Friday, December 21, 2012

25 Surprising All-Natural Energy Boosters!

natural energy boosters 2 Some of you who visit my Facebook page may know I’ve been battling severe iron deficiency as of late.

I had no idea this was the case until a blood test as part of a routine physical revealed it a couple of months ago. But it sure did explain the FATIGUE I had been experiencing. Silly me…I just thought it was because I stay up too late! (Well, OK, that probably has something to do with it too.)

Anyway, I am now taking iron supplements and just got a B12 shot a few days ago…but am still feeling pretty exhausted most of the time. I guess it’s going to take some time.

When I’m really dragging…especially during this crazy, hectic time of year…I have occasionally resorted to “energy drinks” to pull me through. Problem is, they always make me feel SICK after I drink them. It’s very frustrating.

So I started doing some research on natural alternatives to energy drinks….and was pleasantly surprised at all the options out there! The majority of which I would never have thought of.

Here is a fairly comprehensive list of “Natural Energy Boosters” that I have curated from across the world wide web and am trying to use instead of drinks full of sugar, caffeine and chemicals:

natural energy boosters

Pump Up The Volume

Listening to music for about an hour a day can help reduce fatigue. Your mental and physical energy get a big boost every time you immerse yourself in music that moves you.

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Color Your World

Yellow is the color most closely linked with a healthy mood; other happy hues…orange and lilac. Try using these colors on your walls or if you don’t want to paint an entire room, paint just your ceiling. Blue simulates the sky and brings the outside in.

The colors you WEAR also affect how you feel. Tap into red to help you exude confidence. Seek out orange for its playful, high-energy qualities. If you like wearing all-black, accent your outfit with these colors. Instant pick-me-up!

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Take a Whiff

Jasmine increases beta waves, which make you more awake and alert. Keep a solid jasmine fragrance in your handbag. Or take a whiff of an energizing essential oil like Peppermint! Studies show that sniffing peppermint immediately improves both athletes’ running speed and office workers’ typing speed. Its scent boosts motivation and concentration. So grab an infusion of peppermint, whether it’s essential oil, breath mints, lip gloss, or hand lotion. Orange, lemon and cinnamon are also energy-boosting scents.

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Take A Bite Out Of Life

Cool and tangy citrus flavors can up your energy by activating nerves in the mouth, throat, and nasal cavity that trigger a heightened level of brain activity. Chewing gum is another way to enhance energy. The muscle tension that comes with chewing can increase heart rate and alertness, and stimulate the nervous system.

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Tap Your Thymus

Your thymus is located at center top of your chest, below the collar bone, between your breasts. When tapped it triggers the production of T-cells, boosts energy, relieves stress, and increases strength and vitality. Sounds strange….but worth a try! :-)

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In The Blink of an Eye

Next time you’re fighting off the urge to doze off at your desk, try blinking more often. When reading, watching TV, or on the computer, blink 10 to 20 times per minute, rather than staring at the screen or page without blinking at all.

 natural energy boosters 6

Inhale…Exhale

Take a few deep breaths when you feel your energy level dropping. Stop what you are doing and pay attention to your breath moving in and out of your body. By taking time to pause instead of rushing, hurrying and worrying, you give yourself a chance to rest and recharge.

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Exercise With A Buddy…Outdoors!

Studies show that the energizing effect of exercise is boosted when done with a partner. Ditto when exercise occurs outdoors.

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Turn Your World Upside Down

Even if you’re just leaning over to touch your toes, any inverted pose is energizing. It stretches out your back, and increases the blood flow to your head.

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Write a Thank-You Note

Stress zaps energy, and it’s tough to be stressed and feel grateful at the same time. Think of things you’re grateful for (a coworker, a fellow mom or dad), then put pen to paper.

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End Your Shower With a Burst of Cold Water

Your body responds more quickly to a cold stimulus than to hot, so a quick, short blast will perk you up.

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Pull Your Hair

No, really… GENTLY take handfuls of hair and pull the skin away from your scalp to get blood flowing to that area of the head. This can relieve a lot of tension that can be very tiring.

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Be Nice to a Stranger

When you do something kind, your energy goes up. Find lots of ideas for joining the acts-of-kindness movement at actsofkindness.org.

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Have A Good Laugh

After a good laugh, you experience a momentary surge of energy, which—in addition to reducing stress and boosting immunity—can help your body regenerate more healthful cells over time. More importantly, a hearty belly laugh provides a shift in thought patterns that is very uplifting. So go ahead, yuck it up!

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Flower Power

Buy blooms or grow them in your own garden. A study at Harvard Medical School showed that flowers not only make a room look prettier but also lift the mood of everyone around. It also showed that people who looked at fresh blooms in the morning reported higher energy levels for the rest of the day.

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Don’t Skip Meals

Research has shown that people who eat breakfast have more energy throughout the day, and also report being happier. Furthermore, if you eat every three hours instead of just a few times per day, you are more likely to see your energy levels sustain themselves.

