There’s no better way to start your day off right than with some morning mindfulness practices. These mindfulness tips will help you start your day fueled by positivity and a big smile on your face.
What’s the catch? You will need to put in some effort to reap the rewards!
It’s easy for humans to get into their own way of happiness, often without having the conscious awareness of doing it. Mindfulness is a simple method of reestablishing a connection with that awareness, it only takes a little bit of practice to understand how mindful effort creates a positive outcome.
Don’t manage your stress, simply let it go…
Think back on all the stress you have experienced in life, would you react to it the same way you did if you had been mindfully aware of your own emotions and well-being at those times? Stress is rarely there to teach us anything, and mindfulness shows how stress can be eluded by becoming fully aware of yourself within the surroundings that you’re in.
You had a terrible day at work, your kids are growing up and doing all kinds of crazy things by now, you’ve been waiting for that promotion for months, and your car payments aren’t going anywhere just yet.. stress begins to build, and you find yourself drifting on and off of sleep weary, stressed out, and simply unhappy about life. Then you wake up, only to find that this old baggage is still hanging over your shoulders.
At one point, way before I understood what mindfulness was, my life was overflowing with a range of projects that kept consuming my life to the point where I would go to sleep jacked up on coffee, and would wake up only to rush to the kitchen to put the kettle on, just so I could start my day off as fast as possible.
Gradually it made me realize that the human body can only hold that much energy, tension and stress within itself, and at some point a crash would need to occur that would put life on hold.
But, it hasn’t been the case with mindfulness.
What exactly is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is about becoming fully aware of what is happening around you, and most importantly, within you. Rather than being overly obsessed with what happened in the past, or what might might happen in the future — mindfulness invites you to experience the present moment as is.
Those who practice mindfulness are less prone to react to things in a way that would provoke unhealthy emotions. Instead, mindfulness keeps your awareness calm and engaged — without the need to judge, doubt, or respond to everything that makes a tiny amount of change in your emotional body.
Mindfulness: 5 Secrets To Making Your Mind Happy — research based insights on how mindfulness can help you to be more happy.
8 Ways To Turn Any Workout Into A Meditative Experience — for those who are big fans of fitness, these practical tips will show you how mindfulness can be applied to your workout routine.
Want To Practice Mindfulness? Start At Work — a specifically tailored guide on how to use mindfulness during your day at work.
Sounds good? Follow along to learn about different ways in which you can start off your day more mindfully.
How to start your day with mindfulness?
First step is intention. You want to create a mental note to yourself the night before, that you will wake up and practice making your morning routine more mindful, knowing that it will help you lead a more positive and happy life in return.
When you’re connected to the power of intention, everywhere you go, and everyone you meet, is affected by you and the energy you radiate. As you become the power of intention, you’ll see your dreams being fulfilled almost magically, and you’ll see yourself creating huge ripples in the energy fields of others by your presence and nothing more. ― Wayne W. Dyer
Sounds far fetched? It really isn’t. It only takes a few days for new neural pathways to form, at which point being mindful will start to become a part of who you are.
Exercise #1: Remember your intention
You don’t want to make mindfulness a forced effort, it should come naturally. Being happy is about enjoying yourself, it’s about allowing life to move through you without the necessity to get carried away.
So after you wake up, remember the intention that you had set the night before: be mindful of your experience of waking up.
Early morning is a beautiful time of the day, it’s when you can decide on and set the tone for the rest of the day, and the following exercises will show you how to make that tone positive, uplifting, and enriching for your personal growth.
Exercise #2: Get your senses going with meditation
Meditation and mindfulness go hand in hand. Because meditation acts as a natural relaxant, it can help you tremendously to start your day with a mindful awareness, and sustain that mindful state throughout your day. You only need 5-10 minutes of meditation to start noticing significant changes in your mood.
If you haven’t done meditation before, please read our in-depth guide on how to start a meditation practice at home.
You can also just follow along these steps:
- Find a comfortable space in your room, or surroundings of your house.
- Sit cross-legged or in a chair with a straight spine, relax your hands over your lap.
- Start to notice the subtle movement of breath as you inhale and exhale through the nose.
- Continue to observe the breath for as long as you feel comfortable.
Meditation is like a powerful punch of condensed mindfulness. It gives you so much, yet requires such little effort. Just remember to keep your practice incremental, otherwise you may not enjoy meditation as much.
Exercise #3: Go along with the flow of your breath
The breath is a gift, whether it’s from God or another form of superior power, it’s a tool that enables for our body to function. Without the transmutation of oxygen within our body, we simply rot and die. So.. it pays to understand the process of breathing, which is why it’s so important to bring awareness into the breath in each of your living moments.
Early in the morning you’re still starting your day off, there’s no immediate stress surrounding you, and you can dedicate yourself to practicing mindful breathing during tasks like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, or having breakfast.
In Ayurvedic medicine it is highly emphasized that one should chew his food at least 30 times, not only to fully enjoy the meal that you are eating but also to break it down so that the body can properly digest all the nutrients.
Chewing is the first step in the digestive process. As you chew, digestive enzymes are produced by your salivary glands that assist in breaking down your food. Chewing for a longer period also gives your stomach more time to signal to your brain that you’re full, preventing you from eating more than is necessary.
When you involve the breath with basic tasks like eating food, you allow yourself to fully enjoy the goodness that food is bringing into your life. It’s far too easy to go to a McDonald’s and grab a cheeseburger only to swallow countless ounces of poor-quality food, which only signals to your brain an emotional response of “that was good”.
Exercise #4: Notice the urges of the mind
We all have cravings, urges, and mental patterns that we’re accustomed to live by. For some, it’s the act of smoking a cigarette, while for others it’s the quick-fix breakfast of a big bowl of cereal.
As you’re changing up the routine of your morning, you will inevitably come across urges that you previously considered to be healthy and good for you, the goal of the mindfulness process is to acknowledge those urges and not react to them.
When you take away the power from your mind and put it in your awareness, you start to experience a profound shift in your ability to control your own choices based on what is good for you, rather than what the brain is signaling — tricking you into thinking that a mental urge is the exact thing that you need to feel happy and good.
Leo Babauta has gone through this process countless times himself, and I absolutely admire his ability to have beat so many unhealthy habits over the span of last 10 years — he’s written great insights and tips for anyone who wants to apply more mindfulness to their lives, and his roundup of mindful living tools is yet another great resource that you’ll find useful in applying to your daily life.
What’s the secret ingredient to success in life?
If you truly want to succeed, then determination is going to be your best weapon against creating new habits, making healthy choices, and living a life that you can be proud of.
It will not take long before you start to notice significant improvements in your life shortly after applying more mindfulness (and breath!) to your way of living. It cannot hurt you, and it can only help to put you on the right track once again.