Do you ever see people who seem to have unlimited energy and passion and wonder what you’re doing wrong? What most of us don’t realize is that this ‘vital,’ energetic state of being is actually simple to develop through lifestyle changes. Apply the following three principles to your life – practice them every day – and you will see your health, energy and overall vitality skyrocket.
We know that stress is bad for us, but in a culture that is chronically stressed, thinking about how dangerous stress is just makes us tenser! The good news is that stress has an even more powerful nemesis: conscious relaxation. Too often when we are stressed we turn to activities that we think are relaxing, but are actually harmful to us: ‘relaxing’ in front of the tv, ‘relaxing’ by drinking or ‘relaxing’ with a bowl of ice cream. Although these things may temporarily lessen anxiety, they only increase stress levels and harm your health in the long run.
Real, conscious, relaxation releases tension rather than feeding it with other unhealthy behaviors. Conscious relaxation techniques require you to be aware of your mind/body processes as your feelings of stress emerge, evolve and release. These techniques include meditation and mindfulness practices, yoga and deep breathing exercises. Once you know what your stress response feels like physically and mentally, you will be able to to practice a relaxation technique the moment you start to feel these symptoms, stopping stress from spiraling out of control and damaging your health and vitality.
When life gets busy and stressful, sleep is often the first thing we cut. We tend to view sleep only as something that takes up our time and reduces our productivity, instead of seeing it for what it really is: a vital process that massively affects our energy, attitude and overall health. Chronic lack of sleep is associated with weight gain, reduced life expectancy and greater risk of developing diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers. In terms of day-to-day functioning, lack of sleep affects your mood, energy levels, appetite and memory. Getting enough sleep, on the other hand, boosts the immune system, fights inflammation, reduces stress hormones and detoxifies the brain.
If you’re making time for sleep but still having trouble falling or staying asleep, try meditating or deep breathing right before you go to sleep. Cutting down on caffeine in the afternoon and disconnecting from technology an hour before bed can also help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Feeling tired and sluggish is often our body’s way of asking for more exercise, as our bodies were made to work and move. When you exercise, you’re not only developing your physical body, your mind and emotions are also affected. Exercise gives you more energy throughout the day, reduces stress levels, relieves depression and affects how you see the world overall. Find a style of movement you love, whether it’s dancing, swimming, hiking or anything else, and try to do it regularly – at least three times a week, for more energy and vitality.
-The Alternative Daily