Carl Greer, PhD. PsyD.
is a practicing clinical psychologist, Jungian analyst and shamanic practitioner.
He teaches at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago and is on staff at the Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being.
Learn more at CarlGreer.com.
Why Am I So Tired?
November 07, 2017 –Carl Greer, PhD, PsyD
We all get tired from time to time. Fatigue is an extremely common issue that plagues us all, either on occasion or chronically. It’s so easy to blame lack of sleep on malnourishment, too little exercise or too much caffeine... but what if the reason goes beyond that? What can be so frustrating about fatigue is that so often, the reasons are not physically visible– making it difficult for doctors to pinpoint. In this article, Dr. Carl Greer addresses the psychological explanations for fatigue and techniques to overcome them yourself...without stepping foot in a doctor’s office.
One of the most common complaints people share with physicians and therapists is that fatigue is interfering with their lives. If you are feeling too tired to take part in enjoyable activities, and fatigue is making you less productive than you want to be, you might be afraid there is no way to fix the problem. That, in turn, can make you anxious or depressed, or guilty and ashamed because you can’t do more. Like many people, you might be wondering, “Why am I so tired and what can I do about it?”
Consider where you get your energy. Your sources may be of poor quality. Food fuels your body, and you might eat plenty of calories, but they may not be the right kinds of calories to support health and stamina. If you find conversation to be energizing, time spent socializing with good friends can help you feel less tired. But are you engaging in conversations with people who frustrate and upset you, making you feel drained and stressed? While it might seem that tiredness is purely physical, it may have psychological causes that are strong enough to affect your body’s ability to function well and feel energized. Fatigue can have multiple causes. It can be hard to pinpoint what is going on. However, deep down, you may have some insights that are hidden from your conscious mind.
If you are wondering, “Why am I so tired?” you might want to lie on the earth in a natural area, connecting with the earth’s energy that can affect your own energy field, and do a simple exercise for learning more about what is making you tired. Breathe mindfully, using any technique that will draw your attention to the sensation and rhythm of your breath. As you focus on your breathing, observe the feeling of your body against the grass or sand below your body. You will feel your energy shift if you keep drawing your attention back to your breathing again every time your mind begins to wander. When you feel a shift has happened, and you are relaxed, silently pose the question, “What do I need to know about why I am so tired?”
Wait for the answer to appear in your mind as an image, a knowing, or a thought. A word or words may come to you. You might even hear lyrics from a song. Simply observe what you are experiencing. When you are ready, you can sit up or get up and let your mind suggest how to interpret the answer you received. One woman tried this and saw a pile of white pouring through a doorway, almost as if a snowdrift had come into a room. She came to realize she had let too much sugar slip into her diet and needed to close the door on it, so to speak.
If you can’t muster up energy and do not know why, it makes sense to see a physician. However, a doctor can’t always tell you the psychological reasons for why you feel tired if you are not undernourished and are in good physical shape. You might want to let your unconscious alert you to hidden causes for your tiredness.
While lying down on the earth and relaxing, you might fall asleep. If so, your body is probably telling you “I need more sleep!” Listen to that message and act on it. Then, try the exercise again when you are more rested. Your wise inner healer might have invaluable insights for you that will clue you into what you can do to improve your health, well-being, and stamina. This wise aspect of a person’s awareness exists in everyone and has a powerful ability to help you heal whatever physical problems are troubling you. So quiet your mind and activity to access your inner healer and learn what it can tell you about achieving the vitality and energy you seek.
Whether your tiredness is rooted in diet or lack of exercise, emotions you need to feel and release, beliefs that are making you feel weary and pessimistic, or any combination of these causes, you can address these issues. A few minutes listening to your inner healer’s guidance might give you answers to the question “Why am I so tired?” and put you back on the road to wellness and away from the fatigue that has been bothering you.