Image by Meredith_Farmer
Do you have days where you feel too tired to move, or when your mind feels so overwhelmed and exhausted that you can't concentrate on the simplest task? If you do, you're not alone, a recent survey revealed that more than half the population of America frequently feels that way.
One major cause of fatigue is stress. With a busy lifestyle full of multi-tasking, never ending to-do lists and noise pollution, many of us are experiencing chronic stress that's eating at our energy levels - here's how:
When you are stressed you burn energy faster. This double negative of losing energy due to the tension and anxiety caused by stress, and poor recharging due to hindered digestion and breathing leads to physical and mental fatigue. Before you know it you're dragging yourself around using coffee or quick snacks to try and wake yourself up and haul yourself through the day.
When you're stressed, your adrenal system pumps adrenaline and cortisol into your blood. These chemicals prime you for action, and they put your metabolism and digestion on hold. Nobody can properly digest and benefit from what they eat if they are stressed. Stress robs you of the full nutritional value you should be from your primary source of energy - your food.
When you are stressed you don't breathe well - and it's likely that you don't even notice it as your attention is far from your breath and you puff your way through the day rushing from one thing to the next
Here are a four simple ways to stop stress making you tired:
1. Breathing Breaks
Practice a simple breathing meditation that will help you quickly relax and refresh your mind. By stopping for quick stress buster breaks during your day you can trigger your relaxation response and boost your energy levels by bringing fresh oxygen into your blood for the benefit of your brain and entire body.
If you feel too busy to try this, don't worry - research shows that people who take breathing breaks actually get more done than those who keep on rushing, they work smarter too.
2. Stretch Out Tension
Use something like the phone ringing to prompt you to take care of yourself. Every time the phone rings take a deep breath and stretch as you reach to answer it. It takes a second - just one ring longer - and at the end of the day you will feel the difference. For a thorough release of tension, try running through a progressive muscle relaxation at the end of the day.
3. Fuel Stops
I know you've heard it all before, but eating on the go is useless. It's like trying to put petrol in your car without taking the trouble to stop first. You are wasting energy instead of gaining energy. Choose fresh, energy filled foods and sit down to eat. Take a deep cleansing breath to ease stress and fire up your digestion before you start eating and chew every mouthful thoroughly.
4. Prepare for Sound Sleep At the end of your day spend a few minutes winding down into a relaxed and receptive state for sleep. Take a warm bath, or shower, or massage your feet with oil to allow busy thoughts to melt away from your mind. For help with drifting off to sleep try a guided meditation, relaxing music, or nature sounds.
The better you sleep the better your body can perform it's night time self-healing routine and set you up for a new day.