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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

Why Am I Feeling Tired All the Time? (And How to Fix It)

Why Am I Feeling Tired All the Time? (And How to Fix It)

Let’s start with the fact that there are healthy reasons to feel tired and there are unhealthy reasons to feel tired.

If you are feeling tired all the time, that is a good sign you are feeling tired for an unhealthy reason. It is healthy to feel tired after working out, going on a run or participating in an extracurricular activity. It is unhealthy to feel tired after sleeping for 10-hours and not exerting yourself throughout the day.

If you are feeling tired all the time, you may have noticed your productivity or ability to focus suffer. In this article, let’s discuss some of the most common reasons you feel tired and how to fix it.

1. Not Taking Care of Yourself

Feeling tired all the time could be a sign you are not taking care of yourself.

Think of yourself as your favorite luxury vehicle. To keep your car running optimally, you need regular oil changes, to use high-quality fuel and to keep up with the regular maintenance schedule. If you don’t replace your oil on a regular basis, your car won’t efficiently.

When you are feeling tired all the time, check to see if you are getting the proper amount of sleep. Are you sleeping the recommended 8-hours a day? If not, that could be the easiest change you can make in your life.

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Much like a car, the quality of fuel you put in your engine impacts your performance. Are you eating food that is full of nutrients or are you eating empty calories? All energy is not created equal. Even if you eat the same number of calories, you will get more energy from fruits and vegetables than you will from cake and ice cream. If you don’t feel you are ready to change your diet just yet, a good place to start is by taking more vitamins.

Lastly, consider what your ideal weight should be and if you are not there, make a plan to get there. If your body is carrying around extra baggage, studies show it can negatively impact your sleep, joints and organs.[1]

2. Pretending to Be Something You Are Not

Let’s just rip the bandage off and get at the heart of the discussion. If you feel tired shortly after you start working, then you may be exerting a significant amount of mental energy with your coworkers.

Much like your physical exertion can exhaust you over time, mental exertion can exhaust you too. Most people start feeling tired around the end of a long work day. This is normal. You have used a hefty amount of mental energy making various decisions throughout the day.[2] If your decisions are limited to work, you will likely make it through most of the day before feeling tired. If you are feeling tired all the time, then you are not being honest with yourself and others.

When work is overly political, you have to cautiously calculate every step you take. That is adding a significant amount of decisions to your daily count. The same can hold true with relationships in your personal life. If you have a family member who is very sensitive, you are walking on egg-shells to ensure you don’t offend them.

Whether in your professional or personal life, if you are forcing yourself to act in an unnatural manner, you will be feeling tired all the time. In a way, you are living a lie and you don’t want to be caught. And like most lies, you have to pause before each interaction to make sure you haven’t exposed yourself.

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It takes less energy to be true to yourself. When you do what comes naturally to you, it is like you are operating on autopilot. A good example of this is the energy you apply when driving home. It is so natural to you that you could daydream while driving and still make it home safely. When things are so natural to you that it can be accomplished by your subconscious, you are saving your mental energy for the important decisions.

Ideally, having a conversation with a coworker or a family member would be as natural as blinking or brushing your teeth. You say what comes to your mind and there is nothing for you to consciously consider.

3. You Loathe Something About Your Life

Stress is a real thing my friend, but keep in mind that all stress is not bad. Much like feeling tired, you don’t want to feel stressed all the time.

Some common causes of acute stress are losing a job, going through a divorce or the death of a loved one. As you see, these examples are unique circumstances that should not happen on a regular basis. However, when stress has you feeling tired all the time, then you are dealing with stress related to activities you perform on a daily basis. The most common of these triggers are being unhappy in your job, feeling insecure in a relationship or having a heavy work load.

There are two ways to deal with chronic stress in your life: You can remove the stress and you can manage the stress.

Ideally, when an aspect of your life causes you to feel stressed on a daily basis, you should remove it from your life. Understanding you may not be able to eliminate the stressful aspects of your life overnight, you may be better suited to start by managing your stress. Whether you are talking about work or family, they didn’t always cause you so much stress. By focusing on what excited you most about your job when you accepted it, you can reduce the stress your job creates.

