365 ways to energize – a daily companion to living with health, purpose, and joy

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Ways to produce natural high energy

Day 130What does a life without stimulants feel like?

How much energy do we create through our activities (exercising, sleeping, things we love, time with friends etc), and how much energy is derived from what we eat and drink, such as healthy nutritious food vs. sweets, chocolate, coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol?

I am about to find out for myself how much energy I produce naturally, from just eating and living healthy, as I am today beginning a two-week ‘stimulant break ’.

I used to love drinking a couple of cappuccinos each day, before I became aware that caffeine was making me feel jittery. When I later made the connection, I exchanged caffeine for tea and mostly green tea, which is rich in antioxidants and have several other benefits.

At first, exchanging coffee for tea made a huge impact on my inner sense of calm and wellbeing, but this was until I became a heavy tea drinker…. Green tea also contains caffeine and little did I know that I consumed so much tea that it had a negative effect on my adrenals, which got triggered too often – and this rubbed my overall hormonal balance.

During May of last year, I decided to give myself a little cleanse by taking a couple of weeks break from black and green tea, plus coffee and alcohol and anything containing sugar, so no fruit, no white starches, no chocolate etc.

It was an interesting experience. I very much enjoyed challenging myself by being disciplined, and I was curious about the possible effect it would have on me.

What I learned about myself was important and not at all what I had expected. I realized that the main reason why I often woke up very early in the morning, around 4am, was my tea and sometimes coffee intake during the day – not that I went to bed too early or was thinking or worrying too much. I was positively surprised that one of the benefits of taking a break from these stimulants was that I would sleep sound throughout the night. It was a huge blessing for me.

I was so happy being able to sleep like a baby again so I extended the brake from tea and coffee and continued drinking herbal teas for months. I slowly got back into drinking green and black tea after several months and then less strong and fewer cups.

A year has gone by since my first experiment and I feel inclined to do one again. Springtime is a good time to do a little cleanse.

I am looking forward to a good night with deep sleep and feeling naturally refreshed in the morning.

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Breathe your way to inner peace

Day 89

Sleeping tight and inner peace is something that concerns us all.

My husband shared with me this morning that he had woken up in the middle of the night with a thousands thoughts roaming in his head about the things he has on his plate to do these days. He was worried that he would not fall back asleep, as he really needs to feel rested to be able to address all of the things going on.

Most of us can probably recognize that when we feel we have too much going on and our sleep is disturbed – we can get into a vicious cycle – where we feel we are behind, which impacts our subconscious and wake us in our sleep, we feel tired in the morning; we then get less done, and so it continues.

My husband though, remembered my blog post from yesterday, and decided to calmly breathe deeply into his belly. After about fifteen minutes of deep long breaths lying on his back, he turned on his side and took a few more long deep breaths and then fell back to sleep. When he woke up this morning, he was quite surprised that he had managed to fall asleep quite easily by just focusing on his breath.

If I feel overwhelmed and need to rest, I also engage in deep long breaths like my husband did. Sometimes I take deep breaths into the nose, hold it for about 8-10 seconds and then breath out very slowly through the nose.

When I want to add one more dimension, I sit with a straight back and breathe in, touch my chin towards the chest, then I pull up the perineum and suck in my stomach, which expands the diaphragm and chest. I hold my breath for 8-10 seconds, then lift my chin back up calmly and breathe out very slowly. After repeating this 3-5 times, I notice a big shift in my sense of inner peace. The calmness I feel, prepares me for going into meditation, or makes me focused and concentrated on work.

Tomorrow I will be sharing the power of meditation.