“Where does all that energy come from?” I get this question a lot. Admittedly, I am quite the energetic person naturally. Today my feet hit the floor at 4:45am and I’ve been going at a really exhilarating pace ever since. The first year of having a baby scared me a bit because I felt like he sucked all the energy out of me. Now that everyone in the Haus is back to a regular sleep schedule, though, I feel back to my old self again, and I am grateful for it.
Energy is defined as the strength and vitality for sustained activity. Life is a series of sustained activity and it’s my constant prayer to face it with energy and enthusiasm. Anytime someone asks me about it, though, I am happy to tell them where it all comes from. No, I don’t drink coffee, although Malachi almost drove me to it! No, I’m not just really hyper, although it does happen at times. I believe energy is something that’s cultivated in our bodies, souls, and spirits. So here’s one quick tip for each of those areas that can help you tap into even more energy.
When it comes to your physical energy, there’s no way around it: you are what you eat. It doesn’t matter how much you try to work out or build up your stamina, the engine of your body is only as good as the fuel you put in it.
So the simple tip I’d like to give you is this: Do you know those foods that you love to eat, but afterward make you feel like you’re going to either die or take a 4 hour nap? Stop eating those.
Our bodies have very clear ways of communicating to us what they can and cannot handle. That feeling of exhaustion, headaches, and overall I-can’t-breathe-ness after eating is a red flag that your body is overrun with saturated fat, grease, sodium, and other harsh components. I’d love to say that “this food is bad for me” is motivation enough for me to say no to chips (because I love chips) but it isn’t. I had to come to terms that those 3 baskets of chips would sap my energy for the rest of the day, decrease my productivity, and set me back in everything I’d wanted to accomplish. It didn’t make me want them less, but It made me realize I couldn’t afford to lose an entire day over chips. (I still love you, chips!)
Your food should fuel you, not sap you. It’s not always easy to choose the healthy alternatives but for me, it’s a no-brainer when I look at a plate and see it as fuel to conquer my day. One huge step you can take toward increasing your energy and vitality is move your diet towards more healthy, fresh, unprocessed foods. You’ll notice yourself feeling a lot more pep in your step!
Our minds have the immense power to either boost or drain our energy toward life. Everything can be going well but if your mind is not in the right place, you’ll drag through your days and weeks in listlessness. You’ve got to learn to harness the power of your thoughts and emotions by driving them in the right direction. I once heard Christine Caine preach that “Thoughts are like trains: they take you somewhere.”
The big question, then, is where are your thoughts taking you? Are you facing your day with dread? That usually drains your vitality. Are you living in fear, unforgiveness, or offense? No one can thrive with those emotional weights on their heart. Instead, you’ve got to make a decision for yourself to only think on that which pulls you forward.
My best tip for emotional energy is this: Set some time at the beginning of each day and look inward. Whether you’re writing in a journal, meditating, or praying, it’s important to look into your soul and see what’s there. Ask yourself how you’re actually feeling. Contemplate what hurt, pain, or fear you may be harboring. Confront any and every thought that is draining you and make a commitment to yourself about how you’ll think for the next 24 hours.
This is perhaps my favorite aspect of energy. Any strength or vitality that does not reach the deepest parts of you isn’t sufficient enough to sustain you through the demands of life.
Ephesians 1:19 is a verse I constantly pray over myself. “Oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust him – endless energy, boundless strength!” God utterly and extravagantly lavishes endless energy and boundless strength upon those who trust Him! Now THAT is a promise that I can latch onto.
So what’s the tip here? To energize your spirit, you must make a daily decision to trust God.
When we don’t trust God, we put the responsibility to figure everything out on ourselves and that inhibits us completely. Trust energizes us because we can keep moving, even when we don’t understand, because we know He will sustain us. In fact, trusting God blurs the line between us living on our own energy and His Spirit actually becoming our energy. There have been plenty of times when I was exhausted but suddenly felt divine energy rush into me to accomplish something that would glorify God. So if your spirit feels drained, put your trust in God and if you really trust Him, you prove it by going out there and living big for Him.
So are you ready to go out there and live with vitality? Cultivating energy in your life is certainly not an overnight process and there’s way more you can do outside of what I’ve mentioned here. However, I believe any step in the right direction is better than no steps at all so start today and soon you’ll be a lot like little Malachi – full of energy all. day. long.