The most common causes of fatigue are overwork, worry and stress. Lack of sleep can also contribute. There are other factors which can cause fatigue. To help determine these, ask yourself why you're tired. What physical and emotional stressors are you dealing with? Physical fatigue is worse in the evening and is usually relieved by a good night's sleep. While emotional fatigue is stronger in the morning and lessens toward the evening. How's your attitude? Also, consider your diet - a small shortage of a vitamin or mineral can make you feel tired. Here are more causes of physical fatigue:

* Living or working in hot, humid conditions

* Underlying infectious diseases such as mononucleosis or Epstein-Barr Virus

* Prolonged effects of a cold or the flu

* Anemia

* An underactive thyroid gland
Possible emotional causes include:
* Depression
* Extreme monotony
* Lack of interest in daily routines
* Facing a major life crisis or decision like divorce or retirement
* Wearing yourself out by doing too much for everybody and everything except yourself!

The following may help recharge your "batteries" :

* Start eating more wholesome, healthy foods. These include nutritious, high fiber foods like whole wheat breads and grains, cereal. Raw fruits and vegetables have some of the nutrients your body uses to maintain your energy level. Forgetting breakfast and then eating sugary snacks later can tire you out. Overeating and dieting can also lead to exhaustion.

* Exercise regularly. It helps your body use oxygen more efficiently, which makes you feel more energetic.

* Get plenty of sleep. The experts tell us to get at least six hours a night. Of course this is a very individual matter. Try to go to sleep at the same time nightly. Avoid eating, drinking and major physical activity before sleep.

* Learn to manage and modify your thoughts and emotions. Overreacting can drain more energy from you than anything else.

This section covers some simple techniques to lessen fatigue and stimulate your brain. Of course it would be better to prevent it. The best way to do this is to reduce the stressors in your life. Also learn to avoid activities, interactions and situations that stress and fatigue you. See "Attitude" for more specific information.

Here is one technique to lessen fatigue:

Press the points below and on the inside corner of the fingernails of the middle fingers with your thumbs for two seconds.

Bend your head so that your chin touches your chest - only if comfortable to do so. With your fingers, find the largest vertebra nearest the base of your neck. Massage the xarea directly above this "bump" in between the vertebrae for 7 seconds - longer if have time.

To complete: Rub palms together until heat is generated, and lay them gently over your eyes for 2-3 minutes - longer if you have the time and patience - shorter if not. This will give your eyes a much needed rest.

NOTE: To learn of ways to maximize energy levels, see the Nutrition section.

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