Wednesday, November 15, 2006

energy boost

Feel like you're dragging a little bit? There are some proven ways to help you improve your mood and give you an energy boost.

First, think positive thoughts. When you think negative thoughts about yourself, others, the future, the world, your financial situation or anything else, it bogs you down. When you find your thoughts going in this direction, stop! Notice what you're doing. And then deliberately replace the negative chatter in your mind with positive thoughts and concepts. It takes practice. But the more you do it, the better and lighter you feel.

Second, cut back on or eliminate your intake of caffeine. That buzz it gives you leaves you with less energy than before you imbibed it once it wears off. Replace caffeinated beverages with decaffeinated or non-caffeinated drinks. Drink water instead of sodas and herbal tea instead of coffee and caffeinated tea. Mint is a mild stimulant that is actually good for you.

Third, get enough sleep. If you have trouble getting to sleep, adopt a special bedtime routine, much like parents do with their young children. Make it relaxing and not stimulating, and start your bedtime routine at the same time every night. Get up at the same time every morning too, even on weekends. The body responds well to routine.
Short afternoon naps can give you an energy boost as well. Even 20 minutes can make a difference in the quality of your days.

Fourth, take stretch breaks during the day. Stretching refreshes you, and the yawns that tend to go along with stretching help oxygenate your blood. Take deep breaths while you're extending those arms and legs as far as you can. You can easily stretch at your office desk once every half hour or so. Try this, and you'll be less drained at the end of a work day.

Fifth, exercise. Even a brisk walk at lunch or later in the afternoon will give you an energy boost, on that is likely to continue for quite some time after the physical activity is over. You don't have to turn into a jock to reap the benefits of exercise. Short sessions of mild exercise done a few times each day have great benefits.

And most important, you've got to ditch junk food and fast food and eat a diet that is primarily fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and, if you eat meat, consume cuts with low fat from animals that are raised with proper attention to healthy diets and conditions.

If you do these things and find your feet are still dragging, consult your doctor. You might have a medical condition that needs professional attention.


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