The way that you start the day is the biggest indicator as to how your day will progress. Starting your morning with focused meditation can set your intention for the rest of the day, preparing your mind to be open, curious, peaceful and relaxed—regardless of what the next 24 hours throw at you.
Mornings are crazy times for most of us. We’ve generally gotten less sleep than we should have, have more things to do than we have time to get done, are running from project to project at an insane pace and have an overall sense of panic and a lack of control. Mindful meditation in the morning promotes a sense of calm, increasing your ability to remain focused throughout the chaos. It’s like a big box of Wheaties for your brain, giving your mind the energy to find happiness and success!
Incorporating morning mindfulness
Won’t adding something else to your already packed morning routine just make things worse? Not at all. Mindfulness is all about bringing yourself into the moment. You’re not adding anything else to your morning; you’re really just changing the way that you approach it.
Including simple mindfulness practices into your morning routine is a wonderful way to expand and uplift your ability to navigate the day. Here are seven quick morning meditations that will bring you happiness even through the hustle and bustle.
All of these meditations take one minute or less. The point here isn’t to sit in a lotus position for hours on end, but rather to pull the practice into the things that you’re already doing. Adapt these as you see fit, as most easily translate into your lifestyle. Mindfulness is a deeply personal practice, one that you need to make your own in order for it to be successful.
First off, a calming alarm like a chiming bell is a far better way to start your day than a harsh buzz. It will ease you into your day much more smoothly. It’s much easier to transition to a mindful state when you wake peacefully.
Before you even get out of bed, open your eyes wide and look straight up towards the ceiling. Lay your hands at your sides, palms facing up. Breathe in deeply through the nose and out of the mouth, allowing the oxygen to wake up your brain. Do this for three to five cycles, then close your eyes and check in with your body starting at your feet, releasing any tension that you might feel and letting go of any stress that you have for the coming day.
This is your time for you – nothing else matters. Take a few more deep breaths before getting up and moving on with your morning, taking that calm with you.
During your shower
A morning shower is a powerful place to harness the mind. Pull yourself into the moment as you feel the water cascade across you. Allow yourself to become lost in the pitter patter of the drops as they strike your body and the hard surface of the shower. Pull your shoulders down away from your ears and breathe into your muscles as the water washes away tension. Breathe in again through your nose and out of your mouth, savoring the sweetness of the smells and textures of something so simple as a shower.
While brushing your teeth
What do you usually think about when you’re brushing your teeth? Most people fret about the things that are going to happen in the coming day, making lists and ignoring the world that they’re living in. Teeth brushing is an incredibly kinetic experience, which makes it a great way to pull the mind into the body.
Take a few moments when you’re brushing your teeth to feel the brush, to check in with the way your body is moving and feeling. Think about the weight of your body on your feet, the cool edge of the counter, the bristle of the brush against your gums and cheeks. Simply pulling yourself into the moment during this simple task will help you to be less stressed and happier.
While making breakfast
Though the morning meal can be a stressful one, there is still room to be mindful. Prepare breakfast without racing through the thoughts of the day. In mindfulness, simple tasks become powerful ways to connect. Focus on the food that you’re preparing, being thankful for its nourishment and the energy that it will give you for your day. Think about how this food will power you and the people that you’re preparing it for towards happiness and productivity. Then as you eat, think again about how this meal is so important and how it will afford you the fuel that you need to feel energetic and fulfilled.
Drinking morning coffee
Many people use their morning cup of coffee or tea as a meditative tool without realizing it. Consciously take your time with that cup, allowing it to clear your thoughts and free up your mind. That warm feeling that you sense going down into the center of your chest as you drink? Pull it in even further and feel it manifest as happiness that starts right at your heart. Each sip becomes nourishing to both your body and to your mind, loosening stress and increasing awareness.
As you walk out the door
Don’t just run out the door, even if you’re running late. Stop as you get to the threshold and take several deep, cleansing breaths. Whatever the weather is outside, experience it for just a moment before you hop into the car or run for the bus. Take this time to transition yourself from home to the world outside of your home, bringing your awareness to the environment around you. Clear your mind and focus on your breath. Leave home with the intention of being happy and fulfilled by whatever is coming, knowing that you will be able to take care of any problem.
When you get to your destination
As you get where you’re going, again recognize that transition. Take a few moments to release any stress that might have come from the ride over, to let go of any hang-ups that you might have about this day and to instead go into the day with a positive and happy outlook.
Incorporating mindfulness into your everyday life is something that happens everywhere you go, with every step that you take. This is a practice, like Pilates, that you take with you every single day and that affects your wider life. I’d love to be part of your mornings for the next 100 days, helping you take just 5 to 10 minutes to start your day with gentle Pilates, mindful meditations, and inspiring quotes. Make your mornings your own by using these easy meditations for happiness and trying my 100 Day Challenge.