“Why do I feel tired all the time? My doctor says I am okay” is one of the commonly heard health complaints. Tiredness is so common now a days. Tiredness and fatigue can haunt you in many ways. If you can formulate your daily life routine intelligently, you can do away with tiredness and fatigue. For this, the causes for fatigue are very important to know.
Causes for fatigue and solutions
Lack of physical fitness: Fitness is very important nowadays. By fitness I do not mean being slim or lean, without fat deposits. Fitness is the ability of the body to sustain hard work.
Gym, exercise, Yoga, dance etc. physical activities are the solutions.
If you are feeling tired just because the body is not tolerating the daily physical activity, it is time for you to consider joining Gym or Yoga.
If you are starting a new physical activity, you may notice increased tiredness in the initial week. But after 2 -3 weeks, things will start improving.
Conversely if you feel too much worked out / burnt out due to gym etc, it is better to reduce the amount of physical activity and take sufficient rest.
More food less work: If your total calorie intake is more than the energy spent in a day, then you are storing extra calories in the body, leading to weight gain. This causes lethargy and tiredness.
Less food more work: If you are eating fewer calories compared to energy spent, then also you will end up being tired.
For both the above two problems, maintaining balance between physical activity and diet is the solution.
If you are trying stand working and are feeling too much tired, better to quit stand working.
Lack of nutrition rich food: Fast food, colas, aerated drinks, excess alcohol are in no way substitutes for home made foods, fruits and vegetables. Junk foods generate dangerous chemicals called free radicals, which cause damage to organs like heart, liver, kidney etc and cause excess tiredness.
Indigestion / Ama: This is one of the authentic causes for tiredness according to Ayurveda.
- You do not feel fresh after waking up in the morning, though you had a good night sleep.
- You feel your stomach is heavy all the time.
- Either you eat more or eat less, there is no balance in hunger.
In such cases, correcting the digestive system is the right approach to cure fatigue.
Lasting illness: Chronic illness or disease is one of the major causes. If you are suffering from a disease for a long time, then it is better to consult a doctor for a supplement to take care of overall body nourishment. This will cure fatigue and tiredness.
Mental fatigue: Lethargy, taking it easy, no mood for hard work, will train the mind and the body to feel tired, though you are actually not.
Having a disciplined lifestyle, with good work / rest balance is crucial to be competitive in this world, and to have a robust health.
Stress: It is related with mental and physical fatigue. Physical stress is due to accumulation of free radicals affecting the organs.
Mental stress can be handled with stress relief techniques.
Physical stress can be handled with rest and appropriate Ayurvedic treatment.
Excess alcohol and smoking – One of the obvious reasons for feeling tired and burnt out all the time and you already know the solution.
Implementing at least a few of these many Ayurveda tips would help you to a great extent.
Tiredness and laziness –
Confusion between tiredness and laziness is not uncommon. If you are willing to work, but do not have enough power within you to go on, then it is tiredness. But if you are not willing to work, though you have the power within you is laziness.
Laziness can be due to mental and physical causes. Read more about how to get rid of laziness and procrastination
Ayurvedic explanation of tiredness and fatigue
People working hard or working for prolonged periods will surely get tired. Also some people who are suffering from chronic illnesses too complain that even a small work makes them feel tired. Meanwhile it is quite interesting to find some people who repeatedly complain that they are feeling tired without doing any work. Yes, indeed we come to the conclusion that such people are lazy or cunning and trying to avoid work. Or else we name them as ‘psychic’ or ‘useless people’.
Ayurveda explains these two conditions in a very critical way. It appears that both are ill health conditions. But differentiation of these is possible only through constant watch and personal interrogation. Even though these two are not the diseased conditions they may be found as symptoms in few of the diseases. But quite evidently it may be found in few of the personalities also. The individual’s lifestyle, work pattern, passion and liking, work attitude ,suffering if any, medicinal intake , mind set up etc have significant role in the presentation of these two features.
Definition of Klama(Fatigue) and Shrama (Work exhaustion)
Ayurveda explains that Klama (Fatigue) is one which is caused even without doing any kind of work. The classical reference says “ Anaayaasa janita sharamaha klamaha”.Shrama is surely because of work exhaustion. It is evident by the saying-“Vyaayamaihi karmaabhyaasaihi kriyaavisheshaihi karmanaa shakti haanihi”.
Features of Klama(Fatigue) and Shrama(Work exhaustion) :
In case of Fatigue the person will feel heaviness followed by a loss of interest in any kind of work. The individual may take up the interested tasks or hobbies with eager; but may not continue it for long or may leave it half the way. If the individual’s mind set is also not permitting for the same, then they go on changing their work and habits. Many a times they are found changing their job, work place, nature of duties/responsibilities etc too.
Such people with fatigue cannot concentrate over the work and the condition will be same throughout or in maximum time period. They may give the reason of loss of interest in life and profession very often. So poor psychological mind set worsens this condition.
Shrama(Work exhaustion) is merely because of the work done more than one’s capacity. In these cases if the individual carries the work more than his capacity he may end up with body ache, fever, head ache, hunger etc which is usually does not take place in fatigue. After relaxation, people will be cheered up and will proceed fast for the stipulated work with the same spirit. Only people with a poor built may suffer from this complaint very often. Even though psychological factors also contribute, its role is negligible.
Measures to reduce fatigue and exhaustion
Measures to overcome Klama (Fatigue) and Shrama (Work exhaustion):
As the role of dominated Kapha dosha and indigestion(Ama) are the prime factors for Klama, measures are undertaken so as to reduce the Kapha as well as to relieve indigestion or mal digestion.
The food and medicines which are light, warm, penetrative and little spicy and stimulant are helpful to reduce fatigue. Sour, sweet, pungent and salty foods are helpful to reduce fatigue. Regular exercises, Yoga, Pranayama, body fitness techniques etc contribute a great help in this regard. Digestive and carminative medicaments help to overcome the indigestion and hence the lethargy is relieved. Day sleep, having excess of food at a time, remaining alone (loneliness) etc are to be avoided. Active participation in group work and choice of the work/jobs with incentives etc are helpful to relieve fatigue.
In case of work exhaustion(Shrama) it is always better to take rest at regular intervals. Divided food dosage, intake of energy drinks, limited amount of food rich in carbohydrates, sour and sweet fruits, easily digestible foods, milk products and limited amount of non vegetarian diet are helpful to overcome the work exhaustion. Specific kind of Rasayana (Avaleha) formulations are also helpful to relieve work exhaustion. Regular food intake in routine time, appropriate sleep, listening the music, team spirit, self confidence etc too keep us fit to work for long.
The lazy enjoys pleasure of non working for little while; whereas the person who works hard finds pleasure while working itself. He also enjoys its benefits after the work too.
Article by Dr MS Krishnamurthy and Dr Hebbar