Life can take a toll on your energy levels
Whether it's a stressful day at work, a challenging interaction with a loved one, the go-stop-go cadence of life or the crazy unexpected challenges of 2020, we all experience moments, days, even weeks that demand a lot of our mental, emotional, and physical energy.
When this happens, our adrenal glands take a hard hit and we can feel generally off. And who hasn’t felt stress, anxiety, emotional exhaustion and even boredom over the last few months.
Often people carry around so many tasks in their mind that they think they have to do, should have done, could do, etc. The mental energy expended just thinking about this never-ending to-do list can leave you feeling drained, lethargic and completely overwhelmed.
Fatigue is a term used to describe an overall feeling of tiredness, lack of energy, no motivation and sometimes even difficulty finding joy. If you often wake up tired in the mornings and still feel like you need a nap in the afternoon but then have trouble sleeping at night, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Often times the people who are most at risk of ‘suffering’ a lack of energy are those who do not feel like they are living purposefully. People who tend to feel lost, overwhelmed and out of focus often lack energy. They are scattered and trying to live other people’s lives. In other words not doing what they love nor loving what they do. They aren’t grateful so they are putting on the brakes in life and lacking the energy and vitality to live.
The body and mind are inseparable in their interactions. We need to be accountable for how our psychology may be affecting our overall health. This is where knowing your unique hierarchy of values and structuring your life accordingly is the wisest action to take.
Other signs of adrenal fatigue can be ;
• Feeling tired; struggling to wake up in the morning • Trouble falling asleep • A mid-afternoon slump • Anxiety, or feeling on edge • Mood swings • Depression • Weight gain • Autoimmune issues • Brain fog • Body aches • Hair loss • Lightheadedness
Multitaskers in the body, the adrenal glands influence the body's stress response, immune health, sleep patterns, and mood. The small but powerful glands produce hormones that naturally assist in maintaining functions ranging from blood pressure and cardiovascular activity to blood sugar levels and metabolism.
When your adrenals work the way they should, you become more resilient, and you have a much easier time taking on life’s challenges.
If you’re overwhelmed by chronic stress, your adrenals can get burnt out from constantly producing cortisol. When the adrenal glands are fatigued, you can feel physically fatigued with low energy levels, have a weakened immune system, and an inability to adapt to stress.
Your natural cortisol rhythm becomes irregular — sometimes you produce too much cortisol, sometimes not enough — and you can struggle to make other hormones leading to many generalised symptoms; imbalanced hormones affect your entire body so much that it’s hard to pin it down to your adrenals.
It is well known that herbal remedies, particularly adapotogens are fantastic at supporting fatigue issues related to the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, and ultimately help the body maintain homeostasis.
Adaptogens are unique because they modulate cortisol in both directions: if cortisol is low, adaptogens bring it up, and if cortisol is high, they bring it down.
While adaptogens have many benefits for adrenal and overall system health, they shouldn’t be used as a substitute for healthy habits. First and foremost is transforming perceptions around the stressors in life - how is what you are experiencing serving you on the way to a fulfiling and meaningful life. Getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet, exercise, hydration, managing stress, transforming polarised perceptions and living a life of meaning are also fundamental for achieving optimal vitality.
Helpful too is to minimize the things in your diet and life that are inflammatory stressors (caffeine, sugar, refined foods, alcohol) and replace with good fats and anti-oxidant rich veggies.
Simple solutions to have more energy
1. Know where you are going:
Your energy soars when you are clear on your aim and direction in life. When your heart and soul are guiding you energy abounds.
2. Delegate low priority actions
3. Be Thankful:
When you are grateful for all that you have rather than dwelling on all that you are lacking, you will discover a very powerful source of energy. Count your blessings daily.
4. Eat Moderately
Many people try to perk themselves up by pigging out but this is definitely not the way to do it. It has actually been shown that if you eat less you have an increase in vitality and overall energy. Biological research also shows people who eat less live longer. Walk away from the table a little less full and you will have a lot more spark to do the things you want to do.
5. Eat wholesome nutritious foods:
Become aware of what you eat. Be sure to “eat to live” not “live to eat”.
6. Drink Water
7. Breathe fully and deeply
8. Connect your vocation with your vacation:
If you aren’t doing what you love and loving what you do you have the brake on all the time.
Smiling can change your physiology and make you look up at life.
"Gratitude can open up your heart to love and live your life, with more energy and vitality!"
– Dr John Demartini
<< The Best Adaptogens and Herbs for Adrenal Fatigue >>
In this list, we've included herbs and mushrooms (in no particualr order) that provide daily support for the adrenals, help promote stress relief, and restore balance.
