The mind is one of the biggest contributors to energy levels. The benefits of having high levels of mental energy include happiness, confidence, focus, and increased willpower, motivation, and productivity.
Additionally, the mind has a huge effect on one’s level of physical physical energy. Increased willpower and motivation often lead to healthier eating habits, less procrastination, and more.
The way we think has an astounding effect on the way others perceive us and how we perform. When you feel confident, you look confident, and will also perform more effectively, increasing the likelihood of success in whatever you are doing.
This article covers 15 ways to boost mental energy levels.
1. Be Grateful
Remind yourself of the things you are grateful or thankful for in your life. Gratitude will make you think more positively and give you more mental energy. If you’re not having fun at work, be grateful that you have work and are earning a salary. If you’re having challenges in any aspect of your life, understand that challenges make you stronger, and be grateful that you don’t have a boring life.
Being grateful reminds you of what’s important. For example, you might be upset about being stuck in traffic. Being grateful for your family will remind you of the traffic’s relative insignificance.
Action item: Write down 5 things you are grateful for in your life.
2. Practice Negative Visualization
Negative visualization originated in a philosophy called Stoicism. Stoics periodically contemplate,but don’t worry about, “worst-case scenarios.”
Negative visualization is practiced to lessen the impact if these scenarios do come true. In addition, it’s intended to reduce insatiability and force you to appreciate what you do have.
Most of us spend our idle time thinking about the things we want but don’t have. We would be much better off, Stoics believe, to spend this time thinking of all the things we have and reflecting on how much we would miss them if they were not ours.
3. Surround Yourself With Great People
Humans are naturally social people. Building relationships makes us happy and gives us energy. Spend time with people who think positively, and have a lot of energy, and talk in a positive tone. It will make think more positively and give you energy.
Action items: Who in your life is overly negative? Should you be spending as much time with them as you do? What kinds of people would you like to spend more time with? Create a game plan for meeting or spending time with these people.
4. Think Positively
Thinking positive thoughts will make you feel more positive. Feeling more positive and optimistic will boost mental energy.
If you’re feeling sluggish or slightly depressed, forcing yourself to think positively is a great way to start reversing negative momentum. Momentum has a profound effect on our energy levels. Energy builds on itself. If your mental energy levels are declining, gets harder and harder to start improving them. If your mental energy levels are improving, it gets easier and easier to keep building it.
Focus on the positive in any situation. Take advantage of opportunities present as they present themselves. Instead of thinking about what could go wrong, think about what could go right, or go better than expected.
5. Declutter Your Mind
Most people are very busy and have a ton of different things on their mind. We receive information such as emails at a faster pace than ever before. Declutter your mind by delegating, setting reminders, taking notes, and keeping a calendar.
To avoid making mistakes, and to declutter your mind, keep as much as you can outside of your brain. For example, if you set a meeting with someone, put it in your calendar so you no longer have to remember it. Keep a to-do list. It will be enable you to be more present and conscious of what you’re doing in a given moment. Delegate what someone else can do for you.
6. Go Outside
Exposing your skin and eyes to sunlight will give you Vitamin D, which can boost energy.
In addition, our minds and bodies are used to being awake during the daytime and we naturally have more energy during the daytime. Getting exposure to sunlight reminds our body that it’s daytime and that we should have more energy.
Action item: if you’re feeling tired while at the work, take a short break outside in the sun.
7. Have Fun!
Don’t forget to allocate time to friends and family, hobbies, etc. These activities provide excitement and keep you motivated. It seems counter-intuitive, however taking a break from work can actually help you get more work done. Having fun stimulates your brain in a way that improves energy levels.
Action item: Set times out of your week for hobbies or activities you find fun.
8. Stimulate your Mind
Keep your mind stimulated but not overworked. Mental challenge will give you energy, but too much may leave you fatigued. Without enough challenge you may become bored and lethargic. Try learning a new skill to stimulate your mind.
Action item: Make sure your experience some challenge throughout your daily life.
Many people find meditation to be a great way to boost mental energy. A basic definition of meditation is simply being conscious of mind and breath. While meditating, the goal is to not think about future or past. It’s to be present. I think of meditation as a time to let my thoughts flow freely and to take notice of my emotions, thoughts, and body.
Action item: Look for a meditation class.
10. Try New Things
If you stick too close to the same routine, your brain can go into “auto-pilot.” You become un-stimulated and don’t have to think as much. As discussed above, mental stimulation is essential for energy.
Try breaking your routine. Learn something new. Go on a spontaneous adventure to give yourself a fresh perspective. Try taking a different route to work. Go into a bookstore and pick out a random book from a genre you don’t normally read.
Action item: Choose an activity that you do consistently and adjust it in some way.
11. Practice Minimalism
Learn to say “no” and eliminate excess in your life. Throw away what you don’t need. When you have fewer items in your life, there is more space for things you want.
12. Focus on What’s in your Control
Stoics believe in focusing on what’s in our control, and not what’s our of our control. Wanting or hoping for things that are not in our control will disrupt our tranquility. Worrying about or hoping for something that we don’t have an impact on can cause anxiety.
Action item: List what you’re currently worrying about or hoping for and differentiate what is in your control from what is not.
13. Do What You’re Passion About
Taking part in activities, professionally and personally, that you’re passionate about leads to more happiness. Spending time on activities that you don’t enjoy can be exhausting.
Action item: What do you love doing? How can you arrange your career or lifestyle so you can do more of it?
14. Take Responsibility for Your Emotions
Emotions have a strong effect on your energy levels. If you are feeling sad or embarrassed, you will have less energy. If you are feeling proud or confident, you will have more energy.
By taking responsibility for your emotions, you will become less dependent on external validation or circumstances to influence energy levels. When you are responsible for your own emotions, your energy levels will always be high.
15. Be Present
Thinking negatively about the past can cause anxiety. Thinking about the future can give you anxiety. Be in the present moment. Accept the situation you’re in and take the best action you can. Wishing you were in a different situation or wishing you had done something differently in the past will only cause anxiety. The past is out of our control.
Article by Mike Fishbein, Lifehack