Our world is in the grips of a terrible energy crisis. No, I'm not talking about the rising costs of gasoline. There is also is a hidden energy crisis that leaves most of us physically, emotionally and spiritually drained.
Worst of all, many people have started to accept the notion that feeling tired and joyless is the normal state of existence.
"There is an epidemic of exhaustion out there," says best-selling author Dr. Judith Orloff. "People are tired and burned out, and many of them resort to overeating in order to self-medicate themselves against all of the negative energy that surrounds them."
A board-certified psychiatrist and assistant clinical professor at UCLA, Dr. Orloff is one of the pioneers in a field known as "energy psychiatry." As she explains it, energy psychiatry incorporates traditional medicine along with teaching patients about intuition and the subtle energies of the body.
In her highly acclaimed book Positive Energy, Dr. Orloff provides a series of basic techniques for transforming feelings of fatigue, stress and fear back into positive emotions. The book also includes a reference guide for all of the energy-boosting activities and exercises.
"I don't think most people ever learn how to create positive energy," Dr. Orloff says. "Once they get even the simplest tools from the book, people are empowered to turn their lives around."
During the course of a hectic day, Dr. Orloff says, it is extremely important to stop and take "energy breaks."
These stress reducers are mini-tune-ups you can use to quickly increase your supply of positive energy.
Though these exercises take only a couple of minutes to perform, you'll be amazed by how much better they make you feel. The next time stress or anxiety darkens your day, brighten the forecast by using one of these two-minute drills.
If you believe that meditation is only for Buddhist monks, think again. According to Dr. Orloff, absolutely everyone can use this technique to quiet a racing mind.
"Your brain waves change after meditating for just a couple of minutes," Dr. Orloff says.
Best of all, Dr. Orloff has designed a simple self-healing meditation that you can use even when you are under a deadline.
Give yourself a quick break and do the following:
Quiet yourself. Let your body unwind. Slowly inhale and exhale. Your breath will bring you back to center.
Gently place your hand over your heart charka in the mid chest. Then, to activate positive energy in this area, focus on whatever makes you feel love, as you've done before. Become a love sponge. Luxuriate in these vibes.
Enjoy a Healthy Snack
Instead of settling for a candy bar from the vending machine at work, pack some healthy snacks to boost your energy levels. Dr. Orloff says you will gain the most positive energy by eating live food instead of dead food. Some of her favorite high-energy snacks include a few slices of homegrown tomato, a sweet apple or a fresh, juicy peach.
Avoid Energy Vampires
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to suck the life force right out of you? Dr. Orloff refers to these people as "energy vampires." When you are already experiencing high levels of stress, it is particularly important to limit your contact with these monsters of negativity.
Give yourself permission to leave and speak with the person another time if you must. Spend a couple minutes talking with a positive person to pick up your spirits.
Adopt a Mantra
Replenishing your supply of energy requires staying present in the moment instead of letting your mind wander. One way to regain your concentration is by repeating a simple mantra. According to Dr. Orloff, a mantra is "a sacred word or phrase that can cue you to return to the Now." Some of her favorite mantras include "Peace," "Happiness" and "Let It Be."
Practice Positive Self Talk
A simple but often overlooked way to pick up your spirits is to say nice things to yourself. Dr. Orloff says our daily to-do list often becomes little more than an excuse to inflict suffering.
"Just a few minutes of shifting negative thoughts to positive ones can change your energy very quickly," Dr. Orloff says. "Combat that inner slave driver by treating yourself with compassion."
Practice Anonymous Giving
A quick, random act of kindness is a great way to turn that bad mood around. With just two minutes of your time, you can do something nice for somebody else. One way Dr. Orloff likes to accomplish this is by anonymous giving. She loves to leave little bits of money behind for people to find.
"It is just a way of giving a little bit to people in a mischievous way," Dr. Orloff says. "This opens your heart and makes you feel better."
Step Away From Your Computer
In this age of modern technology, it is important to resist the temptation to remain plugged in all the time. Most of us are constantly at the mercy of computers, fax machines, cell phones and other devices designed to make our lives more efficient. The problem is that all of these machines give off energies that can drain us of our own.
"I have seen so many of my patients suffer from an exhaustion that comes from constant exposure to technology," Dr. Orloff says. "It often leads to overeating and other self-destructive behaviors."
Instead of becoming a victim of "technodespair," Dr. Orloff advises people to step away from the computer, if only briefly. Instead of sitting in front of the screen like a zombie, go outside and take a quick walk in the fresh air to perk up.
Savor The Silence
Even though many of us are uncomfortable with silence, it is absolutely essential to your overall well-being. A couple minutes of peace and quiet can replenish your energy supplies. According to Dr. Orloff, sitting in silence allows you to become aware of your body again.
Author: John McGran