I'd love to share some ideas that haven't really been expressed in the literature, that certainly that I've been involved in, looking at the different types of fatigue and really diagnosing what's stopping us from feeling energized and positive.
Often we feel exhausted and drained and tired. What causes that?
Well, at a physical level we can feel tired from overexertion. So at a very reductionist level, if we've been working out, if we've had a very busy day physically, then the muscles and the cells need a period of rejuvenation. And we often know that if we've had a busy day physically, we've done a lot of walking, a lot of exercise, then our sleep is often deeper at night, because the sleep system has been triggered effectively to heal and restore the body, the neurotransmitters, the physical elements of fatigue.
But often our fatigue is mental or emotional fatigue.
So we might have been, let's say, sitting at our desk all day working. And even though we've hardly physically moved, we can experience that mental fatigue where we can come home and feel exhausted. So it shows us that actually fatigue is not really a physical phenomenon necessarily. It is a mental and emotional phenomenon that then gives us the physical experience of fatigue.
Then there's emotional fatigue.
Where we may experience anger or sadness or fear, and even though we've not physically exerted ourselves, that can also drain our energy.
So the mental and emotional fatigue is often as a result of the stimulation of the stress system. So we stimulate our stress system unnecessarily or too far, and that then causes fatigue in the body and reduces our energy levels. So it's about burning energy at the right level.
Imagine an incense stick.
If we light that incense stick, if the incense burns really, really quickly, then we use up the energy very, very quickly, and that's when we're burning energy too fast and feel exhausted too quickly. But if we burn that incense stick slowly, then we're able to maintain a steady release of energy during the day.
So we've all heard of glycemic index and having foods which release energy slowly into the system, rather than high sugar foods. That's true not only at a physical level, but also a mental and emotional level.
How much are we burning our energy too quickly and therefore causing ourselves exhaustion very quickly?
And there's also spiritual fatigue.
There can be fatigue that often can be down to a deeper depression, or a sense of not having a direction in life or feeling lost in life can also result in fatigue. So fatigue has so many different sources and we have to diagnose ourselves as to where this fatigue and lack of energy is actually coming from.
The number one source of my client's lack of energy.
Worrying is the number one source of the lack of energy. When we have a background feeling of fear and anxiety about our lives or we don't feel that we're achieving what we want in life and we're fearful about getting what we want, that often drains our energy. Just one little thought worry just drains our energy slightly.
Ashok Gupta is the Director of the Gupta Program. He has dedicated his life to helping people get their life back from Chronic Illness, improving people’s well-being, and helping them achieve their potential. He has been teaching meditation around the world for over 15 years. He runs a global e-clinic specializing in treating ME, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia & Multiple Chemical Sensitivities – guptaprogram.com
Ashok has spent many years researching the brain neurology of emotion and linking well-being tools with science. He has published medical papers on the basis of stress-related illnesses. He has appeared in many media as an expert on stress on the BBC, CNN, Guardian Newspaper, ITV, The Independent, and many others.
He wrote and presented the Meaning of Life Experiment which is a Free, Award-winning Meditation and Self-Development App www.themeaningoflife.tv
He also works with companies around the world, teaching courses in Leadership, Time Management, and Personal Development. www.ashokgupta.tv