If you’ve been feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or have low energy lately, you’re not alone! Maintaining peace and ease in today’s frenetic modern world can be exhausting. Luckily for us, meditation exists and can be an excellent tool to feel re-energized. A common misconception about meditation is that it is only meant to help us relax. While this is true, I’ve got some great news: meditation can also help give us an energy boost! Meditation is not a one-size-fits-all, so here are a few tips you can use when you feel exhausted, stressed, or experiencing brain fog.
How Meditation Helps Boost Energy
When we’re stressed, our brain’s fear center ( the amygdala) gets activated. We go from thriving to surviving. If we’re constantly stressed and our amygdalas are constantly activated, we become exhausted.
We might think solving problems, planning, and figuring things out are beneficial for our energy, but they end up doing quite the opposite, leaving us feeling drained and depleted like we’re running on empty. When we meditate or even practice mindfulness, we activate the emotional compassionate part of the brain (the prefrontal cortex). By incorporating even a simple 5-minute meditation in your day, we can begin to calm the amygdala and go from surviving to thriving. By stressing less, we get our energy back.
You can practice “STOP” throughout your day as a mindful reset when feeling stressed.
S: Stop what you’re doing
T: Take a breath
O: Observe how you’re feeling ( without judgment)
A good night’s sleep can allow us to wake up feeling refreshed and full of energy. By incorporating an evening meditation practice into your nightly routine you can set yourself up for a nice quality peaceful slumber. According to a 2015 Harvard study, meditation is proven to help insomnia. Research also suggests meditation can also improve quality of sleep. So if you don’t already have a meditation practice, maybe think about adding meditation to your daily routine so you can sleep well and wake refreshed.
Before bed, you can practice a mindful body scan: You can start at the bottom of your feet and notice all the sensations. For example, is there tingling? Is there coolness or heat? Do these sensations move? And again, no judgment. We meet our feet with curiosity. We can work out way up the body, noticing all sensations in the legs, the abdomen, hips, hands, arms, fingers, shoulders, neck, face, and top of the head. Meeting the whole body with curiosity and sensing our aliveness. Perhaps even asking ourselves, “ what does it feel like to be alive?” We can scan the body for any areas of tightness or tension, and with each breath, invite in a gentle softening.
Helps Support Mental Clarity
Recent research suggests that as humans, we have roughly 6,000 thoughts a day. That’s a ton of thinking! With meditation and mindfulness, we can begin to learn the true nature of our thoughts, that yes, they are real, but no, not all of our thoughts are true.
Thoughts can be overwhelming, intense, and be the cause of anxiety attacks, insomnia, and depression. That’s where our need for mediation comes in. Meditation gives us the tools and awareness to notice our thoughts, and instead of feeling enmeshed in them, we’re able to take a step back and observe them.
With mediation, many of my beginning students come to me asking how to get rid of thoughts, but the truth is they don’t go away. Instead, we learn to cultivate a sense of curiosity and, ultimately, kindness towards our thoughts. Being enmeshed in our thoughts depletes us while becoming curious about the quality of our thoughts fills us with energy, so we’re ready to take on our day, tackle our to-do list, and get out of our heads and into our bodies.
You can practice a “mental noting” meditation: As you close your eyes, begin to picture your thoughts as clouds floating by in the sky or like leaves floating down a stream. Rather than getting caught up in the stories that our thoughts are telling us, we just notice their quality and label them (“Planning,” “Memory,” etc.) or can simply label them “thinking.”
You begin to notice that thoughts truly are like the clouds: we can’t speed them up, slow them down or get rid of them, but we can observe them with kindness. This gives us more mental space, the ability to slow down and allow us to find clarity.
Meditations to Support Better Energy
Ready to see how a regular meditation practice may help support your energy levels? In addition to trying out the STOP mindfulness practice, practicing a body scan or mental noting (all described above), join the FitOn community by signing up for free, and get access to unlimited free workouts and meditations, including these meditations to get you started.
A solid night’s sleep is the foundation for more energy. Use this relaxing body scan meditation that will end with a collective loving-kindness wish of peaceful sleep.
See that both ease and joy are possible even in the midst of stress. Let ease and joy be the intention for the day ahead with this guided meditation.
This meditation focuses on being aware of whatever comes up. It is a judgment-free practice that welcomes in the energy of grace.
Use this guided meditation to help support a more restorative night’s sleep, so you can wake up feeling refresh and with more energy the next day.
Harness The Power of Meditation For Energy
Is life leaving you feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, or anxious? You’re not alone. Meditation can be an excellent tool for lowering stress, getting better sleep and finding clarity, leaving you full of energy and ready to take on your day.