Whenever I read anything on getting more energy, it basically suggests that you need to eat better, exercise regularly and sleep more. All good advice but not always easy to put into practice as a busy businessperson and dad/husband!
Then I was sent this article by a colleague that made me sit up and take notice.
It did say you need to be healthy (they put it succinctly as eat better, move more, sleep long and well) but that was the last of their three recommendations. It was the first two that really spoke to me.
The biggest contributor to getting more energy is being happy and one of the ways to do this is making sure you have meaning in your life.
So energy is not all to do with V drinks or chia seeds or getting to bed before 9pm.
Happy people generally have energy.
Happy people have meaning. Essentially, meaning is doing stuff that benefits other people.
This article said that doing good stuff for others makes us feel happy, which gives us energy. But focusing on our own happiness can actually make us unhappy. And here’s a weird fact: the bodies of people who are cheery but lack anything deeper (like meaning in their lives) actually show higher levels of inflammation.
Harvard Business School did a study of 238 workers from 7 different companies and found that we’re 250% more likely to be engaged at the office when we feel we’re making progress in meaningful work. 250%. They found meaningful work to be the single most important thing in engaging employees.
But we can’t all do a job that changes lives, you might think. Here’s the thing: it doesn’t need to be that profound. You can create meaning.
There’s a new term called job-crafting that shows if you tweak how you work, you can get more meaning in your time at the office. Think about what activities give you a feeling of engagement warmth and pride. Think about the people you work with. Who makes you feel good? Who drains your energy? Think of a way to spend more time doing the stuff that makes you happy.
And change how you think. Everyone’s work benefits someone else. Think carefully about who your work helps and you’ll increase the level of meaning in your life.
For example, there was a university call centre that rang alums for donations. Once they met the scholarship students who benefited from the donations (their work) their productivity and enthusiasm went up hugely… as did the money coming in.
Don’t be so focused on your well-being – put a little more effort into your well-doing and your well-being often takes care of itself, this article said.
One more thing to get you more energy… human interaction.
People surveyed said the most positive times in their lives weren’t about achievement, but about belonging and connecting.
Respondents would describe their most significant positive and negative experiences – and they were all social events. Falling in love. Great times with friends. Losing someone.
Simply connecting to others.
Participants consistently rated events with other people as being more influential than solitary experiences. So not individual achievements like winning awards or completing tasks. Researchers concluded that social experiences, “gain their emotional punch from our need to belong”.
And how can you use this knowledge to create happiness day to day? Just by knowing that positive interactions with people throughout the day quadruples your chance of feeling good. Four times!
Their tip for improving all interactions? Be 80% positive. Make sure 4 out of 5 things you say or do are about good things, not bad. Bad moments outweigh good ones so focus your conversations at work on what’s going RIGHT.
There are other great tips in here this article but I really liked this short summary:
To have more energy, don’t do less. Do more. Of the right things.
To feel more alive, don’t focus on yourself. Focus on others.
Ina nutshell: Rest is only a small part of why you feel energised – it’s more about what you do and how those around you make you feel.
Read the full article HERE