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Are you grateful for the ability to provide for your family or could the friendships you built be a bright spot? In those strained relationships with your family and friends, reflect on a time when things were better. What about your spouse caused you to say, “I do” and when was your friend supporting you when others didn’t? If you are among those who genuinely cannot recall a time when things were better, then you need to manage your stress by limiting your interactions until you can eliminate them altogether.

4. Progress Has Stopped

If your future is not more compelling than your life today, you can’t help but be feeling tired all the time. One of the most beautiful and motivating things about life is growth. Of all the differences each of us have, the desire for growth and progress is something we all share.

Feeling stagnant in your life is exhausting within itself. It is unlikely you are feeling stagnant due to a lack of effort. You are most likely exerting a lot of energy to change your life, but for one reason or another you have are no closer to your goal. You feel like a hamster running on its wheel. Even though the hamster is not any closer to its goal, it did exercise the energy to do so. If you deal with this feeling long enough, you won’t just stop running on the wheel; you will stop running altogether.

As mentioned, there is little more deflating than the feeling that you are not growing. Especially, if you are putting in the effort to achieve the results you desire.

As simple as it sounds, the life you have is the life you know how to create. The actions and decisions that created your life today, will not be able to create the life you want. You must change the rituals and habits you employ each day to change your life.

A bodybuilder has a different set of eating rituals than a sumo wrestler. Yet, if you are not sure about the rituals of either of them, you cannot change your life to match theirs. You must research and learn how a body builder chooses the food they eat, when they wake up, and how often they work out. If your goal is to create the results of a sumo wrestler, then it does not benefit you to mirror the lifestyle of a bodybuilder.

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The same holds true with your life goals. If you are not progressing toward the results you want, implement the tactics of someone successfully living the lifestyle you want.

Learn the 6 Ways to Make Progress Every Day (And Realize Your Goals).

Final Thoughts

If you are feeling tired all the time, you need to take a step back and recognize what is making you feel so tired. Once you know what is causing the problem, take small steps to change your life overtime.

If your lack of energy is tied to you taking poor care of yourself, then make the necessary adjustments to improve your health. However, if your exhaustion is internally driven, you must take the steps to align your internal purpose with your external actions.

Being yourself is the easiest person you can be. Attempting to be anyone else can be exhausting to say the least. When you are feeling tired all the time because you feel as though you are not making enough progress, review your daily actions and adjust accordingly.

The more you learn about yourself, the better equipped you will be to successfully change your life.

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Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

Reference

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Last Updated on April 20, 2021

5 Best Guided Morning Meditations for Energy And Motivation

5 Best Guided Morning Meditations for Energy And Motivation

Do you wake up feeling fatigued, depressed, or unmotivated? Adding a simple morning meditation for energy may help. Practice one of these guided morning meditations for increased energy and motivation daily, and you will wake up refreshed and ready to take on each day!

The benefits of meditation are hard to ignore. Meditation is a long-held tradition in Eastern cultures that has recently become popularized in Western culture, using science to back its effectiveness. Meditation has been proven to decrease stress, depression, anxiety, and pain. It has also been shown to increase motivation and attention.[1]

What is Meditation?

First, let’s explore the different forms of meditation before diving into specific guided morning meditations for energy and motivation.

There are a few different forms of meditation that we will explore:

  • Moving Meditation
  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Mantra Meditation

Moving meditation combines gentle exercises, breathing, and focus. Examples of moving meditation include walking meditation, yoga, tai chi, or qigong.[2]

Mindfulness meditation involves present-moment awareness of whatever action you are taking. It can be practiced as you move through your day simply by bringing your awareness to your breath, mind, and body.

