We all are highly participating players at one time or another in our lives. You may be playing right now.
I know I get sucked into them every so often and, when it becomes apparent that I have, I am usually left feeling unmotivated, uninspired, exhausted, and like I have been hit by a truck.
The energy drain is real and it can seem like every day is a game of “will I” or “won’t I” be exhausted by the end of the day. There are obvious energy drains like eating unhealthy foods, finding your stress unmanageable, not getting enough sleep, and not exercising enough. But, there are many drains that you don’t even realize exist — and, that you are participating freely in!
What are some of the silent drainers that can hit any of us if we are not paying attention to them?
Stumble #1: Nature blindness
Solution: Engage your senses
Maybe you do get outdoors, but if you have a cellphone attached to your ear or you’re using it to track your mileage, you may need to reconsider how you engage in engaging your senses. New research shows measurable physical benefits from fully engaging your senses in the great outdoors: Forest dirt microbes are linked to healthy immune systems, inhaled cypress tree compounds reduce stress hormones and blood pressure and birdsong supports brain neuron health.
To really achieve full wellness, get your hands and feet dirty — play in the dirt or dig in a garden. Go for a hike and listen to the birds. Get out onto a lake and kayak through the calming waters. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the sunshine.
Feeling the sunshine against my skin, smelling the fresh breezes, and running my hands over grass or leaves or flowers brings a sense of peace and vitality. It’s an instant mood booster!
Stumble #2: Exercise overload
Solution: Listen to your body
Too much exercise can actually be too much of a good thing. It can drain your energy and create an imbalance in your hormones.
When we push ourselves too hard and increase our cortisol levels, that creates a state of inner stress. If that inner stress is coupled with other forms of stress that infiltrate our daily lives, then that extra stress from too much exercise can place a deplete on other hormones — causing weight gain, fatigue, and other health issues.
Excessive stress can also fatigue your adrenal glands, setting you up for some chronic fatigue issues.
Listen to your body. If your body is feeling overly fatigued, then take a yoga class, participate in some deep stretching, or even take a rest day. Your body knows what it needs.
Stumble #3: Negative friends and family
Solution: Seek what restores you
Who you surround yourself really does make a difference to your energy levels.
A 2014 study published in the journal Neurology links high levels of negativity to an increased risk of dementia. So, the people you spend time with at home, at work and in social circles contribute to your emotional and physical health.
It is so easy to get pulled into negativity. It may feel satisfying to a certain respect because it creates a sense of community or like you are building friendships. And we all do it from time to time. But over time, it can lead to patterns of negative thinking and negative mindset. Negative mindsets create a feeling of drain and dissatisfaction — and, it can increase the inflammation in the body, zapping your energy quicker than you realize.
One of the best ways to know if you are stuck in a negative cycle is to go on vacation and see the difference in your body and attitude. Are you suddenly getting good sleep? Do you feel less tension in your body? If so, it’s important to find ways to relax and replenish positive energy!
Because you cannot pick your family, balance a negative day with something positive by listening to your favorite music, going for a walk, engaging in your favorite hobby, or chasing your cat around your house!
Stumble #4: Water shortage
Solution: Choose high-water-weight foods
It’s a well-known mantra: Drink eight glasses of water every day to stay healthy and hydrated. But who really hits that goal?
When you feel thirsty, that is a sign that you are dehydrated. Catching it ahead of time can be a critical step for managing your energy levels. Since the human body is composed of about 60-65% water, we need to stay hydrated so that all our organs function properly and our body runs like a smooth machine.
Because when it starts to wear down and get overworked, that can steal more energy from our reserves, create an imbalance in our hormones, and make us feel sluggish and fatigued.
Drinking water is a great choice for hydration, but you can also get water from juice, fruits and vegetables.
You can determine whether you need to adjust fluid intake by how you feel, where and how you live and other concrete health indicators. For instance, if you are tired or constipated, drink more fluids or eat foods high in water content, such as watermelon, spinach, tomatoes and broth. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, as well as athletes and people living in warmer climates and at high altitudes, all need to consume more fluids than the general population.
You can tell you aren’t getting enough water if your urine appears dark, you feel dizzy or lightheaded or you aren’t thinking clearly. When you feel hungry, drink a glass of water first because you may just be thirsty. Keep a refillable water bottle with you all day. And of course, drink before and after a workout.
The things you do every day to manage your energy levels matter on a greater scale — they matter to your body, mind, emotions and even longevity. These common stumbles that drag you into the drain game offer no health benefit or worse: negative health consequences. If one or more is part of your daily life, try the above solutions to get you on your way of clearing your path to wellness!
With permission, this article contains some content from Delicious Living.
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