7 Tips to Boost Your Energy. Fast.

Every Wednesday is Tip Day.
This Wednesday: seven tips to boost your energy–right away.

A feeling of energy is a key to feeling happy. Studies show that when you feel energetic, you feel much better about yourself. On the other hand, when you feel exhausted, tasks that would ordinarily make you happy—like putting up holiday decorations, getting ready to go to a party, or planning a trip—make you feel overwhelmed and blue.

When my energy feels at a low ebb, I try one of these techniques (well, first I drink something with caffeine in it, but if I feel like I need to take further steps, I try these strategies):

1. Exercise—even a quick ten-minute walk will increase your energy and boost your mood. This really works! Try it! People often say they’re too tired to exercise, but in fact, unless you’re exercising at a very intense level, exercise tends to boost energy rather than deplete it.

2. Listen to lively music. This is one of the quickest, easiest ways to get a jolt of energy.

3. Get enough sleep. If the alarm blasts you awake every morning, you’re not getting enough sleep—and it matters. Most adults need at least seven hours each night. Don’t kid yourself about how much sleep you need! (Here are some tips for getting good sleep.)

4. Act energetic. Research shows that when people move faster, their metabolism speeds up. Also, because the way we act influences the way we feel (to an almost uncanny degree), acting with energy will make you feel more energetic. Stand up while talking on the phone, walk more quickly, speak with more animation.

5. Talk to friends. We get a real charge from connecting with other people. I’ve noticed that if I’m feeling low, and then run into a friend on the street, I walk away feeling much more energetic. Reach out if you need a boost. This is true for introverts and extroverts alike.

6. Get something done. Crossing a nagging chore off your to-do list provides a big rush of energy. For a huge surge, clean out a closet. You’ll be amazed at how great you feel afterward. A friend once told me, “Every to-do list should include one item that can be crossed off in the first five minutes.” If that’s all you can do, do it; you’ll feel better.

7. Skip the food strategy. It’s tempting to reach for a carton of ice cream when you’re feeling listless, but in the end, all those extra calories will just drag you down. In general, be wary of the urge to treat yourself when you’re feeling low.

Energy (or lack of energy) is contagious. If you feel energetic, you’ll help the people around you feel energetic, too. And that makes them feel happier. In fact, in his excellent book, The No A***ole Rule, Bob Sutton reports that being an energizer was one of the strongest predictors of a positive performance evaluation at work. (This is related to the Radiators vs. Drains distinction.)

Have you found any good, quick strategies for boosting your energy? Do you agree that your energy affects your happiness?

  • Laryssa

    My quick tip is to set my intention and find some inspiration. it is a combination of all the above. and of course putting on my Tiny Devotions mala beads to really set it into my day.

  • peninith

    Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ — perks me up every time!

  • I’d like to add self-compassion to your list for boosting our energy levels. Being overly critical of ourselves or being a “task-master” is emotionally and physically draining. Practicing self-compassion makes us happier and increases our degree of motivation and energy.

    “Thinking Matters”

  • Lack of energy is the single most important thing that I wish I didn’t have to deal with. Sometimes some spicy food or a glass of wine can combat my fatigue.

  • Kevin @ Movemo

    Spend some time in nature! I read about this interesting thing that some people in Japan do called “Forest Bathing,” which is basically taking a walk in the forest. I’m not exactly sure what causes the boost in energy (could just be from the walking) but I always feel really great after spending sometime outdoors.

  • Shelley Munro

    Excellent tips. I totally agree with a little exercise. That always works for me.

  • laelliott

    A to-do list energizes me. I always feel better when I can move from overwhelmed to organized and crossing even small things off feels amazing!

  • JK

    Drinking a glass of water is often good enough. Usually I’ll have the water just before one of the seven strategies, but after the water I’ll be feeling better before I even start. It’s surprising how easily we become dehydrated without noticing.

  • Mo

    Whenever I feel fatigued, overwhelmed, and sluggish, I’ve been experimenting with adopting a S.T.O.P. technique (“Step Back, Think, Organize, and Proceed”) from Timothy Gallwey’s “The Inner Game of Stress.” It’s simple, yet effective.

    I concur–exercising, becoming more aware of my eating habits under stress, and getting enough sleep at night also help me too.

    • totally agree with that technique..It was the only way I was able to do both biochem and anatomy&physiology in the same year…bleh… I didn’t have a name for the technique but the one you described is exactly what I did 🙂

  • I recommend cutting sugar out of the diet to help with low energy and the drinking water and taking that brisk walk when you feel sluggish helps.

  • What really energizes me is doing something I love like dancing, surfing, hula hooping, being with friends, helping people, figuring out a difficult puzzle in life (metaphorically speaking), etc.
    Also eating really nutrient dense foods that are easy to digest since I have compromised digestion: I do a lot of juicing and smoothies. Also increasing my protein (easy to digest forms or slow cooking hard to digest forms) in my diet has also really helped me feel better as well 😀

  • Maxine

    The best thing for me is to turn on my music (gotta be loud) and do my housework and sing. After an hour or so I am energised and happy, and with a clean home. It really works!

  • This is really helpful!

    Something we all might do differently and uniquely but still provides life is meditation.

    I find meditation in varying degrees helps with energy. Sometimes I think dwelling on happy things, good things, creative things, happy memories or emotions themselves helps with energy. I love taking time to smile or laugh. Seriously setting a time to just laugh!!!


  • Jim

    Get a dog. Walk it.

    You’ll find that no matter how bad your day, the dog will ALWAYS make it better.

    The fact that you’ve come home is., to them, awesome. You speak to them, awesome. You give them a fuss – AWESOME ! You’ll basically get masses of unconditional and non-judgmental love and affection. Plus when you walk your dog, you’ll meet other people walking their dogs which will give you a further boost.