Mantra meditation is similar to using positive affirmations. It incorporates repetition of sounds, words, or chants as a focal point for meditation. Mantra is thought to shift stuck energy from the body. Certain mantras (or sounds) have been shown to synchronize both hemispheres of the brain. This can help oxygenate the brain, decrease blood pressure and heart rate, and calm brainwaves.[3]

While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, it provides a general introduction to the several forms of meditation. For a more comprehensive list check out: 17 Types of Meditation (Techniques and Basics) To Practice Mindfulness.

How Does Meditation Increase Energy and Motivation?

Meditation increases endorphins in the brain, which is the chemical responsible for a runner’s high. However, when compared with runners, master meditators show higher levels of endorphins than runners post-meditation.[4] Long-term meditation practices are also associated with increased melatonin, which is responsible for regulating sleep.[5] Over time, consistent sleep patterns increase overall wellbeing and energy levels.

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Other long-term effects of meditation include an increase in the grey matter in the brain. Meditation has also been linked with increased cognitive function, memory, and attention.

The long-term impacts of stress contribute to feelings of exhaustion, burnout, and fatigue. Meditation has been shown to decrease the impacts of the sympathetic nervous system (commonly referred to as the fight or flight response). A regular meditation practice may assist in relaxation by decreasing heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. [6]

However, meditation is not just for relaxation. The Buddhist tradition where mediation originated focuses on remaining alert during mindfulness. Seasoned meditators show increased alertness and awareness in brain functioning compared to non-meditators.[7]

5 Best Guided Morning Meditations for Energy and Motivation

Now that you know how meditation can help increase energy and motivation, here are the 5 best guided morning meditations you can try.

1. Wake Up With a Sun Salutation for Increased Energy

Yoga practices that focus on breathing have been shown to increase energy and attention.[8] Starting your morning with a Sun Salutation is one excellent way to increase energy and motivation in the morning for lasting results.

A Sun Salutation is a sequence of yoga poses strung together in a specific way. A focus is placed on moving mindfully with the breath through the postures. If done mindfully, one can enter a flow-like state while practicing a Sun Salutation.

Practicing Sun Salutation Type A

Inhale and reach the arms up overhead. Exhale and fold forward with a slight bend in the knees. On your next inhale, place the hands on the thighs while straightening the spine. Exhale and melt down into a forward fold once more.

On your next exhale, place your hands on the mat and step your feet into a plank pose. Lower down from straight legs or bent knees with your triceps just grazing your rib cage. Your whole body will be flat on the mat. As you inhale, keep your hands on the earth and lift your head, neck, and chest off the mat. Exhale and press back into downward-facing down.

On your next inhale walk your feet back to the top of the mat and hang in a forward fold. Roll your body up letting your head and neck come up last. You can choose to finish your practice here or flow through the sequence once more.

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If you are new to yoga, practice alongside a trained instructor or find a yoga video that walks you through the correct alignment to ensure you do not injure yourself as you practice. Allow yourself to be guided through the practice so you can focus on your breath as you move from one pose to the next.

2. Practice Walking Morning Meditation

Another way to combine movement and mindfulness is through walking meditation. Walking meditation involves slow, mindful steps with a focus on the breath. Exercising outdoors can help to boost serotonin and increase endorphins. This can be a wonderful way to start the day with increased energy and a positive mood.

Step slowly and mindfully, as if you are walking on thin ice. Slowly begin to inhale through the nose and count the number of steps you take. Then, slowly exhale and count your steps. As you walk, keep counting your steps on each inhale and exhale. Try to keep your pace even while focusing your attention on your breath and body.

Try to avoid busy areas with lots of people or traffic to reduce distraction. A walking path with lots of open space is ideal. Once you have finished you can bring your attention to the sights around you and mindfully breathe in and out as you slowly return to a normal pace.

3. Let Your Stress Melt Away During a Mindful Morning Shower Meditation

One of the easiest ways to practice meditation is by adding it into activities you already do. The trick is to bring your attention to the present moment. Choosing activities with lots of sensory input can help heighten the experience of mindfulness.

Examples of mindfulness activities can include chores like doing the dishes or sweeping. It may also involve routine activities like exercise or showering.

