Are you a victim of energy theft?

Do you often feel drained of energy in the morning… or late afternoon… and don’t know why? Sounds like you could be a victim of energy theft.

There are several culprits that could be zapping your energy, and they run the gamut from physical to emotional.

But the first place to look is at the physical causes low energy — such as medical conditions or lifestyle factors.

Physiological causes of low energy can be discovered by your physician. Some of the more common of these are:

  • Low thyroid hormone function (thyroid-sensitive tissues don’t get enough thyroid hormone)
  • Congestive heart failure (lack of blood flow capacity)
  • Anemia (lack red blood cell oxygen carrying capacity)
  • Adrenal fatigue (lack of cortisol)
  • Intestinal dysbiosis (imbalance of the gut microbiome)
  • Chronic viral infection (can affect any organs) such as hepatitis C virus
  • Insomnia (with subsequent daytime fatigue)
  • Hypoglycemia (transient low blood sugar spells)
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Too much refined/processed food; and lack of whole foods/fresh produce
  • Sedentary lifestyle

These last two on the list (nutrient-deficient diet and sedentary lifestyle) are the most common physical causes for low energy. To make the shift to nutrient-rich foods that are energy-giving and can help you adapt to an active lifestyle, follow these steps:

  1. Fresh juice feasting
  2. Drinking a daily fruit smoothie. Ingredients I love are fresh fruit; frozen fruit; milk from almonds, rice, soy, or dairy; raw almonds; rolled oats; protein powder; honey or Stevia drops; ice cubes; healthy oil such as avocado, flax, grapeseed, or olive; any nutrient supplements; and if you can, add a handful of green leafy vegetables, which will change the color to green but change the taste very little. Consider add-ins that kick up your smoothie.
  3. Reduce how much you eat of these food categories in particular, and try to go off them completely: dairy, refined sugar and wheat (found in bread, pasta, and cereals
  4. Get yourself an exercise routine with great music; or work slowly into weight training or aerobic exercises for 30 min at least 3 times per week. You’ll see your energy spiral upwards for sure!

Thoughts that zap your energy

While physical diseases clearly can cause low energy, how you think — and feel — can be even more to blame. I’ve discovered that a bad mood or unhappy feeling generates a real physical low energy, especially over time. On the contrary, a good mood or happy feeling is synonymous with increased energy. Let me explain why this happens.

Amanda, age 39, increasingly experienced “terrible mornings” when deciding whether to remain in relationship with a verbally abusive husband. Thoughts of her distressing relationship and fears of staying… and also of not staying in the relationship prevailed at the first moments when awakening each day. Her constant distressing thoughts soon produced chemicals that triggered distress and anxiety. She described her first 30-45 minutes in the mornings as “hell” trying to get out of bed, being physically paralyzed with depression.

Surprisingly, this kind of experience can be a huge energy zapper. Eventually, persistent despairing thoughts, and the emotions they produce, manifest as physical fatigue.

That’s because our thoughts connect to molecules through our nervous system. Uplifting, positive, happy, enthusiastic, hopeful and inspiring thoughts generate chemicals, much like endorphins (natural morphine-like substances) and dopamine (feel-good neuro-hormones), that literally boost your metabolism.

Most of such physical effects from positive thoughts and feelings cannot even be measured. For example, feelings of elation, love and joy cannot be measured. However, we clearly know they exist because we can experience them.

Energy-producing thoughts

The cool news is that by actively shifting your feeling tone to one of confidence and/or happiness, you’ll also boost your energy. Let me share with you how to do this.

If you’re like me, when you first begin to awaken in the morning you have blurry visual images and thoughts.  Notice also that along with these images and thoughts, there is a feeling tone. This feeling tone is directly related to these thoughts and visual images. If you are experiencing a feeling of uncertainty or fear, you can be sure your thoughts were to blame. And it is quite difficult to control thoughts when you are in the dream state or awakening from a dream.

But as soon as you are alert enough to know you are waking from a dream, that is when you can direct your thoughts and their feeling state. This is the moment when you must actively take hold of, and maintain a positive thought.

When you are first fully awake, take five minutes to visualize what makes you really happy. Keep your focus on it and allow good feelings to flow into your body. Imagine yourself doing it and loving it. Be sure to focus on the good feelings while you see this picture in your mind. This takes letting go of doubts about whether this will work or if it can or cannot be a reality. You must allow your thoughts to persist, dreaming of this happy scene, so your dreams can permeate your physical body through the established chemical pathways there.

Then during the rest of your morning, be aware of your thoughts and the feeling tone you are carrying in your physical body. Whenever needed, take active correction of any negative thoughts to thoughts you know you like and want more. Your body will respond. Energy, motivation, and passion will increase again.

The key is to be consciously aware of your feeling state, as a barometer of your thoughts. If you are feeling bad, then look to the content of your thoughts, as this is what is creating your feelings. Hopeful, uplifting, reassuring, or positively motivating thoughts cause your body to generate the chemical body sensations that feel peaceful, warm, and happy. This becomes a real fuel for your body to generate physical energy and passion.

Then, plan pleasure and fun into your life often so you stay in balance: great music, great friends, new and interesting experiences, thankful prayers with feeling. All these will fuel your physical body energy.

In my next article, we’ll continue to examine ways to get your energy back.

To feeling good each day,

Michael Cutler, M.D.

Dr. Michael Cutler

By Dr. Michael Cutler

Dr. Michael Cutler is a graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine and is a board-certified family physician with more than 20 years of experience. He serves as a medical liaison to alternative and traditional practicing physicians. His practice focuses on an integrative solution to health problems. Dr. Cutler is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on experiencing optimum health through natural medicines and founder of the original Easy Health Options™ newsletter — an advisory on natural healing therapies and nutrients. His current practice is San Diego Integrative Medicine, near San Diego, California.