It’s 2 o’clock, you’ve just finished lunch, and now your energy is starting to tank. You want to reach for that second (or third?) cup of coffee, but something tells you there must be another way. We get it — and there is! While many are exploring the myriad benefits of meditation, one of the lesser known advantages of the practice is that it provides you with much-needed energy when your batteries are running on low.
In traditions like yoga, meditation is said to increase the flow of “prana” or “life force energy” in the body. And, studies have shown that meditation alters the body’s stress response. Whether you look at it from a more Eastern or Western perspective, when we meditate and breathe deeply, we alter our brain and body chemistry. This helps us produce less of the stress hormone cortisol. Excess cortisol causes our adrenal glands to become overworked, leading to conditions like adrenal fatigue and depleted energy levels.
When you’re stressed, it’s like your body is running on a high — at some point a crash is inevitable. But, replenishing your system with a soothing meditation practice may be all you need to boost your energy, as well as relax and sleep better at night.
The meditation practice outlined below should be done both in the morning and in the afternoon when you start to feel yourself crashing. If you’re like me and you need a pick-me-up to get to the gym after hours, you can also do this practice in the evening after work and slay the rest of your to-do list. It doesn’t take longer than a few minutes, and over time, you will see that your energy levels are more stable throughout the day and that you sleep better at night.
The key in any practice is consistency, so even if it feels like it’s not working at first, don’t give up! It will take your brain and body chemistry a bit of time to catch up, but eventually you will notice results like I did. Remember: it takes about 21 days to build any new habit, so make this commitment to yourself and you won’t regret it. You and your life deserve the best version of you, so make sure you’re taking the time to honor your body’s needs and recharge its batteries. To meditate for better energy, check out the practice below.
A 10-Minute Meditation Practice for Energy
- Sit in a comfortable upright position with your spine straight, either on the ground or in a chair. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
- Place your palms face down or face up on your knees with your index finger and thumb touching.
- Take a deep breath in and roll your shoulders up to your ears, then exhale and roll them down your back. Do this three times.
- After your third exhale, relax the shoulders down away from your ears. Then, start to take deep breaths into your abdomen, expanding it fully each time like a balloon. As you inhale, imagine a white light coming through the top of your head and moving all the way down your spine to your tailbone.
- If possible, make your exhales longer than your inhales. Count your inhale for a count a four, then exhale for a count of six. Continue to imagine the light pouring into your head.
- Repeat this deep belly-breathing practice for the entire 10 minutes. It is likely that your mind will wander, but that’s okay. Simply observe that you are wandering, and come back to your breath.
- On your exhales, you can also repeat a mantra like, “I am energized” or “I am awake.” Repeating a mantra helps you reinforce your goal!