While working do you find yourself tired and quickly irritated by minor
hassles? Do depressive thoughts quickly arise? Do you realize that you
responded excessively only after you have lashed out and reacted? A state
of tense tiredness is often common after a restless sleep, lack of a
balanced breakfast, consuming multiple cups of coffee or caffeinated
drinks, eating sugary snacks, and lack of exercise. Low energy often
contributes to negative moods that increase shoulder (trapezius) muscle
tension. Decrease your tension and change your mood when you increase energy.
How to Increase Energy
Begin each day by eating breakfast that includes protein such as cereals
with nuts, left over dinner, or the traditional egg. (Oh, no, not my
grandmother’s advice again: Eat three square meals a day and get some
Listen to yourself and when you begin feel tired, STOP! Take a short walk
instead of reaching for a snack or a cup of coffee. (At work, schedule
A twenty-minute walk will increase your energy, loosen your neck and
shoulders and help to transform irritations into solvable problems.
Exercise also lengthens the time before desiring a snack or cigarette
During the day take many breaks to interrupt the low-level chronic tension
that is common during computer work. Breaks allow your body to regenerate.
For more information read: Thayer, R.E. (1996). The Origin of Everyday
Moods. New York: Oxford University Press.
Copyright 2003 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney
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