Just like our cell phones, our bodies need charging as well. Sleep is one way to recharge. Eating fresh food in the right quantity is another way to ensure the body gets high quality fuel without being overburdened. Sunbathing for 15–20 mins when possible can do wonders for your energy. Exercising expends calories but the optimal amount of exercise (what feels right to you) will actually help every cell in your body awaken. We’ve experienced this because the perfect workout always leaves us feeling fresh and ready for whatever’s ahead.
These are all great techniques to operate with high energy. However, it’s also important to be mindful of how we carry ourselves the rest of the day. How you spend your energy the rest of the day will determine how much `charging` your body needs at night. Yes, your body REALLY is a battery. How you feel when you wake up is determined by everything you’ve done upto that point.
In yoga, this is referred to as prana — the essential life force. If we operate with gratitude for life, love for everyone around us and understanding when things don’t go our way — we build up and preserve our prana. On the contrary, if we are constantly judging things around us — forming opinions in our mind chatter for what is and isn’t ‘right’, how others ‘ought’ to behave or why that driver is going so slow — we drain our prana away in a hurry. The more we accept life as it is for what each moment presents, the less prana we spend. If we don’t let events around us derail our calm state of mind, we can preserve massive amounts of prana. The less we get caught up in the drama, the more we get to live.
While food, sleep and exercise are important, they are not the sole determinants of our energy. It’s ALL connected. Our all powerful mind has a huge effect on our energy. It’s why we feel so great after an uplifting interaction with someone or why our energies can take a dive with an unnecessary argument over the smallest matter. Are your interactions with the World uplifting you or dragging you down? You can change the World (Good luck!) or choose to change your relationship with it.
One of the best ways to improve our energy is to first become fully conscious of where we are. Begin to observe on a day to day basis how you feel. Do you feel lethargic one day but energetic on others? Why? Become curious about how you’re showing up everyday and then begin to question why it may be happening. Take a piece of paper and make a note everyday of your energy level. If you’re not feeling energetic, question what may be the cause by observing some of the following:
Observe your emotions — Happy? Anxious? Frustrated? — observe what may be leading to your pre-disposed emotional state without trying to blame anyone else for it. There’s always a reason if we get quiet enough and listen to ourselves.
Observe your thoughts — What are the dominant thoughts in your mind? Are they about food, pleasure, money, judgements on others or yourself? Notice if your thoughts are positive and uplifting i.e. invite more energy in or the kind that drag your energy down with them.
Observe what you ate the day before — Did you eat a mix of raw and freshly cooked nutritious meals in the right quantity that left you nourished but feeling light? Or did you eat stale, heavy meals that weighed you down? Food is not always in our control and we all have desires but learning how to optimize a heavy or indulgent meal with the right habits will determine how capable you feel afterwards. What we eat can become a boost or a drag unless we learn how to manage it. A weekend binge of toxic alcohol and unhealthy food can easily become a Monday drag but there’s modifications you can make so you can enjoy yourself without taxing your energy.
Observe yourself physically — has your body received the proper amount of physical movement needed to feel energetic? How about proper sun exposure and fresh air? Observe the sounds around you — do you live in a chaotic bustling area with a flood of whirling energy attacking your senses or do you live in a peaceful environment close to nature where your energy is grounded and replenished?
Observe sleep — I don’t literally mean observe yourself sleeping — that’d be some serious yoga jedi mastery. What I mean is — when you wake up, observe how you feel. Did you get a good night’s sleep? Did you wake up by yourself or have to be dragged out of bed? Experiment and see how you feel. Sleep late — wake up late — see how you feel. Sleep early — wake up early — see how you feel. Sleep without an alarm and notice how much sleep your body actually needs to feel rested. Do you feel energetic afterwards or dull? Sleep per your needs to fully recover. The amount of sleep we need is often a reflection of our other habits and how much ‘repair’ work our bodies have to do in order to get back to operating condition.
As you do this, observe the trends over several days, weeks and months. Make a note of interesting changes and observe any patterns. You’ll begin to see your ‘mode of operation’ and then be able to experiment to reach your desired state. Keep in mind, little tweaks like changing your eating habits etc can take several days to show up in your energy.
Would you like to feel your best everyday? Then make a determination now that you’ll put in the effort to figure it out because life lived any other way just isn’t ‘alive’. If our daily habits aren’t creating the type of ‘aliveness’ in our body that we crave then we must become our own detectives and figure out how to get back. Even if all your day involves is simply taking a walk, that walk can be the most alive moment simply because every cell in your body is awake and consciously enjoying the experience.
Form a personal sunkulp that you desire an energized body that no longer holds you back but is the rocket ship for your dreams and desires in this life. Declare your intention, do your part and let the universe respond. Heck, one day, you may not even need caffeine to get your day ‘started’. No joke. When we learn to take care of our bodies, we establish a key foundation for success. Our bodies are then no longer a drag in our day but our perfect allies in living an amazing life. May the force be with you and I.
P.S. If you want to go deeper on any of these topics so you can achieve your best energy, I’m always happy to chat. Through years of trials and errors, I’ve learned a lot and would love to be your partner on this journey.