Little children show us the way

How to overcome laziness? We would have found ourselves asking this question many times. Laziness is a phenomenon that affects us all. At times, we may find ourselves in constant battle with it, but for many of us, it’s a familiar companion we have grown accustomed to.

Do you know, the United States of America even has a national day to it, National Lazy Day?

So, what is being lazy? 

We all are familiar with that feeling of not wanting to do anything or postponing things. It could be after a particularly busy or stressful day. It’s alright for all of us to want those ‘relaxed’ moments and breaks. But what happens when those moments get extended, again and again?

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “In always wanting to be comfortable, you become lazy. You every day decide, ‘Yes, I’m going to wake up at 6 am and do my pranayama’ and in the morning you say, ‘Oh it’s so cold, I’ll do it from tomorrow or tonight.’

When you just don’t want to do anything or are postponing a whole lot of activities that you know you should be doing, what happens then? You are likely stuck in the vicious cycle of laziness. There are drastic effects of laziness such as missing deadlines, strained relationships, and poor health.

What are the causes of laziness? 

Laziness can be caused by various factors such as lack of motivation, fear of failure, depression, burnout, lack of sleep, and addiction to technology or social media. Identifying the root cause is essential in addressing the issue.

How to overcome laziness?

Here are seven tips to beat laziness.

1. Three Secrets from Gurudev 

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “The way to come out of laziness is: Greed, Love or Fear. Hold on to one of them.”


Love can be your perfect answer to how to overcome laziness. When you love to do something, you take up the work and finish it within a time frame. Or if you love somebody, you take up the work relating to the person without laziness. For example, if you promise your loved ones, “I am going to do this for sure, then your laziness disappears.”

There is a tradition of promising someone whom you love very much. You promise them something and you see you follow it through. Say, you have promised your brother that you will pick him up or your niece at the airport. Even though you feel so lazy in the morning to get up, you will just get up and go and greet them in the airport, even if it is in the middle of the night.

Love can help you overcome laziness and procrastination.


And also fear. For instance, if you don’t finish something on time, you may be reprimanded. If someone tells you, “If you don’t do this, you are going to be in trouble”, then laziness disappears. Or, if you are lazy and someone tells you “Hey there is a fire”, then the fear of fire can take away all the laziness. Urgency removes laziness.


Does greed motivate you? For example, do you feel motivated to complete a task within the deadline because you know you’ll be rewarded for doing so? Greed acts as an attraction to overcome laziness and work for the goal.

Thus, you can overcome laziness with love, greed, and fear, but love is the preferred way. 

Secrets to Get Rid of Laziness | Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

2.  Practice yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises

Yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises can go a long way in increasing your energy levels, and also provide the necessary relaxation for your body and mind, driving away your laziness.

Research has shown that Sudarshan Kriya can significantly reduce stress, which is one of the major causes of laziness.

“Sudarshan Kriya and meditation have changed my thought process. Personally, I have realized that the root cause of all my laziness comes from my thoughts. Meditation and knowledge have helped me spring into action rather than going with the flow.” says Suhasini Bhattacharya, Senior Salesforce Consultant, IBM India

Poonam Shah, Managing Partner of Bombay Kulfi, shares, “I feel so energetic after practicing Sri Sri Yoga Level 2 because I have started waking up early and on time without any alarms. Additionally, my endurance level has increased, as I am now able to accomplish more tasks throughout the day, overcoming my tendency towards laziness.”

3. Remove the label “I am lazy”

You might unintentionally justify your ‘labels’. On this path to freedom from laziness, shun any self-labeling and discard any belief. Which one, you ask bewildered? The one that’s already on your mind – ‘I am lazy’. Stop yourself every time you call yourself lazy. Develop ways to increase your productivity instead of labeling yourself lazy.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “It is important to remove the label of being lazy. If you don’t, you will continue to behave accordingly. And when you finally discard the label, you will see a sneak peek of a possibility. A possibility of change, a chance of undoing older patterns and seeking newly revised ones.”

4. Immerse in Ayurvedic healing

According to Ayurveda, an increased sense of lethargy is connected with an increase in Kapha in the body. One of the three doshas in every human body, Kapha is a combination of the earth and water element. 

Ayurvedic massages and treatments can help reduce the kapha element. Yoga, exercise, breathing techniques (pranayamas), and meditation also help balance the elements and remove laziness. Rejuvenating, whether through a massage or any ayurveda treatment, may be one of the cool tips to share with your friends who ask you how to overcome laziness.

5. Start small

Take a simple commitment and stick to it. You could decide to walk just 20 minutes today and increase it to 22 minutes tomorrow. Whatever commitment you wish to take, take it. And stick to it. You could opt to find a buddy who will goad you till you finish the task. Or even choose someone who you want to have a friendly competition with. This will increase your confidence levels, give you a sense of achievement, and get you ready for the next round of tasks.

6. We become what we eat

Are you getting too much-processed food? Perhaps the sugar intake is hitting the roof. A lot of food ingredients have chemicals, and preservatives that could slip into your food innocently and turn you from a dynamic hero to a barely-keep-my-eyes-open one. For example, tomato ketchup, chips, crackers, packed fruit juice, etc. 

It is wise to check on your food, ensure you have fresh food and plenty of nutrients, and keep your gut happy. Such as salad, fresh vegetable/fruit juice, soup, vegetable millet, etc. 

Feeling lazy or unenthusiastic all the time could also be related to a deficiency in vitamins B and D. 

Also, ensure you’re drinking sufficient water daily. You could be walking around in a mild state of dehydration, without realizing it. Dehydration can cause fatigue and lethargy.

You will be surprised to find the change in energy levels just by attending to food and water. 

Summing up

Have you found your answers on how to overcome laziness? Is overcoming laziness difficult? Not anymore.

In conclusion, laziness can be overcome by taking care of your physical health, changing your mindset, and starting small. With these practical tips, you can increase your energy levels, build confidence, achieve your goals, and rid yourself of laziness and lethargy. 

Based on inputs from Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Dr. Prema Seshadri, Art of Living Faculty Member.