Have you ever had a day when you just couldn’t seem to get going?
You had plenty to do. You had plenty of reasons to get up and at
’em. But you just couldn’t seem to pull the trigger, focus, make
yourself get started. You just didn’t feel “motivated”.
Instead, you lollygagged around (that’s a Texas term for you
Yankees). Or you got “busy” doing minor stuff, like moving a few
files around, or trolling through your emails or Facebook, or
cleaning your work space.
Not that these are bad things to do once in awhile…but you know –
and I know – these aren’t the types of activities that will move
us closer to our goals.
The reason why most people fail to realize their potential in
their life and work is because they fail to cultivate, wisely use,
and regularly restore their energy.
When you feel lethargic, unmotivated, and directionless, it’s
often due to lack of energy. When you’re in this state, it’s
easy to succumb to busy work, unimportant activities, eating
poorly, zoning out, and so forth.
On the other hand, when you feel energetic, you have a better
sense of control over yourself. You are more directed, you know
what you need or want to do, and you do it.
THE FIVE PILLARS
The five pillars that support your ability to cultivate and
manage your energy effectively are:
1. Deep breathing
2. Good nutrition
3. Physical exercise
4. Adequate sleep and rest
5. Time for reflection
(1) DEEP BREATHING is absolutely critical to generating more energy.
Just a few cycles of slow, deep, gentle inhalations and
exhalations can restore and rejuvenate you, both mentally and
physically. I highly recommend taking short “breathing breaks”
at regular intervals during your day, as well as during your
Think about how vital, alive and energetic small children are.
This is because they naturally breathe deeply, into their
tummies. They continually tap into that primal, vital power
inherent in each of us. Learning proper breathing and specific
breathing techniques – like the ones I teach in my programs –
can quickly catapult your energy and overall health to new
(2) GOOD NUTRITION means providing your body and brain with the
nutrients they need.
The best way to do this is by making quality, natural foods the
major part of your diet. Focus on quality protein, healthy fats,
vegetables and fruits, plus drink plenty of pure water. To help
maintain constant energy levels throughout the day, eat every
three hours or so.
Eating three complete meals – including a good breakfast,
substantial lunch, and smaller dinner – interspersed with a
couple of small healthy snacks, will keep your brain and body
humming along. When I say “complete meal”, I mean a meal with
balanced amounts of protein and carbohydrates, plus some fat.
Minimize your use of caffeine, sugar and refined foods. Here’s
where it can get really dicey! When you are tired or stressed
(or both!) you may get cravings for carbohydrates and sugar,
and you’ll feel like you need more. Taking it easy on these
will help you avoid crashing and burning.
(3) PHYSICAL EXERCISE is pretty obvious, isn’t it? The more
intensely and regularly you work your body physically, the more
mental and emotional energy you will have.
In fact, I would say that you will fall short mentally and
emotionally – perhaps even spiritually – if you are not
cultivating your physical energy.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, you do not have to work out
for long periods of time to benefit. Shorter workouts that
focus on intervals of higher intensity work, alternating with
intervals of rest and recovery, are the optimal way to train
your body (and brain).
Any type of activity lends itself to interval training, from
walking and running to strength training and martial arts.
(4) ADEQUATE SLEEP AND REST is probably the area that we all
fall short in, at one time or another. With all the demands on
our time, it can be difficult to get to bed at a decent hour.
And many people don’t get good quality sleep once they do hit
Getting more sleep may be the most significant, results-producing
change you can make in your life.
Optimal sleep means lights out by 10:30pm at the latest, and
getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep. Every hour of
sleep before midnight is the equivalent in quality to two hours
Optimal rest means taking small breaks throughout the day. Your
body and brain have a natural rhythm, and cycle through energy
peaks and troughs in approximately 90 minute intervals. Most of
us have become oblivious to these natural cycles. See if you can
get in synch with them.
For example, when working, take a five to fifteen minute break
every 90 minutes to do some deep breathing, walk around, or stand
up and stretch. Also be aware of that low energy time that hits
most people between 3 to 4pm in the afternoon. Regularly do
something you enjoy, just for the fun of it.
(5) TIME FOR REFLECTION means making time each day to be alone
and quiet. You can use this time for prayer, meditation, or
inspirational reading. You can also use it to regularly review
your goals and reflect on the vision you have for your life
and your future.
Reflection and spiritual cultivation helps keep you grounded
and focused on what really matters in life. Most importantly,
it helps re-ignite and fuel that passion and enthusiasm for
living that so many people seem to lose.
Just a few minutes each day devoted to this type of activity
can make a huge difference in how you go through each day.
You Can Do It!
“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with
Dynamic Energy Exercise!”
P.S. No matter what your current level of energy, you will feel
better, healthier and more motivated with just a small investment
of time each day in breathing and energy exercises. They are fun,
simple and easy to do. So take advantage of the strategies,
principles and exercises from any of the programs at the Best
Breathing Exercises website. Bring the zest back into your life!
Order the program of your choice today at
Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2013
One thought on “The Five Pillars of Effective Energy (and Life) Management”
Saved as a favorite, I really like your website!