There are three basic ways to rapidly increase your energy levels:
- Daily physical exercise
- Daily nutritious diet
- Daily positive mental diet.
Physical exercise elicits critical alertness. It makes you more aware. Good aerobic exercise puts your nervous system in a state of moderate arousal which is ideally suited for mental tasks. Exercise also relaxes you after experiencing stress. So, working up a good sweat gets your brain ready to work and it decreases the energy robbing effects of
stress (Howard, 1999).
A healthy diet is fuel for the body. How can you have lots of energy with poor fuel? A 1996 study of 2,000 children found being undernourished resulted in lower levels of achievement and social interaction because of low mental energy. After providing the children with a healthy diet, the researchers observed reverses in poor academic performance and social interaction. They attributed the children’s improved performance to their healthy diet (Brown, & Pollit, 1996). You will be able to study better, learn more, and socialize more readily with a balanced, healthy diet. This alone is an excellent reason to include healthy eating as part of your relapse prevention plan.
Negative attitude and emotional states are associated with relapse. For a positive mental diet, plan and schedule opportunities to read books and attend programs that advance your knowledge and skills. Learn more about people who have the traits you want to acquire. You will be able to complete more mental work if you schedule time formally with yourself to accomplish these activities. You can read books about people who have experienced struggles and succeeded. You can attend programs that focus on how people solved some of the same issues or concerns you may be experiencing. Remember “garbage in, garbage out.” Stay away from negative reading, movies, and people that do not contribute positively to your life. Your time is valuable and so is your brain. Don’t waste either one.
Combine all three of these strategies simultaneously: exercise (especially first thing in the morning); eat a healthy diet; and provide yourself with a positive mental diet daily. By doing all three you will have greatly improved your odds of succeeding at relapse prevention and achieving your life goals. Each strategy must be preplanned and scheduled into your day. Get a daily organizer, write things down, and use it to plan in advance. You will want to include the times you get up, eat, work, exercise, and attend mentally nourishing events. Unless you plan in detail and in advance, your goals will turn into wishes instead of actions. Relapse prevention means taking concrete action daily so you have the personal energy and the drive to succeed without drugs and alcohol.