 Woman Drinking Water from a Glass

Drink Less Alcohol And More Water

Even being only slightly dehydrated can cause you to feel extremely tired. Drinking water steadily throughout the day can do wonders for your energy levels. Also, drinking alcohol close to bedtime will lead you to feel especially fatigued the next day. Alcohol interferes with your ability to sleep deeply, even if it may help you with the initial falling-asleep process.

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Eliminate Energy Vampires

Ever get off the phone with someone and instantly want to hit the sack? Then you’ve been bitten by an “energy vampire,” someone who drains your lifeblood. Avoid them.

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Let the Sun Shine In

Studies show that a mere 20 minutes a day of sunshine can do wonders to boost your energy—and mood. You can also get an energy kick from sitting near a light box for 45 minutes a day. It’s a pill-free way to increase alertness during waking hours.

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Tidy Up Your Work Space

Clutter can sap the energy right out of you! Start by clearing everything off your desk and dusting and cleaning the surface. Now pick and choose carefully what you put back and where you put it. Keeping items to a minimum will boost your attention for the items that remain there.

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Think Positive Thoughts

Scientists have proven that we have around 60,000 thoughts a day, and the vast majority of those are negative which robs us of precious energy. Try consciously replacing ‘I can’t’ thoughts with ‘I can’ thoughts. Practice it over and over for one week. You’ll be amazed at how much more energy you have.

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Change It Up

Drive a different route to work, get a new hairstyle, try a different workout. Not only will you feel more energized, but studies show changing your routine makes you smarter, too!

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Reflexology

Take a golf ball and roll it between your desktop and your hand, from the base of the thumb, where your hand webs out, down to the wrist. There’s a really sensitive spot there. Stimulating it will perk you up.

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Sit Up Straight

Poor posture puts uneven pressure on your spine and causes some muscles to work extra hard, which makes them tight and tense and so they use up extra energy. You can realign your spine by simply lifting your rib cage away from the top of your hips.

 

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST…..and the reason this whole list started……

 natural energy boosters 14

MAKE SURE You’re Getting Enough Iron

Due to certain conditions such as anemia, women often feel fatigued. Getting more iron helps fight that condition. Ideally, you’ll get what you need from iron-rich food sources like kale and spinach, as well as whole grains, beans, red meat, fish and tofu. But if you’re like me and require iron supplements…talk to your doctor first.

 

There you have it….a whole list of ALL-NATURAL energy boosters to help get you through this crazy holiday season and beyond!

How do you keep going when your energy tank is EMPTY?

 



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25 thoughts on “25 Surprising All-Natural Energy Boosters!

  1. Nancy

    Thank you very much for all the good ideas. I think my problem is sleep, or my sleeping habits and that is keeping me from having more energy. Since I can only do so much to make myself sleep, I can use these ideas to help keep me going through the day. Blessings~Nancy

    Reply
  2. Cynthia

    Try taking magnesium at night and you will get a better sleep. We all seem to be deficient in this important mineral and it’s good for the heart.
    If you sleep better you will have better energy during the day.
    Thanks for the great ideas

    Reply
  3. labbie1

    When I saw that you had an iron deficiency, my first thought was B vitamins! You obviously have a good doc who is taking care of that! Yay! So many don’t!

    Cynthia, a great way to get magnesium and have a nice pick me up is to soak your feet in epsom salts either by bathing in the epsom salts or by putting it into one of those fun bubbly foot baths. The foot absorbs the mag out of the water and makes you feel so much better!!!!! And a nice bonus is happy feet! :)

    Great ideas Jillee!

    Reply
  4. Crista Jeske

    Sometimes, what causes the most damage is the invisible toxins in our lives – my son has autism and we are devoted to reducing ALL kinds of toxins to break down the barriers for any progression in his health/healing.
    We recently learned more about the damaging effects of “white noise” and electromagnetic fields. The largest offenders in a ypical home are cordless phones, wireless internet(bummer), CFLs (flourescent bulbs), and SmartMeters (a utility company’s new, high tech way to monitor your family’s patterns and personal utility usage).
    We are ALL especially sensitive to these unending energy “noises” during the night, when our bodyis meant to be resting and rebooting. If you wake up, and are still tired, maybe these environment changes can help

    Reply
  5. Danielle

    Wow Jillee these are awesome. Some of these I have known about for a while, like the colors thing. My sister, who is into natural healing is always telling me that I need to watch what colors I use and wear. Of course I am such a lover of black, not on my walls but my clothes, I have to remind myself to add color to my closet when I go shopping. I also have to say that the pulling hair thing is interesting, I have never heard this but my husband loves to rub his head, hard (like really hard) and now I know why. I doubt that even he is aware of the physical attributes of doing this. And last but not least, and a little plug for a great product, Vemma is an easy way to get all of those vitamins and minerals that your body needs. I was blown away at how much better I felt when I started drinking this, and they have a natural energy drink as well, yes it had caffeine (the natural stuff) and they use sugar, but not as much as all of those other energy drinks and you get your vitamins and minerals along with the mangosteen that really gives your body a boost. Verve!!!! I love how great it makes me feel and I know that it is giving me all of those vitamins and what not that our bodies lack in these days of processed foods. This is something I drink every day but could be used on occasion when you need a quick fix to the energy problem. :-) There are also many essential oils that help with mood and energy.
    Shoot me an email if anyone wants more info on any of this.
    danielle.larsen25@yahoo.com
    Or you can visit my website at daniellelarsen.vemma.com

