Rely on plant essences to boost your energy when you start feeling a bit drowsy. The delicious smell, and sometimes visible mist, released when you bend the peel of a citrus fruit, for example, can perk you right up. The key to boosting your energy is not really something new or a huge mystery—it is merely common sense. Yes, your mother was right; there is no denying the benefit of a healthy diet, plenty of exercise and a good night’s sleep. And in addition to Mother’s good advice, less traditional practices for boosting your energy, such as aromatherapy, herbs, color therapy and hydrotherapy, easily can be incorporated into your lifestyle.
Natural Beauty Recipes to Boost Your Energy
When it comes to increasing your performance and energy level, nothing beats a well-balanced diet. Healthy whole foods will boost your energy like rocket fuel in your body. Natural stimulants such as sugar or caffeine increase your heart rate and speed up your nervous system, giving you an instant rush of energy, but they will also leave your body feeling sluggish later.
One mistake is to skip meals, especially breakfast. Eating regular meals will fuel your body, giving you the energy you need for the day. It will also reduce the risk of overeating, which can zap your performance.
The best energy drink is also one of the easiest to find: water. Water is crucial for keeping your body running smoothly and your mind sharp. Dehydration forces your heart to pump harder, which tires you out. Try to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, but if you are exercising or in a warmer climate, you may need more. When exercising, drink one glass of water an hour before your workout and another 15 minutes before starting, keeping your body well-hydrated.
Another method of boosting your energy level is with hydrotherapy. Cool showers and lukewarm baths are very energizing. Imagine swimming in a cool mountain lake and how invigorated this makes your body feel. You can make your own energizing bath mixture by adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your favorite bath salt or shower gel.
Exercise is an essential part of your complete energizing program. Exercise gets your blood pumping and raises your energy level. Physical activity helps release negative emotions so you can stay focused. Just 15 minutes of brisk walking can make all the difference in your overall vim and vigor and releases feel-good endorphins in your body.
Color therapy is a new area of interest that draws on the eastern philosophy that the human body is made up of energy, and that this energy vibrates like the wavelengths of color, creating an energy field around and within the body. Color is visible light energy. Research shows that colors with longer wavelengths such as bright red, orange and yellow are more arousing and energizing than darker shades. Add these bright, uplifting hues into your life in the form of clothing, flowers or bath towels. Even a new brightly colored water bottle will give your spirits a lift.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using scent to pick up your spirits, calm the body, refresh the mind and boost your energy. It works through the olfactory nerves in your nose, sending signals to your brain. These scent messages work through memory and emotion. Essential oils are the key ingredients in aromatherapy. These oils are added to carrier oils and inhaled, massaged onto the skin, or added to bathwater. Aromatherapy products are easy to find and easy to make at home. Uplifting and energizing scents are bergamot, eucalyptus, geranium, rosemary, peppermint and lemon.
Another simple yet effective method of boosting your energy level is to just breathe. Most of us only breathe with the upper part of our lungs. When you breathe this way, you don’t get enough oxygen into your system and you don’t rid yourself adequately of carbon dioxide. Learn to breathe deeply, filling your entire chest with air and maintaining awareness of your breathing. When you are feeling your energy decline, stop and take a few deep breaths. With each breath, you will feel your body become refocused and re-energized.
Instant Energy Tips
Besides eating right and drinking lots of water, several simple lifestyle changes can boost your energy and help you get more out of life naturally. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Go outside. Sunshine and fresh air can be uplifting. Go for a walk or smell the flowers in your garden.
Change your routine. Your brain responds to new experiences by releasing a rush of neurotransmitters, which can make you more alert. Drive a new way to work or brush your teeth with your left hand if you are right-handed.
Try jasmine. Try a new fragrance such as jasmine. This fresh scent increases brain waves, which make you more alert and awake. Tuck a small bottle of jasmine-scented oil into your bag to use throughout the day.
Check out hand massage. Take a small ball or stone and roll it between your hands. The stimulation will perk you up.
Take a power shower. At the end of your morning shower, turn the water to cold and then back to warm several times. The temperature shifts will wake up your body.
Janice Cox is the co-author of EcoBeauty (Ten Speed Press, 2009).