With the holidays rapidly approaching, it feels like our to-do lists are getting longer by the minute. At the same time, scientists at the University of Texas at Austin say that October’s shorter days and diminishing sunlight can tinker with our internal clocks, making 67 percent of us feel more weary.
In addition to taking an energy supplement for a much-needed boost, you can also try these four simple and proven energizers to help to combat your foggy thinking and nap attacks. Read on to get the scoop.
Look Left, Look Right
Slowly moving your eyes from side to side for 15 seconds can heighten electrical activity in both sides of your brain, boosting alertness by 42 percent for one hour straight, report British researchers.
For an even bigger dose of energy, try sitting up straight and pulling your shoulders back —as far back as comfortably possible — as you do your eye exercises. According to Cornell University researchers, this sudden, big posture shift will prompts your brain to release an energizing chemical called acetylcholine, which can keep you powered up for hours to come.
Enjoy a Good Laugh
A good laugh is proven to boost your mood — and power your pep! University of Nebraska researchers say that even a few seconds of hearty laughter can make your mental and physical energy levels soar by up to 75 percent.
Psychiatrist Ben Kreifelts, M.D., explains that laughter signals your brain to release a surge of endorphins — aka happy hormones — which in turn help you feel alert, focused and energized. Pro tip: For guaranteed giggles, we recommend checking out YouTube clips of the bloopers from your favorite sitcom or funny movie.
Crunch on a Radish
A tasty way to chase away tiredness for 90 minutes? Munch on a few radishes! British scientists say this seasonal root’s crunchy, peppery bite stimulates the formation of energizing, focus-enhancing beta brain waves, often in as little as one minute.
What’s more, radishes are brimming with a compound called sulforaphane that helps muscle cells soak up and burn blood glucose for energizing fuel.
Move to the Music
For a quick energy boost, turn up your favorite songs and move to the beat. Even if you’re too weary to fully bust a move, you’re likely to feel the benefits, as Michigan State researchers say that simply swaying or tapping your feet to the beat could make your tiredness plummet by as much as 65 percent. Explains psychologist Dan Bishop, Ph.D., combining music with a little motion energizes your central nervous system, plus it stimulates the focus-enhancing frontal lobes of the brain.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.