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Our energy is everything. It dictates our ability to be present, to get things done, to show up for others, and to fully experience life. Being exhausted day after day, as common as it is, is not our natural state of being. The human body is an incredible thing, and shouldn’t have to be constantly ramped up with stimulants. Once we practice the activities that enable and allow the flow, our body has the ability to produce a constant supply of energy to help us get everything we need done.

If you don’t have enough energy to exercise, get your work done, and spend time with friends and loved ones without stimulants, here’s what you may be doing wrong.

1. Doing things that harm your sleep

When we drink coffee after 3, eat late at night, or stay up looking at a screen until right when we put our heads down to rest, the natural processes our body has to help us sleep get interrupted. This results in an inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and to wake up feeling rested. It’s not necessarily about the amount of time slept, as getting 5 hours quality sleep is much more effective than 9 hours of tossing and turning. If you’re not sleeping deeply and peacefully and it’s affecting your energy levels on a day-to-day basis, consider looking at what you’re doing in the last third of your day that may be interrupting this process.

2. Taking too many stimulants

Drinking coffee and energy drinks on a day-to-day basis doesn’t allow for the body’s natural processes to create energy of its own, and over stimulates our adrenal glands. When our adrenal glands are over stimulated, the hormones our body creates to help us fall and stay asleep go haywire, and don’t regulate themselves efficiently resulting in restlessness and sleep interruption. It also negatively affects our hormones that help create natural energy and creates trouble for the body to create the body has trouble creating natural energy on its own.

3. Not exercising enough

The more energy you use, the more you have. Because of this, exercise is one of the most effective ways to create energy. When it seems too hard at the end of your day to get to the gym, commit to just the act of getting dressed for it. Once you’ve done that, if you still don’t want to exercise, allow yourself to get in the car and go home. Chances are though that you’ll be much more apt to at least getting on the treadmill for thirty minutes or doing some reps on the machines. Exercise is an extremely important part of having abundant energy, figure out something that you enjoy and fit it into your routine at least three days a week.

4. Spending all day digesting

Digestion is the most energy intensive process of our bodies. Certain foods, such as meat, eggs, and sugar, take a huge amount of energy to process and cycle through the human body. When we snack all day or have three huge meals, our bodies don’t get the chance to focus on other necessary functions since they’re focusing on breaking down food the majority of the time. Constant digestion is also a huge factor in accelerating the aging process and slows down cell regeneration contributing to visible signs of aging like wrinkles, sunspots, and saggy skin. Make sure to give yourself periods of time during the day where your stomach is not full. This requires a heightened awareness of your physical state, and asks you to check in with the reasons and times you’re feeling it’s time to eat.

For natural and abundant energy, try these options

1. Have an evening ritual

Committing to a proper and efficient way to wind down at night will improve your sleep tremendously, thus greatly improving your energy levels. Taking a bath, drinking tea, reading something relaxing, or writing for 15 or 20 minutes before bed will help put your body and mind in ret mode and allow for a peaceful nights sleep. Find something that works for you and allow yourself the time without stimulation from electronics up until you lay your head to rest.

2. Eat energizing foods first thing in the morning

Herbal tea and fruit are an excellent way to get the day started. Quickly digested and high in minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients, they give your body the nourishment it needs to wake up without asking a ton from your digestive system. Start light and without refined or processed sugars and your morning energy will sky rocket.

3. Eat foods most difficult to digest at lunchtime

According to ayurvedic medicine, we have most digestive energy form the hours of 12pm to 2pm. By eating our largest meals during this time, our bodies are able to most efficiently extract nutrient, break down our food, and get rid of what we don’t need quickly. In the mornings, we’re coming off a fast while we slept, so it’s best to gently wake up the body, not with a big egg and bacon sammie. At night, our bodies are trying to wind down and do maintenance, so it’s best not to put them into overdrive trying to digest those late night steak frites. Of course, there are times when big brekkies and dinners are unavoidable, but on days you have control, try and eat most at lunchtime and bookend your day with smaller, lighter meals. It will save your energy and your waistline.

4. Stay hydrated

Our cells get dehydrated very quickly, and our brain cells do so even faster. When our brains aren’t properly hydrated, we perceive basic tasks to be more difficult than they are, can’t focus properly, and can become pretty useless. By staying adequately hydrated, we free up mental energy to focus on multiple things, get projects accomplished more quickly, and move through our daily tasks briskly and effectively. Commit to drinking water all day long and you’ll feel your energy levels elevate instantly.

Photo by Jordan McQueen

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