    Reply
  6. Anne

    When I was having with my kids and my iron went down, my doctor told me to take my iron pills with 100% pure orange juice. The Vitamin C will help absorb more iron in your body :)

    Reply
  7. CTY

    Eating high fat foods & empty calories can also trigger/magnify fatigue, limiting your intake & balance is key.
    Also take a power nap– not more than a 20 minute nap will energize you.
    I too have severe iron anemia–(diagnosed in my teens, my stomach just refuses to absorb it). So about every 14 months I have to go for Iron Infusion Therapy (iron by IV). Medicine has come a long way though it used to take 3 hours, once a week for 8 weeks & I was wiped out for a day afterwards b/c of medicine to reduce a reaction to the iron. Now its five, two minute doses every other day, no second medicine needed to prevent reaction, just a really bad headache that required Tylenol 3. I go for follow up blood work today to see if it worked. The good news, I’ll be awake for the holidays.

    Reply
  8. Comet

    Add getting your Vit D levels checked ASAP. This can lead to a LOT of problems some of which mimic other problem areas!

    For some iron problems getting a PICC line inserted is a better option for long term therapy—I have had several PICC lines for various meds and they are not really that big a deal. Avoids the tummy issues and possibly other side effects from reg. iron replacement.

    Reply
  9. AbeeGee

    I too had a blood test that showed iron deficiency/anemia. The doctor asked where I was bleeding from, and I said “nowhere”, but was feeling a lot of fatigue. He ordered a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. They found the source of the bleeding; it’s called angio ectasias found in the colon. Sort of raised up blood vessels that look like a bruise. Was easily fixed with a machine that cauterized them, and the doc said no more anemia for me. Easy and painless. Maybe this info will help someone else.

    Reply
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  11. Erica Rose

    Make sure you are taking some form of Vitamin C w/ your iron. Just read a study (yes, I’m a dorky medical professional) about severely anemic children in India, and the group that added a Vitamin C supplement to their day, they had the greatest jump in their Hgb levels. OJ, a supplement, whatever you choose, it’s super important to pair them up. Feel better!

    Reply
  12. Wendy

    Another way to perk up is to ‘unroll’ your ears. The outside edge of your ears…where they curl a bit, slowly massage and unroll them. Work your way around the ears. You’ll feel a little more alert after. One of my college professors had us do this at the beginning of every 8am class, when we all looked a little worse for wear. I think its something to do with reflexology or acupressure.

    Reply
  13. Jamie

    Water is a really good energy booster especially towards the end of the day…2-3 pm when you get a little sluggish or feel the need for a nap. Tiredness can be a sign of slight dehydration. Drink a glass of water and it will make you feel better.

    Reply
  14. Natalie

    I am anemic and my doctor suggested I cook with an iron skillet which helps. Also have you heard of “limu”, or seaweed. I don’t know if you have access to any, I live in Hawai’i. It is a great source of iron, the fresh kind, particularly limu kohu. ;)

    Reply
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  16. sheila

    I love your blog and all of your great ideas!

    I’ve had iron deficiency and I don’t tolerate any iron supplements, even those that are supposed to be tummy friendly. In researching my options, I found Blackstrap Molasses. I took 1 Tbs. daily with vitamin C and 1000 mg of L-Arginine to help absorb the iron. My levels were normal in 6 months. My MD told me to “back-off of the Blackstrap”. Because it’s natural I didn’t have any of the side effects common with iron supplements.

    Reply
  17. albb

    This is great, thanks! So you have some of your resources listed? Some of the ideas I read in a real simple article, but it was great to see some new ones

    Reply
  18. Victorina Francescon

    Iron supplements are used in medicine to treat iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia; parenteral irons can also be used to treat functional iron deficiency, where requirements for iron are greater than the body’s ability to supply iron such as in inflammatory states.`..-;

    Our web-site
    http://www.healthmedicine101.comtc

    Reply
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  20. Lauren Convery

    With a long time personal interest and history involving a relentless anxiety disorder and hypothyroidism combined, in general, I like the options provided in this article.

    There is a fine line between establishing energy with maintenance for the day with all feelings of health, and then feeling like you’re about to have a heart/anxiety attack. In all the years (11+ years, now), I’ve been my own guinea pig. I’ve done a plethora of research, both mainstream and alternative medicine, and I can only offer what has worked for me. Diet is crucial. Coffee is usually okay, but not in excess. Avoiding processed foods (a Paleo diet, essentially) does wonders for the blood sugar, mentality, and waist line. I’ve also researched that citrus oils are an amazing all-natural energy booster, when needed.

    However, for those with lifestyles that seem dictated by anxiety attacks or the like, I would like to offer a couple of alternative options: utilizing jasmine (as mentioned in the article) with ylang-ylang/eucalyptus rather than peppermint with deep diaphragmatic breathing to promote relaxation, but jovially, is a lovely tool.

    The phrase “eliminate energy vampires” is so adequately put.

    Reply

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