Starting the day out right with your mindful morning practice may help you feel less stressed and more focused, so you will be able to accomplish what you want to do throughout the day. Being busy isn’t an excuse. In fact, the busier you are the more you need a mindful morning practice.
You can create an effective routine that helps you start your day! Think of your morning ritual as tuning your mind, body, and spirit. Create a practice that supports your lifestyle and personality. Give yourself time – the key is to be adaptable. Experiment until you find the rituals that work for you for your practice. It can take about 10 weeks for them to become a natural habit.
- What are you trying to accomplish?
What benefits are you seeking to create and what outcome do you want? Do you need more focus, better health, greater self-awareness, more empathy and compassion? For example, if you want to increase empathy and compassion, practice loving-kindness meditation.
- Start with small changes.
One of the best ways to start a morning mindful practice is to start out slow. Small changes create more success in sustaining new habits. For example, five minutes of a mindful breathing practice, writing one sentence in a journal, or spending a few minutes in nature. Small changes will help ensure that you can stick with change.
- Ignore technology.
Don’t watch television, or even check your email until you have completed your morning routine. Especially when you are doing your mindful morning practice, don’t answer your phone. Try not to fill your mind with tasks, thoughts, or emotions until after your routine.
- Post a reminder.
Use note cards listing your routine, and put the card where you can easily see it when you get up in the morning. For example, a mindful morning practice might include the following:
- Sitting and breathing (5 minutes)
- Engaging in a mindful exercise (e.g. yoga, tai chi, etc.) (20-30 minutes)
- Showering with awareness (5 minutes)
- Loving-kindness meditation (5 minutes)
- Stepping outside in nature (20 minutes)
- Track your progress.
You can use an app on your phone or mark your progress on a wall calendar. Use a method that works best for you so you are accountable to yourself. It helps you to be successful.
In addition to starting your day off right, mindfulness has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve focus, regulate emotions, improve brain function, and protect again stress. The examples provided are simply ideas to help you get started. Create your own personal, mindful morning practice – one that resonates with your lifestyle and personality.