7 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Energy Now
Energy is one of our most valuable commodities.
These days, it seems that everyone and everything is trying to extract as much of our energy as possible. Our day is filled with checking things off our list and a lot of staring into screens looking for answers. We become more disconnected from ourselves in search of fulfillment in Netflix, social media, and staying busy busy busy.
The good news is that we actually have a boundless amount of energy, and it’s never very far away.
The key is to remember you are always wearing your ruby slippers and home is just a few clicks of the heels away.
When you are feeling stuck in your grumpy pants try one or more of these 7 powerful ways to boost your energy.
(In no particular order).
1. Take meaningful action
Meaningful action and staying busy are not the same things.
Over the years, I have learned that if I have been “doing all the right things” and still feel tired or irritable, it is without fail because I am procrastinating on something important to me. It almost always has something to do with connection or creation. Either I need to make a phone call, apologize or forgive someone and face a person. Or I need to write, create content or take a class and face myself.
Being or staying busy is a distraction that keeps us stuck. It’s not “good to be busy” as our society would have us think. If you are feeling like you can’t get off the hamster wheel, depleted, or constantly wearing your grumpy pants, ask yourself this. “Is there an action I am not taking that’s making me avoid connecting with a person or with myself?” And then do that thing.
2. Connect with a friend
This one is my favorite because it’s so easy and fun. I didn’t always know that this specifically energized me until one day it hit me. I was leaving a lunch date with one of my favorite girlfriends, and I realized that I felt so happy and uplifted that I had to text her as soon as I got in my car to tell her how much I loved seeing her.
I realized that spending time with certain people actually gives me energy.
I decided that no matter how busy I felt, I would make it a priority to spend time with these special people. If you have kids, a business, or a demanding job, it can sometimes feel impossible to make time for others regularly. However, I can say from experience that when I consistently carve out time to be with my favorite peeps, every other aspect of my life feels brighter. If you are feeling a bit off, make a date with your BFF.
3. Kapalabhati Breath
Most of us spend our days being tossed around by our emotions and quite often in a state of reaction. We begin to breathe in response to external stress or interactions with people. Our breath then becomes shallow, and this starts to weaken our nervous system.
Kapalabhati breath is one of my favorite pranayama practices because it helps to strengthen our life force.
Prana means life, energy, or strength. Ayama means, expansion, stretching, or restraint. It means controlling your breath either by inhalation (or filling up), exhalation (emptying the lungs), or retention (suspending the breath) to achieve certain effects.
Kapalabhati or Skull Shining Breath is a powerful breath meant to revitalize, clarify, and strengthen your energy.
Here is a 10 minute tutorial for those who are unfamiliar with this practice or would like a review.
Do this practice on an empty stomach. Any time of the day is fine, but make sure it is before a meal or at least 2 hours after you’ve eaten. First thing in the morning before breakfast is ideal. It can also be a great way to release stress at the end of the day before dinnertime.
4. Be of Service
Twenty-one years ago, I learned an invaluable tool in Alcoholics Anonymous. One of the keys to staying sober in AA is to help someone that has “less time” than you. This tool was the greatest gift I received from that program. Imagine feeling scared, hopeless, wallowing in self-pity, and someone tells you to “go talk to that person; they are newer than you.” This act instantly shifts your focus away from yourself and your fears. The feeling I’ve experienced by doing this is hard to put into words. It’s beyond.
You may not be struggling with addiction, but we all battle with something, whether it’s getting to a yoga class, eating healthy, or learning to read. The list is endless. Whatever it is, there is someone who needs your help. When you are feeling low and obsessing over your problems, ask yourself if there is someone you could help right now. Then call them.
5. Put your legs up a wall (Viparita Karani)
One of my all-time favorite yoga poses, Viparita Karani is often referred to as Legs-up-the-Wall Pose. Viparita means “inverted,” and karani means “in action.” So this essentially means inverting typical actions that happen in our body when we sit or stand. What is so incredible about this posture is it gives you so much energy with little to no effort.
More than simply elevating your feet a few inches above your heart, the act of having your feet directly over your head has a powerful effect. Lymph and other fluids flow down into your pelvic region and lower belly. This, in turn, refreshes your legs and reproductive organs. It also stabilizes your pelvis, and this will alleviate stress and tension in the low back, which will automatically give you more energy.
To get into this posture:
- Sit on the floor with either side of your body next to the wall
- Lie on your back and bring your feet up
- Rest your arms however they feel the most comfortable
- You can do this posture with absolutely no props.
Deluxe prop version:
- A bolster or a folded blanket under your seat
- An eye pillow to cover your eyes or rest on your forehead
- A sandbag on top of your feet (you may need a little help with this)
How long should I stay in it? I would do a bare minimum of three minutes. I really like six minutes in this posture, but you can do ten and even up to twenty minutes!
- Relieves stress
- Boosts energy
- Alleviates headaches
- Soothes low back pain
Meditation works because what is causing your fatigue is stress. And consistent meditation essentially eradicates stress from the body.
If you think you can’t meditate because you can’t stop thinking, I’ve got great news for you. Your thoughts are not the enemy of your mediation, they are a part of it.
Your thoughts are nature, and you can’t stop nature, but you can gently shift your focus away from your thoughts by focusing on something else. It can be many things; your breath, a mantra, sensations in the body, meditative music, or an object.
Meditation is never about stopping your thoughts. You can’t do it. You can, however, redirect your attention to a place where there are no more thoughts. That place is a field of consciousness with all of your potential. So how do you get there? Let’s practice right now.
One: Decide what your focus will be. Choose either your breath, a mantra (you can use the number one or OM if you do not have a mantra), sensations in the body, meditative music, or an object, like a flame or a flower (something in nature that is fixed).
Two: Sit up tall with a straight spine keeping your head and neck free. You can do this in a chair or on the floor. Close your eyes or keep them halfway shut.
Three: Notice the quality of your breath and sensations in the body, the sounds around you. Be neutral to sound.
Four: Turn your attention to the focus of your choice.
- Breath – Follow it as it moves in and out of your body.
- Mantra – Repeat it silently to yourself.
- Sensations – Keep bringing your attention to sensations as they move through your body.
- Meditative Music – listen.
- An object – Keep your eyes gently focused on it and try not to blink.
Five: Allow your thoughts to come in and then gently and effortlessly bring your attention back to your focus. Allow your thoughts to drift in and then effortlessly return your attention to your focus. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Keep your eyes & your face soft and keep going for 3-5 minutes or however long you choose.
If you do this for even 3 minutes a day, at the very least, you’ll experience better focus, which will naturally give you more energy. I recommend a minimum of 5 minutes. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon/evening before dinnertime. Work up to 15 or 20 minutes twice per day. Remember, you don’t have to stop your thoughts. You close your eyes with the intention to meditate and find an effortless focus. Then watch how your life unfolds.
7. Get into nature
We all know this one, but sometimes we just need to be reminded! These devices that have become a part of our everyday life are pretty powerful, but guess what? They don’t care how you feel, but nature does, and you can tell instantly when you get into it.
Put down your phone, step away from the computer, get off the couch out of your Netflix-induced coma and take a walk.
Go for a hike, practice yoga outside, take a drive, swim in the ocean, or sit in your garden. If the weather is not cooperating, buy yourself some flowers, play with your animals, have sex with your partner, or bake some bread.
Whatever makes your heart sing. Do that thing.