So, energy might seem a strange thing to write about to some people but in fact – energy encompasses so much.
I was recently watching a documentary on Netflix about the use of “study drugs” as they are referred to, that apparently enables people to achieve extraordinary feats by consistent use of performance enhancing drugs. That led me onto a journey to prove that we can create an energy drug within ourselves which gives us the feeling of being in peak state for prolonged periods of time.
I hate the idea that the only way to achieve is through the use of drugs…that is absolutely not correct. However there are many conditions that scientifically require people to use medication but that should not be the norm for kids and adults across the world to do well.
Happiness and energy are absolutely linked. Think of when you’ve had some good news or you feel like you’ve done something really well…you have a lot of energy and a positive outlook.
Happiness isn’t think make believe state that sometimes we can achieve – it’s a mix of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins among others. There are a number of events that can trigger those neurotransmitters and that’s what we’ll be looking at in this module.
SYMPTOMS OF LOW ENERGY
So we’ve already looked at how energy actually refers to lot of different things that affects how we feel and our ability to perform at the highest level.
So how do you know when something is specifically wrong and that there may be an issue with your energy?
- Your stress and anxiety levels are notably higher than before
- Your mood is on the down side – you feel like something is wrong
- You feel like the life force has been sucked out of you
- Your concentration levels are low
- Your performance levels have come down and aren’t going back up
- You don’t have as much get up and go
- You let small things upset you more than normal
- Your outlook on life has generally gone down
- Your relationships are starting to suffer
- You feel like your self-esteem and confidence have been battered
- You generally feel out of kilt
- You feel increasing tired
- You feel like sometimes you just don’t care
The point here is that all of this is fixable. If you do feel very stressed or with a very low mood we would always recommend that you see a health practioner.
We have a number of tools that we can teach you that can really help to bring your mojo back.
The tools that we are about to teach you all have the same overall aim; to intentionally cause neurotransmitters to flow – rather than them occurring randomly and being able to control our levels of happiness as much as possible…because in turn, our energy will start to change.
In some of the modules such as stress, anxiety and focus for example we will be looking at detailed responses and skills – so here we are more learning how to increase our overall general energy which will help everything else to come into place.
The Science Side
Low levels of dopamine can increase self-doubt, lack of enthusiasm and procrastination. In turn, increases in dopamine helps us to take action towards increasing goals, wants and needs and helps us to feel even more pleasure when we achieve them.
Oxytocin is vital for creating strong bonds between people and can really help you to improve your social interactions. When someone receives a present, those levels rise but we know it’s not all about money right…hugs can increase oxytocin levels and help to reduce stress levels and dare we say…people just trying to be nice to each other!
Many of us have heard about endorphins – but how do they relate to happiness?
Endorphins are actually releases as a response to pain and stress and help to alleviate low-mood and anxiety. As you may have heard, exercise helps to increase endorphins (and can also help mask some of the pain from exercise)…but laughing is also a big releaser of endorphins.
Meditation, whilst also free, is a learned and sometimes very difficult skill.
In short, meditation is the art of turning the many thoughts running around your head, and emotions and feelings you experience and focusing 100% of your attention to one particular area. It is about being in the here and now, rather than next week or next year.
There are actually a great number of people who try meditation but only a few who stick with it long term. To begin, we need to adopt a patient and open mindset to understand that it is a skill which takes time to be successful at.
An outstanding person needs amazing mental power, excellent training and a well-thought out diet. Peak performance requires a nutritious meal plan to support the individual.
Whether you are a professional athlete or someone who hates sports; exercise is extremely important and needs to be a fundamental part of our lives. You may hate running, playing football or taking part in classes with other people but there is always something you can find to do exercise-wise. You never know, you might even enjoy it – even if you haven’t before!
Doing some form of exercise on a daily basis will not only help your health and help you to lose weight/gain muscle. It can be a sociable activity or a sole activity if you prefer. It will give you structure and something to aim for and importantly, pushes you to try new things.
Sleep is an understated necessity. The world’s greatest champions live and breathe their sport seven days a week, 365 days a year. Yet it may surprise you that sleep plays a hugely significant role in the life of an athlete, both for rest and recuperation and athletic performance and competitive results. REM sleep, for example, provides energy to the brain as well as the body. If sleep is cut short, then the body and the mind do not have time to repair themselves, consolidate memory and release hormones.
For years, I’d heard people talk about gratitude as a practice and how effective it can be. I have to admit that it sounded like something that was pretty crazy but I decided to give it go and I have to say….it really helps.
Every day I write down 5 things that I am grateful for from that day, that make me feel great and that process helps to reduce stress levels, make me feel happier and makes me appreciate what I already have.
Over the past few years I’ve realized that what really drives me and gives me energy is inspiration – and that’s from people who I really admire to being inspired by wildlife and places. When I feel lethargic and that things are really hard and I start to get stressed and panicky, I put on a music video (usually Red Hot Chili Peppers or Pharrell!) and I get so much from those videos – inspiration, energy, joy and hope…remembering that these amazing artists and performers we see started at the bottom – they started with talent (but at some point weren’t that great and all they had was a dream and an awful lot of failure along the way).
Other things that really inspire me are nature and wildlife. My house is filled with plants and photographs of wildlife to help keep me inspired. Going for a walk in nature and the outdoors can be extremely therapeutic and something that we’d really encourage you to do. Audiobooks and podcasts are great things to listen to whilst you’re walking and lets you carry on learning …which is such an important thing to keep doing to live a successful and happy life.
TLA (Train Like an Athlete) is a performance psychology movement funded by Sir Richard Branson’s not-for-profit company; Virgin StartUp. TLA provides advice on guidance on becoming the very best version of yourself and thriving from life’s daily struggles, all based on proven sports psychology techniques.
TLA was founded by Rachel Moan, a Chartered Surveyor, Writer, nutritional therapist and former professional dancer. Rachel is passionate about giving people across the world the skills to aim higher than ever before and support people in reaching their ultimate potential. As a passion junkie, time hacker and rebel, Rachel’s love of business, travelling and professional background brings affordable, innovative and accessible peak performance techniques to the world.