Our energy level is reflective of our health and vitality. A persistent lack of energy and fatigue can be indicative of a more serious underlying illness. Otherwise, when fatigue is not a symptom of another disorder, generally the cause of a feeling of low energy can be found through investigation of dietary and lifestyle habits.
Cellular energy is in direct relationship to the absorption process in the body. How well we are able to absorb nutrients from the foods we eat is a key component to the flow and utilization of energy in the body. Our diet is the most fundamental aspect of supporting health in our bodies. It is important to avoid foods that rob us of energy or impair absorption.
Refined, fatty, heavy, and oily foods all impair absorption by coating the inside of the intestinal walls and can clog channels in the body. Stimulants and sugars create a blood sugar roller coaster, stressing the endocrine system and resulting in fatigue. Instead, in addition to eating in accordance with your constitution, choose a diet rich in fresh organic vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, and nuts. Choose natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, raw, unheated honey, or cane sugar and use these in moderation. Favor meals that are easy to digest and eat only when you are truly hungry, at regular times, and in a harmonious environment.
Getting adequate rest may seem an obvious solution to counter fatigue, but it is important to take note of not only the quantity of sleep you are getting each night, but also the quality of sleep. Make sure that your sleep is sound, deep, and truly restful. This is the time your body needs to recharge itself. Go to bed preferably before 10 p.m. and rise early.
Moderate exercise, fresh air, and sunlight support the restoration and movement of energy in the body. Particularly during the winter months, many find it difficult to exercise as we normally would during the warm months. It is important to continue to get exercise, preferably outdoors. Taking a brisk walk and breathing fresh air during daytime hours can fend off negative psychological causes of fatigue such as depression or boredom and increase your energy level.
Some lifestyle practices to avoid are excessive sexual activity and emotional stress. Over time, these can deplete the body's energy reserves, ultimately weakening immune function.
Herbal therapy can offer additional support to increase energy in the body. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic and rejuvenative herb, noted in Ayurvedic texts for providing an individual with the strength and vitality of a horse. Ashwagandha enables a person to better adapt or cope with various degrees of stress, nourishing the entire nervous system. It lessens anxiety and encourages restful sleep.
Another common Ayurvedic energy supplement is Chyavanprash nutritive jam. This can be the best healthful choice for those who have a sweet tooth or are prone to a caffeine habit, particularly during the energy slump of mid afternoon. Chyavanprash is a fast working energizer that stimulates metabolism and improves digestive function while rejuvenating the mind and body.
Yoga is a gentle way to help release energy blockages in the body and ensure that energy is flowing properly. Holding tension in the body's tissues is exhausting. Practicing asanas mindfully, with breath awareness can help to release both physical and emotional stress. Inviting visualization into your practice can help release tension and promote deep relaxation. The breath moves energy and the mind directs the breath. Simply lie in Savasana or corpse pose and watch and feel how the breath moves in and through all parts of the body, all the way down to your toes. Notice where there is tension or holding in the body, where the breath seems jagged or where it may not flow at all. Visualize the breath as a river and the blockages as rocks over which the water swirls and flows. Continue breathing slowly and steadily, allowing the breath to smooth away and finally dissolve any obstacles in its path. Ideally, the best approach to eliminating fatigue and increasing energy is a combined one.
Proper diet, lifestyle, herbs, and yoga are the self-care tools that can keep your energy and physical body vibrant and whole. By understanding the body as an energy system and how internal and external factors are always in dynamic balance with this system, you can begin to establish a cycle of repair and restoration enabling you to maintain greater harmony throughout your life.