Beating Chronic Fatigue
In 2008 I developed chronic fatigue, which affected my health for 4 years. Upon waking each day, I felt like a truck had run me over in my sleep. I had sore joints and muscles, daily anxiety and digestive problems. Over 6 months my health had been declining. It happened in a way that I didn’t notice at first. One day I woke up sore, aching and exhausted, I’d been feeling this way for months!
Chronic fatigue can happen in 1 of 2 ways, it comes in quickly, or it creeps up on you. For me it happened gradually. Currently, there is no single test to diagnose chronic fatigue because fatigue is not a disease, it is a symptom. Chronic fatigue is a symptom of underlying problems that could be bacterial, viral, auto-immune, stress related, or a combination of these.
I worked out the main contributors to my chronic fatigue were; past drug use, unhealthy foods, high stress and leaving my support network. These factors left me wide open to bacterial or viral problems. Like many people who experience chronic fatigue, I never found out exactly what was ‘wrong with me’.
When a flower is dying you don’t fix the flower, you fix the environment in which the flower is growing and it flourishes once more.
The right amount of sunlight, water and the right soil can help a flower grow. You can be frustrated and angry with the flower for not thriving, but the flower’s potential to flourish, is dependent on the environment. You can be frustrated and angry with your body too but how is the environment for your body right now? Is the environment too harsh? Does your body experience stress? Is it being given the proper nutrients?
Over a 7 year period I read 1100 books on health, healing and human behaviour. There were things that stood out to me, that lead to recovery. I will share the things that worked for me and what I recommend to increase your body’s energy and natural healing response.
I have included the 7 principles I followed to beat chronic fatigue. All of these steps have no downsides. They all help you use your body to increase energy and vitality. The things I did for my health gave my body the opportunity for healing, by removing the negative influences and adding in, what the body naturally craves and loves.
The 7 Cornerstones Of Amazing Health:
The most vital ingredient for health is oxygen. Deep, slow, full breaths bring us presence in the moment. We can completely change our state of mind and emotion. There is no power in the past, or the future. Our position of power is now. Deeper breathing has the capacity to balance us physically. Where oxygen goes, energy and healing flows.
Water is the second most important nutrient to your body, after oxygen. Keeping hydrated means more oxygen can be carried by the circulatory system, positively impacting your brain and vital organs. We tend to heal quicker from illness when we are well hydrated. If you have chronic fatigue, I would cut out all stimulant drinks and start drinking 1L of water for every 22kg of your body weight.
Do you ever get headaches, feel dizzy, or get lethargic? That was the signal to have water an hour ago. At one point I thought I needed sugar drinks to keep me going, when I got rid of them, my energy went way up!
3. Real Food
I used to eat chocolate, sugar and biscuits every day. I thought I needed sugar, to give me energy, to function well at work and life. In mid 2012 I gave up all sugar (also dairy, wheat and meat) for 2 weeks. After 5 days my energy levels doubled and I stopped getting big energy dips in the afternoon. My head felt clearer than it had in years. This was the beginning of me starting to feel normal again. From where I was before, normal was spectacular.
It is well known that the type of foods we eat impacts our health. We may be experiencing significant amounts of stress in our lives, based on the quality of our food. The digestive system is intimately linked with our emotions and hormones, including our sleep hormones. Rule of thumb: Real foods have one ingredient and have a husk, skin, or need to be peeled.
By eating better quality food, you also don’t waste energy processing fake-food, that is not compatible with the human body.
A primary benefit of exercise is that when your heart works harder during a workout, you will have a lower resting heart rate. The heart actually absorbs oxygen to feed itself in between beats, so a lower heart rate means more oxygen rich blood for your major organs. Regular exercise eventually enlarges the arteries, avoiding blockages that could lead to heart problems and stroke.
The key to exercise is to do it consistently – something you can do at the same time nearly every day. In 2014 I dedicated the whole year to the healing exercises; Yoga, Tai Chi and Qigong. This was the next BIG THING that helped my health. After 10 weeks I had no anxiety for a month and my energy went up again.
5. Being Still
Being still is the counter-balancing tool for busy people. To be still, choose; meditation, journal writing, or spending regular time in nature. Resting activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is important for a number of reasons. When you rest through the day you sleep better and digest food more easily. Better digestion means you save energy, that your body can use for repair work.
6. Self Talk
Thoughts, emotions and dysfunction in the body are feedback, guiding you to find balance. Negative thoughts are a signal that part of your life needs more loving attention. Now if I have a situation that I’m negative about, do I blame the thoughts and fatigue or the situation? Negative thoughts may be guiding you to deal with your issues directly.
Our passion and purpose is why we get up in the morning. It is not enough to just be healthy, we want to feel enthusiastic and inspired too! When we do what we love, we naturally feel more energised. Consider these power questions: Am I doing what I love every day? Who or what is draining my energy? What expands my energy the most? How can I give more to myself?
In Chinese philosophy it is said, “the way you spend the first hour of your day, is the way you spend your whole life”. Success leaves clues. Is your morning currently spent productively? Does it include things like; drinking water, walking each morning, sitting down for a good breakfast, yoga, setting a daily intention, meditation, a gratitude ritual. “The way you do one thing, is the way you do everything”.
Every fad in the world is a distraction from; Breath, Water, Real food, Exercise, Meditation, Gratitude (self talk) and fulfilling your purpose.
Symptoms in the body are messengers telling you what is going on in your body. It is like a feedback system. Learning to interpret these messages, helps us to take corrective action. Getting a virus is telling you to slow down and rest. Lower back problems are telling you to seek more support for yourself. Teeth grinding is telling you that someone is grinding away at you in your life. Left side a female, right side a male figure. Shoulder problems are telling you, you are taking on too much responsibility.
Fill your life with things that enliven you from the inside. The Seven Cornerstones of Amazing Health are a great place to start. It won’t cure you however will help remove the accumulated junk and get you back to supporting your body naturally.
Be like the flower I mentioned earlier, put yourself in the best environment possible for well-being, and over time your body will start to heal itself. Give your body the optimal conditions and you will stimulate natural health, healing and energy. With these steps you can heal on purpose, not by accident.
Jeremy Walker’s background is in Hypnotherapy. He created the WARP (Walker Addiction Removal Process) and is located in Brisbane QLD. Confidential appointments are available for quitting smoking, weight loss and anxiety related issues. Jeremy enjoys nothing more than seeing others make a positive shift!