If you want to learn how to have more energy, it all starts with just a few simple habits. You may be accustomed to seeking outside yourself for a solution when there is a wealth of natural vitality within you just waiting to be tapped into. It’s possible to live a life full of optimism and vigor by consciously adapting your choices and practices that invite more energy rather than decrease it. So, ditch that cup of coffee, stop hitting your snooze button and keep reading for healthy ways to boost your energy.
1. Get Good Sleep
While there are countless sleep aids available on the market, it’s important to try and restore the body’s natural sleep-wake cycles. Stay conscious of how many hours of sleep you get each night. In doing this, you activate the body’s own healing intelligence, which leads to a good night’s sleep. Ayurveda offers helpful tools to achieve more restful sleep. It’s important to make this a priority in your life for good health and vitality.
2. Establish an Inspiring Morning Routine
You have your morning ablutions, which you move through pretty mindlessly—waking up, drinking coffee, taking a shower, brushing teeth, and then the day begins. This is not inspiring. Start to think of morning rituals you can do to add some energy in your life. Here are a few ideas to help you get out of bed each morning:
- Prepare the night before—a morning routine runs smoothly if you have it planned out ahead of time.
- Splash cold water on your face as soon as you wake up.
- Journal—It’s a great way to release worry and tension, which are energy zappers.
- Stretch and move—perform a few rounds of sun salutations.
3. Perform Self-Massage
There are many reasons why self-massage is so valued, one of them being that it is an effective way to clear energy channels in the body by moving and dislodging toxins and balancing the energy centers or chakras. When your body is able to rid itself of waste or anything that is preventing it from functioning optimally, you have more energy. Anything you can do to help “lighten up the load” will always be beneficial in some way, even if it’s subtle. Here are more benefits of self-massage that help improve energy levels:
- Provides better circulation
- Reduces levels of stress hormones
- Increases immunity and stamina
- Promotes restful sleep
4. Breathe Deep
When directed consciously, the breath can be used as a great tool for stoking energy and vitality when you feel tired. The effects are felt immediately. Your body craves it, especially during times of low energy and is also why you may find yourself sighing. Pranayama is the Sanskrit term for control and governance of life force (prana) through the breath and is used in Ayurveda as an important tool for everyday health. To help give you a taste of the power of your breath, try this simple breathing exercise.
Quick Breathing ExerciseTake a moment to close your eyes and place one hand on your belly. Breathing in through your nose, take a slow deep breath in and feel the belly rise. At the top of your breath, exhale through the nose and feel the belly slightly contract as you squeeze all the air out. Continue inhaling and exhaling in this manner for three to five rounds. When complete, remain with your eyes closed and notice how you feel.
An effective pranayama exercise to gain an energy boost is called the bhastrika breath. You can incorporate this as part of your morning routine or use it when you feel depleted during the day. Yoga instructors can usually offer some instruction or you can find videos on the internet that demonstrate how to perform it. The techniques might vary a bit, but the effect is the same.
5. Have Some Fun
- Regularly connect with good friends.
- Go on a nature walk.
- Try laughter meditation.
- Listen to music that gets you moving.
- Use some energizing essential oil.
- Try feet up the wall pose.
In addition to the five ideas above, don’t forget to pay attention to your eating habits. The different foods you put in your body can also affect your energy levels. Try to eat healthy, leafy greens that are full of nutrients to give you a boost. Additionally, be conscious of what you drink, and know that energy drinks and your daily cup of coffee aren’t your only options. Try to drink green tea to achieve a more natural energy boost, or just stick to water instead!
These are just a few of the ways to help increase your energy throughout the day. You’ve heard of the importance of exercise and a healthy diet, and it’s more a matter of doing it and sticking to it. It’s also important to take care of your emotional well-being; when you are happy there is infinite energy, but when you are sad or depressed there is little energy to pull from. Any of the recommendations mentioned here will help support and nurture all aspects of your life, not just increase your energy. You might be surprised by what you discover.
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.
Learn how to make the best choices each day for health and happiness with our introductory online course, Discovering Ayurveda. Learn More.