let them know that you don't appreciate it when they yell at you and you respectfully request that if they wish to communicate with you they do so without yelling. If they continue to yell at you then you will put a consequence in place, such as excusing yourself from the conversation. It is important to create relationships based on mutual respect.

As you start to implement these 5 strategies in your life you will find your energy levels rising. Slowly begin to develop new habits with deep breathing, staying hydrated, clearing the clutter, exposure to sunlight and create positive relationships. These strategies will make a significant impact on your energy level and provide you with greater mental clarity.

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