How to Increase Energy and Avoid Stress
We live in highly strung times, be it family issues, social problems, work, money, health, and a variety of other problems which can cause us to feel like our lives are spiraling out of control. Of course, when you feel this way it is entirely normal for stress to creep into your life, however at the same time it’s important to note that stress can be extremely harmful to health.
What is Stress?
Stress is a human response to a situation which causes threat or harm; you might have heard of the term ‘fight or flight’, and this dates far back to even caveman days, when a perceived threat, e.g. an animal or predator, causes a human to either run away (flight), or fight. This is still very evident today, although in a different reactive way; a human is more likely to become stressed, angry, anxious, and worried.
Whilst we belittle the word and say we are stressed at seemingly everything, the truth of the matter is that stress can be extremely harmful, and can even cause heart problems, depression, spikes in blood pressure and cholesterol, and affect sleep, which then has a whole host of other issues to go alongside it. From this, you can see why it is important to avoid stress at all costs.
Stress and anger go hand in hand, because anger is a response to a situation, an emotion, however anger can be extremely unhealthy too. It is for this reason that kicking it all out of life is the single track road to better health, and more energy as a result.
How can a relatively stress-free life give you more energy?
If you’ve ever felt stressed you will know that it is extremely draining, and it can make you feel nauseous, panicked, cause you to lose sleep, make you feel extremely fatigued, and can also affect your relationships at home and at work. All of this adds up to a downward spiral in terms of how energetic you feel, and the best way to feel instantly energized and lighter on your feet is to cut out the stress and worry.
Of course, this is much easier said than done, but there are many strategies that can help you avoid the road towards stress, anxiety, depression and anger.
How to reduce stress and anger in your life
It is important to point out that extreme stress and anxiety should be discussed with a doctor, and if you feel that you are extremely low, into depression, then again, this is a medical issue. If however you feel mildly stressed and you feel you can manage the situation, these are some effective ways to reduce the feeling, and in turn, to increase your energy levels and overall well-being.
Walking for Enjoyment and an Energy Increase
At some point in the day everyone feels a bit of an energy slump, and that could happen at around 3pm in the afternoon, 11am in the morning, or it could be just after waking up, when the eyes simply don’t want to engage with the rest of the body. Of course, this is normal, and energy slumps are simply part and parcel of everyday life; having said that, there are many ways to boost your energy, and give you a shove towards productivity and a more alert state of body and mind overall.
We all know that exercise is fantastic for our body, because it gets blood pumping around the body, increasing oxygen to the brain, and that all in turn wakes us up and makes us feel more alert, whilst also giving us a mood boost too. Now, you don’t have to hit the gym and run ten miles on the treadmill, or pound the cross trainer for half an hour, to gain the same benefits. Many people find that heading out for a short walk, be it 10 or 20 minutes, can have the same beneficial effects in the short term.
Feeling lacking in energy? Head outside for a stroll!
If you want to double or even triple the benefits of your short energy boosting stroll, head outside during a sunny day and let your skin absorb that all-important vitamin D. This is a fantastic way to boost your levels in the most natural way, whilst also giving your body that energy boost you may need when you feel a slump. You don’t need to walk for miles, and you don’t have to walk particularly fast either, but an outdoor walk around the block is enough to get your blood pumping, oxygen levels increased, your mood on the up, and your energy levels soaring.
Of course, exercise in any guise is also fantastic for boosting self-esteem and confidence, and when used as part of a good quality diet, it can help weight loss too – these are all major positives for that quick walk around the blood during your lunch break at work, or in the evening when the sun is setting.
Add a friend into the fore and have a gossip as you walk; this is another way to boost mood as well as energy, as walking with someone else will probably mean you walk further whilst you’re talking, as time will pass much faster. If you go alone, you can spend time focusing your mind, enjoying nature, and basically ground yourself after a long and busy day at work perhaps.
The advantages of a short walk
Let’s sum it all up. Basically, a 20 minute walk has a lot of other benefits aside from boosting energy:
Sugar Means Negative Energy
The pace of modern life often leaves people leaving exhausted and feeling unable to keep up. In order to stay on the track and maintain the energy needed to go through the day, most people turn to quick fixes to boost their energy, like sugar. But, does sugar really help boost your energy?
Quick Fix Means Quick Crash
There’s no denying that sugar can give you an energy boost, but the problem is, it won’t be effective as you may think it is. If you’re looking for a quicker route to staying alerted and improve your energy level, sugar isn’t going to help you. According to an article published by Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, sugary drinks and sweets will actually worsen your energy levels, and make you feel more lethargic and heavy-eyed than you already were.
Consuming sugar will have a short-term effect on your energy level. It will give you a short burst of energy and make you feel perkier, but, the effects of the “sugar high” will quickly wear off, leaving you in a worse state than you were in to begin with.
After the effects of glucose in your body wear off, you’ll feel weary and less focused, which will leave you turning to another sugar fix to feel that high again, and that’s when the cycle begins.
The Endless Cycle
Not only that consuming sugar isn’t good for your overall health, it can have a devastating effect on your level of energy. Once you start using sugar as a way to feel more energetic, you’ll always need to have more sugar to maintain the level of alertness and energy you want. This way, you create a perpetual cycle of using quick-fixes to maintain your energy, which is bound to have a negative impact on your health, all without actually addressing the problem and finding a real solution.
After the initial burst of energy, you’ll experience a so-called crash or state of lethargy and sleepiness. This leads to consuming more and more sugar until you won’t be able to feel energetic unless on a “sugar high”.
Not only that sugar has a detrimental effect on your overall health, it’s also highly addictive and it can wreak havoc on your energy level. Instead of boosting your energy and making you feel more spirited, it will leave you feeling lifeless and fatigued.
Making a Change
You can improve your energy levels without having to use shortcuts that are bad for your health. If your body craves sugar when you’re not feeling energized, the biggest part of that urge is of psychological nature. By resorting to quick fixes to boost your energy, you’ve trained your brain to connect sugar to feeling energized, which leaves you jonesing for sweets whenever you feel tired.
The first thing you’ll need to do in order to break the habit of using sugar as a quick energy fix is to become conscious of this ineffective and unhealthy pattern. Just by being aware of the harm sugar does to your energy level and overall health, you’re already halfway there. To ensure you’ll be breaking this negative cycle of using sugar as a quick-fix for good, introduce wholesome high-energy foods and healthy habits.
Boost Energy the Healthy Way
When you’re feeling tired, instead of reaching for the energy bar or a sugary snack, go for a walk or do a light cardio workout. Being physically active will increase your blood flow and oxygen levels, as well as stimulate neurotransmitters in your brain, which will make you feel more energized in an instant.
If you’re looking for a healthy food alternative to sugar that packs an energy punch, ditch the low-fat regime. Foods with high levels of healthy fats and proteins are not only good for your health, they will keep you energized too. Grass-fed beef, avocado, olive oil, cheese and yoghurt- these are all high-energy foods that are actually good for you. In case you’re looking or an energy-boosting snack, seeds, nuts and antioxidant- rich foods like blueberries are great at keeping you alert and animated.
With your new, healthier regime, energy slumps will become a distant memory. The key for feeling energetic and enthusiastic is weeding out the unhealthy habits such as quick sugar fixes and forming new ones that benefit you both immediately and in the long term.