Originally posted by Graham Young on May 29, 2015 on liveinthegrey.com.
It happens to all of us. We hit that wall at some point in the day and our energy levels suddenly drop. It’s not a surprise that we’re likely experiencing brain fatigue. We live in a time of information overload and the onslaught of distractions can often cause our brain to become over activated. Unfortunately coffee, fresh air and typical remedies usually don’t get us over this hump.
Here are 5 unique ways to avoid burnout and reset yourself if you experience it:
1) Start your day off right:
I encourage you to try this technique for a few days and see if it makes an immediate difference in your life. It should automatically make you feel rejuvenated and can sustain your energy throughout the day by helping break down the food you eat more efficiently. Drinking a warm cup of lemon water first thing in the morning provides energy, balances your pH levels, boosts your immune system and aids in digestion. You can check some of the amazing benefits of warm lemon water here.
2) The right food for your particular body:
Just because you are not allergic to some foods, doesn’t mean you are not sensitive to them. Sensitive foods won’t agree with your body, so not only do they require more energy to digest but they also can cause adverse effects such as inflammation, congestion, brain fog etc. The problem is when you consume sensitive foods over your entire life, you often get used to them and don’t notice how they are actually depleting your energy levels.
I experienced this first hand when I got an allergy blood test done. It came back that I was highly sensitive to peanuts, onions and dairy; yet I was having some form of these in every single meal I ate. Once I eliminated them from my diet, my energy levels not only sky rocketed, they remained constant. See an allergist or naturopath and get tested to see which foods could be holding you back.
3) The science behind laughter:
The fact is your brain is bad at learning and functioning when it’s stressed. During stressful times your brain produces hormones such as cortisol which can impair cognitive function, increase blood pressure and suppress your immune system.
A quick fix solution? Find a media outlet, website or YouTube channel that you can rely on for funny content. Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones and also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being; a good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed afterwards.
We often neglect breathing exercises because it’s weird to focus on something we do so naturally. However, there is a reason that yoga and meditation focus so much on it. Just how walking is something you do daily, but you run to exercise; breathing routines can have an immense impact on your entire physiology. Our body uses oxygen to create energy, and most of the time we are actually breathing a lot more shallow then we think. This in turn causes us to take in less oxygen. So to wake yourself up try this breathing technique suggested by Dr. Andrew Weil, called The Stimulating Breath.
Essentially you will keep your mouth closed, then breathe in and out of your nose rapidly for 15 seconds. You should feel invigorated afterwards with more energy and a sense of alertness.
5) Alter your emotional state:
If you are feeling unmotivated, frustrated or just lacking energy; remember that sometimes the slightest change in emotion can fix it. It’s difficult to feel opposite emotions at the same time, so your goal will be to ignite positive feelings so they overtake the negative ones.
A sense of contribution and gratitude are some of the most powerful feelings you will ever have in your life. The easiest way to trigger them is by doing something substantial for someone unexpectedly. I suggest performing a random act of kindness for someone in need. When you actually do this spontaneously without planning; your mind doesn’t much have time to analyze the situation and thus your emotions take over. You can do this by simply buying a few snacks or a bag of groceries for a homeless person, grabbing a cup of coffee for someone you don’t know or going out of your way to help a co-worker.
Of course your focus should be on giving to give, and not giving to get. But if this technique helps both sides, hopefully it can inspire us to do these kinds of things more often.