How to Increase Energy
- Avoid grains, sweets, dairy, soy for 7-10 days
- Get 7,000 steps per day for a week or 30 min of moderate exercise for 6 out of those 7 days
- Get 8 hours sleep/day for a week
- Spend 7 min twice per day in deep, abdominal breathing and centering focus. Let any sounds or feelings that arise to be fully felt and expressed without constraint (have a safe place for this). Pay close attention to where tension is held in your body. Upper shoulders/neck? Stomach/abdomen? Lower back? Back of the head? Breathe through those tense areas and allow any feelings to discharge (fully and without constraints) until it feels lighter and better. Begin to watch closely for the negative views of life, of self, and of others that can be running in our brains and bodies. How do I feel when I’m in that place? What gets tense? Where did I learn these concepts and views? Who from past perhaps does it sound like? How can I be more compassionate with myself?
- Engage in at least 7 new (meaning beyond your normal habits) human “touch points” each day for a week. A hug, an unexpected kind word or compliment to someone, smiling and saying hello to a stranger, a kind act, etc.
Pillar I – Nutrition
To increase our Energy with food stuffs, we must first figure out what those things are for our individual bodies. The Elimination Diet [make a hyperlink] plan is the best way I’ve ever found to do that. There are testing modalities such as IgG food allergy testing profiles, ALCAT, etc. that you will see in many Integrative/Alternative type programs. There are sometimes benefits to be achieved with these, but there are also significant pitfalls. The two big problems are cost and accuracy. They aren’t cheap. Expect to pay several hundred dollars minimum for one of these tests. The other big issue is accuracy. They have both false positive and false negative results because we still aren’t sure from a research perspective whether the IgG antibody pathway in the body leads to allergy or food intolerance. There is actually some data to support the notion that the presence of an IgG antibody to a food can signal that it is beneficial (known as the blocking antibody concept). This means that when you see the results of the IgG test you can’t be sure what it means. You have to take the data generated and then test it for yourself using an elimination testing method. So why not just do that instead for free?
The goal you’re seeking with an Elimination Diet trial is noticing a significant sense of feeling better. This then lets you know that somewhere in that elimination you hit a key target of something (or somethings) that keeps your energy down. Upon retesting you can figure out what that is. Then we have a choice going forward of just deciding on any given day how we wish to feel. Sometimes we may choose to eat something we’ve learned won’t make us feel good because we just want it. That’s fine. There’s no moral judgment here. It’s simply a choice. Over time, since all of us really just want to feel better, we will come to more and more choose what keeps our energy up, not what sends it down.
Everyone is different, but here are commonalities that tend to be true. Fruits and Vegetables and Protein (forms that agree with our individual system) tend to give stable, good Energy. Notice what is true for you as you go through the program.
Pillar II – Exercise/Movement
This is kind of a no-brainer. Our bodies need to move to feel better. It clears out the cobwebs. It cleans the plumbing pipes. Toxins get cleared out and Energy gets restored. Find something you love to do and do it frequently (at least 5 days per week).
Pillar III – Sleep/Rest
Essential to our Energy level is how much rest and sleep we are getting. The need for sleep is highly dismissed in our culture. The landscape of medical research is changing rapidly with regard to sleep, however, and our culture needs to change with it. We really do need 7-8 hours of solid sleep per night. For all those who say, “Oh, I’m not one of those. I’m different. I can go 100mph on just 4 hours” think again. The data persistently shows it’s a delusion. When test subjects are put through a series of cognitive skills and learning trials the day following low sleep their scores drop significantly, and their perception of their capacity at that time is that they are still at 100%. Sleep dulls our analytic capacity, including about ourselves and our need for sleep!
Pillar IV – Stress
This Pillar is mostly about Decreasing Tension. Stress doesn’t help our Energy, but reducing it definitely frees it up. Stress in our bodies requires energy to handle it. It sucks us dry. When we release Tension, more of our core Energy becomes available to us.
Pillar V – Connectedness
We get enormous amounts of our Energy from being and feeling Connected. As we discussed in the Five Pillars Section [make link], there are multiple levels – connection to Self, to others, and to Something Higher. All of these increase our Energy. Scientific studies are showing us the tremendous benefits from being connected. They show us not only how certain techniques such as meditation and Tai Chi can improve our health, the cutting edge of physics continues to further elucidate a quantum universe in which we are all deeply connected. When we connect it’s like plugging a lamp into the wall. Immediately the power draws from the larger ‘grid’, the light comes on and it serves to illuminate our world. When we’re isolated and disconnected it’s like walking around with a lamp that’s not plugged in, going to all the dark corners of the room wondering why we can’t see anything, and it’s all so difficult. We don’t have to lug it around in the dark. We just have to plug it in and let it stand. Then we have a much clearer viewpoint on everything.
Ways to Connect for Energy:
- Spend 7 minutes twice a day connecting with yourself. Like a deep breathing meditation. (see Short Course)[make link]
- Set a goal for 7 new “touch points” per day. These are moments where you take a step in a new direction, against old patterns of isolation or behavior. Examples: giving a hug you wouldn’t normally give or speaking to someone you don’t know.
- Volunteer at a local hospital, soup kitchen, gift drive, place of worship, etc
- Remind yourself at multiple points of the day to return to the present moment and connect with what is.
- Connect in a listening mode to whatever and whomever is around you with an open heart.
- Hold yourself compassionately in whatever you do
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