We all have inner energy. Many different cultures refer to inner energy by different names.
China Qi (pronounced Ch’i)
Western Society Spirit
“Trust in your Inner Power and miracles will happen.” - Deshwal Sachin
What is inner energy?
It is the vital energy our body uses to maintain homeostasis and create good health. Homeostasis is a non-conscious process by which all living systems maintain stability while adapting to altering external conditions. The more inner energy we possess, the stronger we are at reducing the stress of everyday life, and we can accomplish more outside our bodies.
“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.”
- Marcus Aurelius
Do you eat a healthy diet and sleep well but find it hard to motivate yourself due to previous experiences affecting your emotions? While you have the nutrients to make enough energy for your body, you are possibly unmotivated because of low levels of inner energy. As a scientist, I was skeptical about “inner energy." However, once I realized it is best to think about inner energy as a symbolistic term that reflects the energy in our body that does not come from food, (I refer to it as my vital energy) I started to understand why learning and cultivating this energy is important. Think about the job you have to go to every weekday. If you don’t enjoy the job you are doing, you need willpower (inner energy) to face the burdens and frustrations of the job. Our inner energy is reduced when we have anger, hate or jealousy towards others. In general, our negative thoughts actions diminish our inner energy.
What are Negative Thoughts?
They are thoughts that involve envy, resentment, animosity, anger, and/or lack of confidence.
Common negative thoughts
I can’t seem to do anything right
I’m not as lucky as others
No one cares about me
I am not smart
I am not as good as everyone else
I can’t do it
I am a failure
It can’t work
How do you nurture and grow your inner energy?
“Have love for your inner self and everything else is done for you.” - Amit Ray
You don’t have to be a yoga expert or meditation guru to unleash a high amount of your inner energy. Try these five methods and find two that works for you, then use them often.
#1. Start instigating positive thoughts throughout your daily activities.
“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” Maya Angelou
What are positive thoughts?
They are thoughts that involve compassion, empathy, kindness, tolerance, patience, humility, and/or a sense of self-worth.
Examples of positive thoughts
I tried my best
I am lovable and valued
I will try to make it work
I believe in myself to succeed
I can do it
I am always improving
If I work hard, I deserve to do well
Sometimes when I have had a really bad day, I tell myself, “I am going to have an amazing day” at the start of the next day, and guess what, I usually do have an amazing day. Not much disturbs my amazing day as I walk withmore purpose, smile more, and I am an overall kinder person.
Thus, it is important to reframe our negative thoughts.
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.”
- Willie Nelson
#2. Pay Special Attention to The First 15 Minutes of Your Day.
What would be how you spend the first 15 minutes of your day? Do you have a relaxing bath, or sip warm tea and relax, or are you rushing to get dressed and go to work? If you are currently stressed by rushing each morning to get things done, consider getting up earlier and doing something to relax your body and mind.
Think about what you are grateful for.
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” - Marcus Aurelius
Consider doing deep breathing exercises or meditating for 5 minutes.
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”
#3. Do Self-Reflection
“It is worth remembering that the time of greatest gain in terms of wisdom and inner strength is often that of greatest difficulty.” - Dalai Lama
Self-reflection allows you to understand yourself better. As such, self-reflection is an important part of self-growth. As the Dalai Lama once said, “the time of greatest gains in wisdom and inner strength is often that of greatest difficulty.”
Lack of confidence and insecurity are major inner strength reducers. As you understand yourself better, you start loving yourself more, have more positive thoughts, and become happier.
Consider asking yourself:
What could you improve in your life?
What do you enjoy doing?
How do you feel today?
What are you grateful for?
Try waking up 30 minutes earlier than usual and going for a walk in a park you like in order to allow yourself to listen to your thoughts and feelings while walking.
"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." - Aristotle.
#4. Use Breathing As One of Your Superpowers
Deep breathing may be the most overlooked group of exercises to increase your inner strength and improve your overall well-being. Breathing exercises lower your heart rate, decrease anxiety, and allow you to calm your mind and increase your inner energy. You can think more clearly just by breathing.
“Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours.” – Swedish Proverb
#5. Find Optimal Ways for You to Relax During the Day
Constant stress saps you of your inner strength. Relaxing your mind during the day is important as your body and mind are connected at an intricate level.
How to relax your mind throughout the day? To increase your benefits from relaxing, you need to be intentional about your rest time.
Consider the following examples:
Lay on a bed or sofa and play some music that relaxes you. Even 5 minutes works, but 10-15 minutes works even better.
Sit on a comfortable chair in a safe place and do deep breathing exercises for 5 minutes.
In the morning or night, soak in a warm bath for 15 minutes. Adding music or scents you like enhances your relaxation.
At work, take 5 minutes to imagine yourself in a setting where you feel calm. This is referred to as guided imagery. Do you like sitting on the beach, imagine it.
Take a walk in a place you enjoy the scenery.
“Go within every day and find the inner strength so that the world will not blow your candle out.” - Katherine Dunham
Remember, our lives will always have ups and downs, but thinking of challenges as opportunities to grow, instead of problems will help you succeed.
“It’s not important what other people believe about you, it’s only important what you believe about yourself.” - Rev Ike
Written by Aldrin V. Gomes, PhD, FCVS, FAHA