How are your energy levels on a day-to-day basis, especially before you’ve had your coffee? Not so great? And how about your mood? Feeling melancholy and uncertain more often than not?
Many of us today experience a range of unfortunate but hard-to-define conditions that stop us from being our best. These conditions aren’t necessarily medical in nature — although they can be — but rather have to do with chronically low levels of energy, poor mood, and a lack of desire to do much of anything.
What you really want is to be a “vibrant” person. When we think of vibrant people, we think of people who are energetic, positive, and have a healing aura. The kind of people who light up the room when they enter, and who always seem to know how to get the most out of life at any given moment.
So, if you’ve been feeling like you haven’t been at peak performance for a while — or maybe even ever — here are some tips for becoming a more vibrant person.
Get more sleep
Sleep is a really big deal. Like, a much bigger deal than the vast majority of people seem to realise, or at least, acknowledge.
What happens when you find yourself having to stay at the office for a longer stretch of time than you might have wanted? When you get back home, do you get into bed right away?
If you’re anything like most people, you probably decide, consciously or unconsciously, to cut back some of your precious sleep time in order to watch a few episodes of your favourite show on Netflix, do some casual web surfing, share a cool photo from the weekend on Instagram, and so on.
At the same time, if you’re a really driven, entrepreneurial type, it’s highly likely that you cut back on sleep — at least every once in a while — in order to free up more time to spend on your work.
But sleep isn’t just a luxury. It’s absolutely essential for our health, mood, and energy levels. In recent times, sleep researchers have found that people who don’t get enough shut-eye experience shrinkage in key areas of the brain, have their immune systems devastated, become insulin-resistant, and fall prey to depression and other mood disorders at a significantly higher rate.
Do the kind of workouts that leave you feeling great once you’re done
High-intensity exercise has become really popular in recent times, and there’s an idea going around that you’re basically not doing a proper workout unless you finish each feeling like you’ve just been beaten up by an angry mob.
But intense workouts aren’t just the blessing they’re made out to be. Your CrossFit session, or that 2 hour HIIT class your gym runs, also place a major stress on your Central Nervous System, and can result in conditions like rhabdomyolysis, which results in severe muscle breakdown (and can be fatal), or overtraining syndrome.
If you end your workouts feeling like death, with a seriously low mood, shaking limbs, and no motivation to do anything at all other than curl in a ball and go to sleep, you’re not doing yourself any favours in the long run, and you shouldn’t expect to feel or act like a vibrant person as a result.
Your workouts should leave you feeling charged with energy, sweaty, but alive, optimistic, strong, and healthy. They should make you feel as though you’ve actually just done something good for you, instead of like you’ve just been poisoned.
This type of exercise — balanced and uplifting — has tremendous benefits for your fitness and vibrancy, and doesn’t compromise your health or make you feel stressed. Stick to workouts that make you feel good.
Eat enough, but don’t eat constantly
Dieting is extremely common, and people will go to almost any lengths, and buy into almost any fad, in order to get as lean as possible in time for summer and the beach session.
The thing is, diets that involve serious caloric restriction are just not that good for you. Have you ever heard of the “Biggest Loser” study? To cut a long story short, contestants from the reality show, “The Biggest Loser”, which involves serious crash dieting in order to promote maximum, rapid weight loss, don’t fare too well after the show has wrapped up.
A study, conducted on those subjects, fond that their metabolisms were wrecked up to 6 years after their appearance on the show, which resulted in them gaining back their old weight — and more — over a relatively short period of time.
Skip the fad diets and the advice to restrict your calories significantly. Instead, eat enough of whole nutritious foods, during the day, but try to avoid snacking between meals or grazing constantly. Dr. Jason Fung, author of the book “The Complete Guide to Fasting” observes that constant feeding results in insulin resistance, weight gain, and even Type 2 Diabetes.
Have hobbies and pastimes that make you happy
Being a vibrant person isn’t all about optimising your physical energy levels, it’s also — to a significant degree — about doing the kinds of things with your life that give you a sense of purpose, make you happy, and motivate you to jump out of bed each morning and see what the day has in store.
People who are vibrant and magnetic, are always excited about life. They don’t sit around feeling jaded and complaining endlessly about how unfair everything is, they focus instead on the things they can change, and on the things that bring them joy.
To be a more vibrant person, identify the hobbies and pastimes that make you happy, and then actually do them. Don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself, or doing nothing with your life instead of grinding endlessly in order to be successful. You know the old saying, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.
When you do things that make you happy, and that genuinely interest you, you’re opening yourself up to the joys of living in general. You’re also likely to have more interesting things to say to your friends when you meet up.