"I wish I had more energy."
Have you caught yourself saying that? We have, so we checked in with energy coach and author Jon Gordon. "Everyone has lows," he says. "The key is to know when your energy is down and what you can do to turn it around."
In his book, The 10-Minute Energy Solution (Perigree Trade), he maps out a 30-day plan with a simple 10-minute exercise each day to give you a boost physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Some of our favorites:
1. Start your day with a positive energy walk.
Step briskly and say what you're thankful for. Think affirmative thoughts like I look forward to the rest of the day, the people I'm going to meet, and the things I'm going to learn. Or complete these sentences: I believe that..., or I trust that....
2. Neutralize the "energy vampires," the people who drain you.
Counter their negative comments and attitude with kindness and compassion. Another person's negativity can only bring you down if you let it.
3. Lose your mind.
No, don't go crazy. Go meditate. Sit in a quiet place. Focus on your breathing. Inhale and think of a word like so or one or peace. Exhale and think of the same word or another. (Gordon likes the mantra so hum.) Repeat with each breath.
If a thought floats into your head, let it float out, and focus on your breathing and mantra again. "You want to lose your thoughts, your thinking mind, so you can be one with the moment," Gordon explains.
4. Add play to your day.
Run around the yard with your kids or your dog. Put on your favorite pick-me-up song and dance. Grab three tennis balls and try to juggle them. Go for a bike ride. Build something out of Legos. Write the lyrics to your life as a funny country song.
Call an old friend you haven't talked to in a while. Invite a coworker to lunch. Drop a line — not by e-mail but by good, old-fashioned pen and paper — to someone you don't see often.
6. Smile and laugh.
Walk around your office and smile at your coworkers. They won't think you're strange, just in a good mood. Several times a day, think of a funny joke or experience, and laugh.
7. Let stress go.
"Energy is like a river," Gordon says. "Stress blocks it." To get it flowing again, first list your stresses. Take a deep breath and clench your hands into fists, as if you're holding on to all the stress. Then exhale forcefully, opening your hands and throwing your arms wide.
Feel your tension release? Good. Say, "I choose not to have my stress. I let it go." Repeat this exercise for each stress you listed and let it go.
8. Pray for someone.
It recharges your spiritual batteries. Studies suggest those who have a strong faith are better able to handle adversity.
Make a list of people and what they need help and prayers for. Find a quiet spot and get comfortable. Listen to your breath, feel your heart beat. When you're nice and relaxed, pray for each person on your list.
9. Look for signs of grace.
Think about the times in your life when you thought something bad happened, but it turned out to be a blessing. Write these experiences down.
Then, the next time something you didn't want or expect occurs, look back on this list and remind yourself everything happens for a reason, even if you don't see it just yet.
10. Do a little lifting.
Giving someone else a lift gives you a lift too. In one study, college students who performed five small acts of kindness a day (such as helping a friend with a paper or visiting an elderly relative) experienced a significant increase in well-being.
What will your five acts of kindness be? Plan two, and then look for three random opportunities to be kind as the day unfolds. If you come across more, keep going!
As Gordon says, "Positive energy never decreases by being shared. With each gift, it grows."
This article originally appeared on guideposts.com.
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