1. Ashwagandha Known for its grounding and restorative properties, Ashwagandha supports the nervous and endocrine systems and promotes a natural sleep cycle. As a nourishing tonic, Ashwagandha can help the body adapt to stressful conditions and help nourish and restore optimal health by supporting normal mood, energy levels, and overall immune function to help you stay centered and thrive in your busy life.
2. Rhodiola rosea As an adrenal adaptogen, Siberian Rhodiola supports the functioning of the adrenal glands and encourages a healthy response to stress and has a long history of traditional use. Rhodiola has been used successfully to increase stamina, prevent fatigue, improve mental function, reduce anxiety and ameliorate symptoms of mild depression.
3. Holy Basil Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi or the incomparable one, translates to balance, which is symbolic of its most common modern use. Holy Basil helps you respond to stress in a healthy way, while nourishing the mind and elevating the spirit. As an adaptogenic herb, Holy Basil also supports adrenal health and a state of equilibrium in the body.
4. Eleuthero; Siberian Ginseng Siberian ginseng is used to increase mental alertness and performance, enhance concentration, reduce stress and fatigue, and enhance overall immunity. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Eleuthero root is used to invigorate qi (chi or energy), strengthen and nourish the body, and to balance vital energy.
5. Schisandra Regarded as a harmonizing tonic and a popular adaptogenic herb, Schisandra berries contain a blend of five distinct flavor properties, which correspond to the five phases or Elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Sour (Wood), Bitter (Fire), Sweet (Earth), Acrid (Metal) and Salty (Water). Since these five flavors work synergistically to promote overall health and vitality, Schisandra is sometimes called the ultimate superberry. Schisandra berries can enhance the body's natural resistance and adaptation to stressful influences.
6. Licorice root Licorice helps regulate normal system function and allows your body to better cope with stress, and has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. This fatigue-fighting herb helps rebuild damaged adrenals and reduces cravings for sweets and caffeine which cause a energy crash after an initial rush. If you take blood thinners, potassium, or blood pressure medications take care because licorice—albeit large amounts—can create a blood pressure rise.
7. Cordyceps This medicinal mushroom has been extensively used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat fatigue, low sex drive and kidney disease for centuries. It is thought to host a range of bioactive compounds that provide many health benefits when consumed . Fantastic for combatting fatigue, improving muscle weakness, and increasing athletic performance.
8.Gotu Kola Gotu Kola is one of the most well-respected adaptogenic energy herbs in Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine. Studies have proven the effect of Gota Kola on promoting healthy energy levels and stamina as well as reducing fatigue.
9. Ginkgo Biloba Tracing back nearly 300 million years, Ginko biloba is the oldest surviving tree species on earth! Ginkgo is considered a prescription herb in Germany and is used to reduce fatigue and enhance oxygen utilization. In cases of fatigue, the adrenals suffer from a significant amount of oxidative stress, leading to an increase in free radicals. Ginko biloba has been studied to protect the adrenal glands, the brain and the liver from damaging free radicals.
<< A few extra helpers >>
Sea Kelp Low thyroid function is also a common cause of fatigue. The iodine found in kelp can help normalize an underactive thyroid gland and increase or regulate your energy levels. The thyroid is essential in regulating your metabolism as well as preventing the accumulation of body fat.
Vit B Vitamin B12 helps transform the food you eat into energy that your cells can use. It also keeps your body’s nerves and blood cells healthy and helps prevent a type of anemia that can make you weak and tired.
Tyrosine Tyrosine is an amino acid that functions as a precursor to neurotransmitters such as dopamine. These neurotransmitters are thought to decline with mentally and physically demanding activities, which can negatively affect concentration and energy levels. Tyrosine has been shown to help neurotransmitters keep up production of dopamine and norepinephrine and support the body’s response to stress and to help increase alertness and energy levels. They may also help restore memory and clarity in sleep-deprived people. Tyrosine is found in most high-protein foods, including chicken, eggs and dairy products.
Coenzyme Q10, CoQ10, a substance produced by the body, also helps your mitochondria make energy. When levels of CoQ10 decline, your body’s cells cannot produce the energy they need to grow and stay healthy, which may contribute to fatigue Coenzyme Q10 is found in certain foods, including nuts and oils.
Magnesium This mineral is involved in hundreds of chemical reactions in the body. It plays a role in changing protein, fat, and carbohydrates into energy sources. A mild deficiency may be the cause of fatigue, anxiety and depression in some people. Magnesium is best absorbed through the skin, so have a bath!
We have all the above in the West End Happy Herb Shop, so come in and have a chat about how we can serve you to restore yourself to your most vital and enthusiastic self!