Drawing from many sources
Our energy level throughout the day is related to many factors.
How well we do in each of those areas is a pretty good predictor of whether our energy level will be steady throughout the day or whether it will unreliable and leave us feeling underpowered at times.
While we can expect a natural ebb and flow of our energy each day, it’s best to strive for a fairly regular flow because, generally speaking, as our energy goes, so we go. The correlation between the two is clear.
A couple of the more obvious factors in how energized we feel on a daily basis are sleep (can’t say enough about being well rested) and fuel, as in having a balanced diet with high quality ingredients (you’re right, those processed foods and sugar don’t make the cut).
I think it’s fair to say that if you are doing the right things in both the sleep and fuel departments you will likely experience a pretty steady flow of energy throughout the day.
Ah, but there’s more.
No less important but often overlooked are a few other factors that play into the larger energy equation. Among them are:
- Physical activity. Movement is just about any form (the more rigorous, the better) is much like a power plant in its ability to keep us operating on all cylinders. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that regular physical activity is a ‘keystone’ behavior which can serve as a catalyst for other healthy lifestyle changes as well.
- Having positive interactions with those who we encounter throughout the day (family, friends, colleagues and, yes, even strangers). It’s amazing how a positive exchange with someone can boost our energy and, conversely, how a negative encounter with another person can deplete it.
- Being productive. When we get things done, especially when we make progress on some of our bigger goals, it has the effect of priming our energy pump. Sure, checking things off our household to-do list can give us a sense of accomplishment. Even better is the feeling (i.e., energy) we get when we undertake something which is really ambitious or takes us out of our comfort zone. That’s when the juice really starts to flow.
- Finding meaning in what we do. Believing that what we do matters; for ourselves, our family and the world is wonderfully uplifting to our spirit. And it is this spiritual dimension which trumps everything in its ability to infuse us with the energy to carry on.
The real beauty of these last four ‘energy ingredients’ (physical activity, having positive interactions, being productive, and finding meaning) is that engaging in them has the effect of generating nice momentum and sustaining us for the long haul.
How well do you think you do in each of these areas? If you’re doing well on all fronts, I’ll bet you’ve got energy to spare.
On the other hand, if your energy level is up and down and anything but reliable, a little attention to one of the above may help shift you into a more favorable gear.
Next week we’ll talk about the importance of balancing all these ‘energy’ ingredients. In the meantime, here’s wishing you a week of bountiful personal energy.