What is robbing your energy?
Everyone seems to be tired, stressed out, fatigued, lethargic, or burned out today. We work too much, become caregivers for parents or children, and spend way too much time worrying about others instead of ourselves.It’s time to focus on YOU and making yourself feel better. Let’s start by looking at what is stealing your energy and vitality from your system!
There are four kinds of stress that will deplete your energy store – chemical, emotional, mental, and physical. Here are some examples of each type of stress and what you can do about it.
Chemical stress can come from your food, air, water, and environment. You ingest hundreds of chemicals daily simply from the food you eat. The more processed foods you eat, the more chemicals you ingest. By processed foods I mean foods that have been changed or transformed from their original state in nature, packaged, and sold to you through a grocery store, restaurant, or shop.
You are eating food coloring, artificial and “natural” flavoring, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives in every bite of your pre-prepared foods. You eat pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers in your conventional and GMO foods. You drink in the water pollutants in every soda or glass of unfiltered water. You are surrounded by air pollution in your workplace, airport, and even outdoors depending on where you live.
Read your food labels when you buy food products. If the ingredients list is long, has confusing words or unpronounceable words, or has recognizable chemicals in it, don’t buy it. Make it yourself. Cooking isn’t that hard and doesn’t take that much time. If you can’t cook it, get it from a place where you know who made it and what went in it. For today, just make a better choice. Try to drink filtered or purified water when you can, and get outside in a clean natural environment whenever you can.
Emotional stress can come from toxic relationships, caring for children, or lack of boundaries. There have been many studies done that show that the better your relationships are, the healthier you are and vice versa. If you are stuck in an unhealthy relationship, either figure out how to improve it or leave it behind. You can do this by setting healthy boundaries for yourself even if it is your own children you are dealing with. Learn to say no, and teach people how to treat you by letting them know what is not acceptable, enforcing your boundaries and following through.
Mental stress can come from your work environment, school or education pressures, and especially self-inflicted standards and expectations. If you take your work home with you, work at all hours, check your emails or are on call while you are “off,” or can’t stop studying, then you probably need to look at your standards and expectations. Set a time when you are truly off work. For example, after 7:00 p.m. stop checking your email, stop studying, and stop beating yourself up in general for not being perfect. If you don’t start taking care of yourself, no one else is going to do it for you.
Finally, physical stress can result from your immediate environment – loud or constant noise and lack of sleep are some great examples. Try to get some quiet time daily and make sure your sleep schedule is regular and enough. Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep a night. If you sleep less on a regular basis, you might need to make some changes in your schedule. Too much partying or alcohol can also put your body in a state of physical stress.
The biggest and most common source of physical stress on your body is a lack of nutrients. There are no nutrients in packaged cereals (except what they fortify it with after removing the natural nutrients!), fast food, processed foods, sugar, alcohol, white flours and rice, and much more of what we eat on a regular basis. Try to start eating whole foods – foods with one ingredient. Cook more of your own food with whole ingredients. You will at least know for sure what is in your food!
Take a look at what kinds of chemical, mental, emotional, and physical stress you are putting your body through and start making changes here and there to improve your life. You will end up with more energy!
(Beth Anderson is a certified Holistic Health Coach and founder of the Holistic Health Hotspot in Evansville, Indiana. She is also the author of The Holistic Diet: Achieve Your Ideal Weight, Be Happy and Healthy for Life.Beth received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Beth is helping people improve their lives through nutrition and lifestyle education, health coaching, and by helping others to learn to make informed choices. Beth continues to spread understanding of the connection between body, mind, and spirit and encourages all to discern the truth about food, consumer products, environment, and life choices.)