If you shower in the morning, you can easily incorporate mindfulness into your routine. It is best to remove any distractions while you shower but if you would like you can play gentle, instrumental music in the background. Focus on the sensation of the water running over the crown of your head and down your entire body. Imagine the water is cleansing stress, tension, and worry from the body and mind.

Bring your attention to the five senses. This can aid in grounding for decreased stress and anxiety, which will improve long-term energy and focus. Notice the temperature of the water and the air. Smell the different soaps and shampoos as you wash. Allow yourself to indulge in the moment by closing your eyes as you stand under the water. If you get distracted come back to one of your senses.

This shower meditation is a form of mindfulness. It does not take any extra time from your day. It is simply one way to incorporate present-moment awareness into your routine.

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4. Practice Bellows Breath for Increased Energy

Deep breathing is another way to increase energy and attention. There are several forms of breathing exercises utilized in yoga and meditation. Breath of fire or bellows breath is one exercise for increasing energy and vitality.[9]

This breathing exercise can cause dizziness or light-headedness. Discontinue practicing if you experience any negative side effects and return to normal breathing.

Begin by inhaling through the nose. With a forceful exhale, contract the diaphragm as you breathe out through the nose. Inhale and allow the belly to expand and then exhale and allow it to contract.

When first starting, it can be helpful to go slowly. Reverse breathing, where you expand the belly on the exhale and contract on the inhale, is common but should be avoided.

Once you have the rhythm down, you can move quickly through the breathing exercises. An emphasis is placed on the inhale while the exhale is forceful and contracted. The inhale and exhale should be similar in duration.

Aim for three breath cycles a second. Do not practice for more than 15 seconds without taking a break when you are first starting. As you become more advanced you can add 5 seconds, working your way up to a minute of practice.

5. Practice Mantra Morning Meditation for Increased Energy

Science suggests that repeating the mantra “OM” can result in increased alertness and sensitivity to sensations (pronunciation of “OM” sounds similar to “A-U-M”). In spiritual traditions, it is considered a primordial sound, which created all other sounds[10].

When “OM” is chanted aloud, it vibrates at 136.1 Hertz. This is the same frequency as everything in nature.[11] Scientific studies have uncovered evidence to suggest that chanting OM may be related to vagus nerve activation, which assists in the rest and digest response in the nervous system.[12]

If you are new to chanting, it can be helpful to practice reciting “OM” aloud. The sound of “OM” is similar to “A-U-M” with the word being drawn out for several seconds on the exhale. More seasoned meditators may choose to focus on the word internally.

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To begin, simply inhale, and on you exhale, chant “A-U-M.” You may choose to set a timer on your phone for as long as you have to practice.

Another way to practice mantra or chanting is to use mala beads. Mala beads come from the Hindu faith and are a string of 108 beads with one larger bead at the end. Hold the mala in your left hand and begin with the first bead between the thumb and pointer finger. Each time you chant OM, move your fingers to the next bead until you reach the largest bead, also known as the guru bead.

Once you have finished, take a few moments to sit in silence and observe any new thoughts or sensations that arise.

Incorporate Morning Meditation into Your Routine

Now that you know the 5 best guided morning meditations for energy and motivation, where do you begin?

Follow these tips for forming a new habit:

  1. Set realistic and sustainable goals
  2. Practice at the same time, every day
  3. Weave the practice into your current routine

Ten weeks may be a realistic time frame to commit to a consistent practice, despite the adage that it takes 21 days to form a habit.[13] Choose one of the morning meditations for energy and motivation that fits your current schedule. Keep it simple and try to build it into your already established routine.

Choosing to practice at the same time every day will make it easier to practice consistently. Instead of looking at this like something you have to do, choose to view it as something you get to do. This should be an enjoyable activity that you look forward to each morning.

Doing one of these activities each day can assist with increased energy and motivation, not to mention the variety of established physical and psychological benefits of meditation. Practice these guided morning meditations for energy and motivation every day for ten weeks and you might just become a morning person, after all.

Featured photo credit: Sage Friedman via unsplash.com

Reference

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