Why did you decide to write ‘Exhausted to Energized?’
I wrote ‘Exhausted to Energized’ because I want to see a shift in how we measure our health and because more and more people were coming to me telling me how little energy they had. For too long, people in the Western world have used weight as a marker of health and assessed themselves against this benchmark. A far more powerful insight into our level of wellbeing is energy, so much so that I want it to be seen as the true health currency.
What are common health symptoms from our modern lifestyles?
Many people are tired. Tired but wired. They experience issues with their sleep, digestion issues like IBS, monthly cycles troubles or diabolical menopausal symptoms, recurring headaches, regular illnesses – things that they accept as just ‘normal’. I like to say that they’re common but not normal. They are feedback from the body that
something needs attention.
Why do foods that are supposed to give us energy, deplete us of energy?
If you were referring to ‘energy’ drinks or other products that are marketed as energy boosting, I would counter that they’re not actually food! When it comes to food, nature gets it right and human intervention so often gets it wrong. Whole, real food will always be our greatest source of energy. Processed foods that claim to be energy-boosters
are often filled with poor quality substances that put additional pressure on various body systems and in that way can deplete us of energy in the long run.
Why do we wake up feeling tired after a long sleep?
Oh goodness, the list of potential reasons for this is quite long! But on the surface, it’s because we’re not getting restorative sleep. This is generally because our body is not feeling calm, relaxed or safe enough to fall into a deep sleep .
“So if you are wanting more energy , start by doing what you can and then stretching little furthers”
How can coffee help our hinder our energy?
Coffee stimulates the production of one of our stress hormones, adrenalin. Adrenalin is the short term stress hormone that is designed to get us out of danger fast. It makes us alert, elevates our heart rate and sends the blood flow to the peripheries so that we can make a fast escape. This is why you feel that initial rush when you consume coffee. The
trouble is, for many people, coffee is just one of the reasons why their body is producing adrenalin. What was once a hormone that was made on an occasion where we might have been in actual danger we now make when we are running late or because of an overflowing inbox that we can’t get on top of, financial pressures, family pressures and
all kinds of other things that aren’t a ‘real’ threat but, because we feel pressured by them, our body interprets as a threat. So, when we’re churning out stress hormones 24/7, it puts a real strain on the body and we can find that our energy peaks and crashes throughout the day – often making us feel even more reliant on caffeine!
How do the expectations we place upon ourselves deplete our energy?
As mentioned above, it’s often psychological stress these days that stimulates our production of stress hormones. That comes down to our perception of stress and pressure. If we place extraordinary expectations on ourselves about what we need to achieve and who we need to be for the people in our lives it can drive us to feel huge pressure and
a sense that everything is urgent, which in turn stimulates our stress response. We need to learn how to reserve urgency for those moments when urgency is really called for i.e. when you need to slam your brakes on in the car because someone pulls out in front of you .
How does our posture affect our energy?
Try this as an example. Slump your shoulders. Let your head hang forward and tilt your face down. Stay like that, and stand or walk around like that for a few minutes. Do you feel energized? Now pull your shoulders back, hold your head up, stand upright, open across your chest and face forward Spend a few minutes like that. Which posture offers you more energy?
What techniques can we adopt to give us more energy?
Again the list is quite long! But I like to encourage people to make small, incremental changes that they can sustain rather than trying to overhaul everything in their lives at once which can make it feel impossible. So if you’re wanting more energy, start by doing what you can and then stretching a little further. Recognize those things that you
can’t change and accept that that is how things are for the moment. It might not be that way forever. Some suggestions for change include: priorities your sleep and try to get to bed before 10:30pm as often as possible, reduce your coffee intake or take a break from it if you can, choose whole, real foods as close as they come to nature, commit to daily
movement, try meditation, up your intake of leafy green vegies, say ‘no’ more regularly, and explore your perception of pressure and urgency.
What has been the response to your TED talks on this subject?
So many women have told me that it triggered an ‘aha!’ moment for them. I’ve been incredibly touched by the response it has received.
How do you ensure you stay energized?
I let myself have what I have. When you speak to people who are dying and ask them what they are going to miss in the world, they say the most ordinary things – their partner’s face, the feeling of their dog’s fur under their fingertips or the night sky. We have all of that now. So why not let yourself have what you already have. This is what joy is all about and joy gives us an irreplaceable depth of energy.
How do you relax in your spare time?
Reading and walking in nature are two of my favorite things.
For more information,
Exhausted to Energized is
published by Hay House UK
(Hay House) £12.99