GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has been hurling insults at just about everyone–particularly at his competitors–since the day he announced his run for the presidency last June.
He’s called people liars, losers, even a pussy, but to me, the worst slight of all is being called “low-energy.” It implies you don’t have the stamina to do the job. Just ask poor Jeb Bush. Trump has called him “weak” and “low-energy” so many times he's making Ben Carson look like Mr. Excitement.
Everyone needs energy, not just presidential hopefuls. You need it in life, at work, in the gym, and if you ever have to debate Donald Trump. Call it vigor, vitality, or just plain mojo, there are easy ways to get it, improve it, and keep it going. Here’s how:
Get Your Ass in Gear
He’s called people liars, losers, even a pussy, but to me, the worst slight of all is being called “low-energy.”
Want more energy? Exercise. Need more energy to ward off the late afternoon slump? Exercise at lunchtime. Working out midday (even if it’s just a walk) not only breaks up the monotony of your 9-to-5, it'll help power you through the rest of your workday. Studies have shown that office workers who exercise at lunch are more productive, less stressed, and have more energy.
In the book "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain," researchers at Leeds Metropolitan University in England found that workers who used their company’s gym were more productive and felt better able to handle their workloads. Overall, they felt better about their work and less stressed when they exercised. And they felt less fatigued in the afternoon, despite expending energy at lunchtime.
It goes without saying that eating right is everything—and if you’re reading the LA Progressive that means you’re smart enough to know it. Food is fuel, and fuel is energy. I’m all for moderation, but too much sugar, alcohol, and fatty foods are definite no-no’s if you want to avoid wild energy swings. Need more help with your diet? Check out the online article "How To Eat Healthy: 5 Easy New Tips From Research."
Get Your Zzzzzz's
This is a no-brainer, particularly for brain power. Many studies have shown that skimping on sleep not only affects your productivity, creativity, and ability to think, it can lead to a host of health problems, including obesity and high blood pressure. For those who just can’t seem to get enough shut-eye, here’s a solution courtesy of "The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Life Health": use your alarm clock. Not to wake up, but to go to sleep. Set an alarm for an hour before bedtime. When it goes off, finish up any work on the computer, turn off the TV, turn off any unnecessary lights, and start to wind down for the day.
Know Your Rhythm
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Knowing when you’re at your best has huge energy benefits, not to mention implications for how dynamic you're perceived. For example, athletes are much more likely to break world records when they align their competitions with their internal clock. But you don’t have to be an athlete to reap the rewards of knowing your circadian rhythms. If you’re an early riser, schedule important meetings or workouts when you’re fresh as a daisy, not later in the day when you’re a wilting flower.
Accentuate Your Positives
Doing the stuff you’re good at is infectious: it gives you confidence and shows people you’re enthusiastic. Plenty of research shows that using your “signature strengths” makes you happier. But studies also show that engaging those abilities boosts your energy, too:
"The more hours per day adults believe they use their strengths, the more likely they are to report having ample energy, feeling well-rested, being happy, smiling or laughing a lot, learning something interesting, and being treated with respect."
Doing what you love lifts the spirits, so do the small victories in life. Accomplishing minor projects or tasks throughout your day can improve enthusiasm and boost energy.
Lend a Hand
It might sound counterintuitive, but volunteering is a great energizer. I’m a mentor to a 15-year-old in South Central L.A., and I can tell you that no matter how exhausted I feel, spending time with her always puts a spring back in my step.
Laurence Gonzales, a researcher in the science of survival, writes about the power of helping people in his book, "Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why."
"Helping someone else is the best way to ensure your own survival. It takes you out of yourself. It helps you to rise above your fears. Now you’re a rescuer, not a victim. And seeing how your leadership and skill buoy others up gives you more focus and energy to persevere. The cycle reinforces itself: You buoy them up, and their response buoys you up. Many people who survive alone report that they were doing it for someone else (a wife, boyfriend, mother, son) back home.”
My best advice? If you ever have to share a debate stage with Donald Trump and he calls you “low-energy,” knock back a double shot espresso, step up to his podium, and yawn in his face.
Treva Brandon Scarf