Eight Tips for Feeling More Energetic
Feeling energetic is a key to happiness.
Posted Nov 09, 2009
Feeling energetic is a key to happiness. Studies show that when you feel energetic, you feel much better about yourself. On the other hand, when you feel exhausted, tasks that would ordinarily make you happy—like putting up holiday decorations—make you feel overwhelmed and blue.
When my energy feels at a low ebb, I try one of these techniques (well, first I drink something with caffeine in it, but if I feel like I need to take further steps, I try these strategies):
1. Exercise—even a quick 10-minute walk will increase your energy and boost your mood. This really works! Try it!
2. Listen to lively music.
3. Get enough sleep. If the alarm blasts you out of a sound sleep every morning, you’re not getting enough—and it matters. (Here are some tips for getting good sleep.)
4. For some people, taking a 10-30 minute nap is a big help. I can’t nap, myself, but my father has been known to take three naps in one day.
5. Act energetic. Research shows that when people move faster, their metabolism speeds up. Also, because the way we act influences the way we feel (to an almost uncanny degree), by acting energetic you'll make you feel more energetic.
6. Talk to friends. I’ve noticed that if I’m feeling low, and then run into a friend on the street, I walk away feeling much more energetic. Reach out if you need a boost. This is true for introverts and extroverts alike.
7. Get something done. Crossing a nagging chore off your to-do list provides a big rush of energy. For a huge surge, clean out a closet. You’ll be amazed at how great you feel afterward.
8. Do not use food. It’s tempting to reach for a carton of ice cream when you’re feeling listless, but in the end, all those extra calories will just drag you down. In general, be wary of the urge to treat yourself when you're feeling low.
Energy (or lack of energy) is contagious. If you feel energetic, you’ll help the people around you feel energetic, too. And that makes them feel happier. In fact, in his excellent book, The No A***ole Rule, Bob Sutton reports that being an energizer was one of the strongest predictors of a positive performance evaluation at work.
Interested in starting your own happiness project? If you’d like to take a look at my personal Resolutions Chart, for inspiration, email me at grubin, then the “at” sign, then gretchenrubin dot com. (Sorry about writing it in that roundabout way; I’m trying to thwart spammers.) Just write “Resolutions Chart” in the subject line.