Implementing mindfulness meditation into your mornings isn’t just for “morning” people. It just takes getting into the habit of setting aside a few minutes each morning, whenever you start your day, to practice mindfulness meditation and commit to making it a priority.
Focus your mind
Starting your day by focusing your mind will put you in an improved headspace. How do you do this? First, decide where you want to practice your meditation. This can either be in a chair, on the floor, on a prayer mat, etc. Make sure your posture is straight but not rigid and that you feel connected to the earth. Don’t look at any electronics, listen to music, or watch tv before embarking on your meditation, as it will disrupt your brain space. By focusing only on the current moment, we are in a specific space compared to the rest of the day when our minds can be pulled in multiple directions. Focus on your breathing and present space; see where it takes you.
Do you ever go to bed stressed and then wake up and find your brain right back in the space it was when you fell asleep? You’re holding in all of these stressful thoughts, and we know that stress can cause real illness and harm to our bodies. Adopting a practice like mindful meditation can help reduce and manage stress. Focus on your breath and clear your mind. If you notice your mind wandering to what is causing you stress, acknowledge it, and then gently redirect your thoughts to your meditation. Sometimes just acknowledging our stressors, whether internally or externally verbalizing it, can lower or eliminate the stress. Sometimes stress can come from not confronting our issues head on, and having this space to acknowledge it can do more than avoiding it ever could.
Improve your attention
Have you ever been sitting in a meeting and noticed your mind wandering, or not knowing what a friend just said after they’ve told you a story? Having a preoccupied mind is another reason to try morning meditation. By giving yourself 5-10 minutes a day to sit and work on refocusing your thoughts and being present, you’ll train your brain to wander less. This isn’t something you’ll perfect after one meditation session. Implementing habits and changing our brains’ auto-pilot functions takes time and lots of practice. Once you start to notice the positive effects, it will hopefully get easier to continue with them. The most important part about trying to change your habits is to not give up. Even if you may forget one day, or find yourself wandering more than usual, do it again the next day. It’s a myth that it only takes 21 days to develop a new habit. Sometimes it can take longer than three weeks to make a habit stick.
Connect with yourself
Most importantly, implementing morning mindfulness meditation helps you connect with yourself in a very specific, introspective way. Mindfulness isn’t easy or everyone would do it. It takes personal accountability, thoughtfulness and attentiveness to our minds’ inner workings to practice mindfulness and to choose to revisit it every day. Starting with five minutes a day. Some experts might practice mindfulness meditation for up to an hour daily. This dedication to setting aside the time and creating a practice means you’re giving yourself space in a world that is constantly trying to buy your attention with any number of stimulants. Once you start with your breathing mindfulness, you are able to expand upon that reflection, noticing how your body feels and operates and what it needs in that moment. We should listen to our bodies more and these mindfulness practices allow us to build up those intuitive responses and use them throughout our daily lives. Our bodies will thank us for paying attention to what we need.