When people think of ways to boost their energy levels, they often envision caffeinated drinks, sugary treats and other high-octane solutions that speed up our bodies and our brains.
But believe it or not, one of the best ways to increase your energy isn’t by speeding up – it’s by slowing down.
While common solutions for energy depletion – like that extra strong cup of coffee – can provide temporary relief, they can’t possibly work for the long term.
At best, a shot of caffeine or sugar can keep a person moving for a couple of hours, and at worse, it can lead to a myriad of other health issues if used on a regular basis.
So instead of looking for a quick jolt of energy, turn your attention to mindfulness meditation instead. Believe it or not, when it comes to more energy and productivity, mindfulness meditation is more effective than a coffee, energy drink, and a sugary donut combined.
How does it work? Let’s take a look at these three ways.
1. Meditation Transforms our Response to Stress
When we are stressed, our bodies produce a number of nasty chemicals such as the stress hormone cortisol. And in addition to cortisol’s many negative effects, it also has the ability to physically and mentally slow us down.
This is why when you are anxious, depressed, or under a lot of stress, you also feel tired and even unable to get out of bed. But by naturally regulating cortisol – an inherent side effect of mindfulness meditation – you are removing this chemical’s ability to deplete your energy.
2. Meditation Boosts the Energetic DHEA
You may have seen DHEA on the flashy labels of energy drinks, but did you know that you can increase this chemical naturally through meditation?
DHEA is best known for providing an overall sense of well-being as well as a boost in energy, and when you meditate, the production of this chemical is naturally increased in the body.
Best of all, as opposed to a DHEA supplement which has short-term effects, by meditating, you naturally train yourself to produce this chemical on a regular basis organically.
3. Meditation Helps you Sleep Better
Anyone who has ever tossed and turned for hours knows that a bad night’s rest can wreck havoc on your energy levels the next day. A lack of sleep is a key factor to feeling fatigued, and if it becomes a pattern, it can have a number of negative long-term effects in addition to the overall feeling of being tired.
The good news is that mindfulness meditation re-trains the brain to avoid distractions, unhelpful thoughts and the other triggers that keep us awake for hours on end. By improving our “ready for bedtime” brain, meditation allows us to achieve a better night’s rest night after night.
It may seem counterproductive to be more alert and active by slowing down for a moment, but mindfulness meditation is truly a fantastic cure for a lack of energy. Reward yourself with a few moments of quiet, and see just how meditation can boost your energy levels all day long.