Do you feel like your mind is getting fuzzy? The routine grind of going to work, fighting through rush hour traffic, going home, and never getting enough sleep is wearing you down. And worst of all, you don’t care that much anymore – about anything. Nothing excites you. Your mental energy has just seeped away.
But you can get that energy back. You don’t have to walk around feeling dull and exhausted all the time. Let’s look at eighteen habits you can develop to replenish your mental energy and get your energy back.
Eighteen Habits That Improve Your Mental Energy
Try a few of these seventeen things to boost your focus and clarity. Start small–perhaps one or two at first–and build from there.
1. Get a good night’s sleep every night.
- Set up a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night.
- While naps are pleasant, they interfere with your nighttime sleep. Don’t nap.
- Avoid caffeine after the early afternoon.
- Don’t eat large meals close to bedtime.
- No alcohol close to bedtime.
- As strange as it seems, exercising gives you more energy. Sitting on your bottom in front of the TV drains your energy, especially your mental energy.
- At least 20 minutes of walking or another exercise, preferably 30 minutes each day, will make you feel much better.
3. Exercise your mind as well as your body.
- Memorize. Start memorizing poetry or the capitals of countries or states. Recite the poems while you exercise your body. Memorization builds mental muscles.
- Learn something new. Take a course in astronomy or art history, or English literature at your local college. You’ll enjoy the interaction with the students.
- Read. Books are the roads to an infinite number of worlds. Go explore.
4. Take a hike in the forest, on the beach, in the mountains.
- Experiencing the peace and beauty of Nature allows your mind to relax and find its own peace.
- Get away from technology. Turn your phone off so that you are not disturbed.
5. Meditate or pray.
- Mindfulness is a variation of meditation in which you focus entirely on the present moment, experiencing it in its entirety.
- Meditation, especially mindfulness training, improves your mental alertness, according to Harvard University.
- Reducing stress and anxiety increases mental energy.
6. Renew old acquaintances.
- Call a friend from your childhood or high school.
- Talk about the old days.
- Beef up those memories and enjoy getting in touch with people you liked once.
- Set up a lunch date.
- Better yet. Find a couple of your old buddies and spend an evening with them. You will all have fun.
- Please make sure they’re positive people, though, optimistic, friendly, funny.
7. Cut yourself away from negative people.
- Even if they are family, stay away from depressing people, at least until you have your energy back. Then you can deal with them.
- You know the negative type. They’ll look at a beautiful blue sky and predict rain. No one is ever good enough, including you. These people drag you down.
- They cause you to lose your mental energy. They’ll draw you into their depressed state.
- They need help, but unless you’re a psychologist, you’re not qualified to save them.
8. Plan to do activities that you enjoy.
- Whether it’s hiking, skiing, riding a horse or a bike, collating your stamp collection or photographs, spend some time doing something fun.
- Include your family or friends, or go it alone, whatever works best for you.
- You can become overwhelmed by your work. Give your mind a healthy, happy break.
- If it’s something you can do every day, then make the time.
- You can walk your dog, swim, play basketball, or sit and read that novel you bought.
- It doesn’t have to be active. Restful fun is still fun.
9. Write a few lines every day or even once a week.
- Writing in a journal can help you release the negative ideas and thoughts you’ve built up.
- A 2011 study showed that teenagers who wrote in a journal daily performed better on tests than those who did not.
- Writing down your feelings, emotions, and worries helps to clear your mind and improve your focus.
- A study of adults with chronic illness divided into two groups: one group that wrote in journals; another that did not write. They found that the writers experienced fewer symptoms and generally felt better than the non-writers.
- It seems that writing down how you feel can improve how you feel.
- Show love to your family or friends. Say positive things. “I love you.” “I forgive you.”
- Reach out and give of yourself. Share your time and energy with them. It’s the best way to show you care.
- Show them that you’re impressed by their work, creativity, or humor. A little praise goes a long way to making everyone feel better.
11. Do something kind for a stranger.
- Help someone pick up spilled groceries or books or papers.
- Pay for someone else’s lunch. The cop sitting by himself at the diner will be given a real boost to his day if you show your appreciation by buying him breakfast.
- Stop and give the guy on the corner a little money. The Mayo Clinic suggests that kindness reduces serum cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress.
- Doing something kind for someone else brings joy to your heart and a smile to your lips. Even Harvard University researchers agree that volunteering might be excellent for your mental health–though they are still trying to learn why.
12. Fill your mind with positive thoughts.
- Get rid of envy. It’s a waste of time and energy. If you want something, work for it.
- Don’t feel sorry for yourself. If you’re in a bad situation, work your way out. Think of ways to improve your life.
- Don’t worry about what other people think. Do try to measure up to those with good opinions of you.
- Have a good opinion of yourself. Make a list of your strengths and good qualities. Work on making a list longer.
- Don’t be a poor loser. If you win, be gracious. If you lose, be gracious.
13. Get rid of the chip on your shoulder.
- Attitude is critical to your success in life.
- Please do not feel that the world owes you because it doesn’t. You owe the world. It would help if you contributed to making your life meaningful. Think about ways to give to your society.
- Go out each day with a smile on your face and a determination to make the world better in your heart.
14. Learn from your mistakes.
- Doing the same thing over and over is going to produce the same results.
- If it doesn’t work, go back to the beginning and try again, differently this time.
- This can apply to building a chair or building a relationship.
15. Try something new.
- You can read a book from a genre you’ve never tried or go to an Ethiopian restaurant or learn to skate.
- Or you can try a new twist on an old recipe or vary the route you take to work.
- Changes don’t have to be large. Little changes can make a difference.
16. Be creative.
- Go to painting night at the local pub.
- Take an art class.
- Start writing that novel you’ve had wandering around in your head for years.
- Write poetry.
- Your writing will be much improved if you take a few creative writing classes.
17. Clean up your work area or your house.
- Clear your space. Organize the papers. Put the books back on the shelf. Put pens in a drawer. Minimize the number of things you see when you’re working.
- A large input of stimuli to the brain makes it difficult to focus.
- Do the same for your home. Could you clean it up? You’ll feel better, and you’ll have more mental energy.
18. Write down lists.
- Give your brain a break. Don’t try to keep all those things in your memory. It clutters up your mind and drains your mental energy.
- Write down the list of things you’re supposed to get at the store.
- Write down your appointments on your calendar.
- If you have to do it, write it down.
Changing your mind’s orientation from negative to positive is not immediate. Your mental energy will increase, but it takes time. Start by making a list of what you want to change. Then start to work. Remember. Anything worthwhile takes work.
The first change you might try is to smile more. Smiling boosts your mental energy. And that, after all, is what you want.