If you’ve brushed off meditation for years as a practice reserved for the minimalist monk or the trendy yoga guru, it’s time to take another look, reevaluate your thinking, and add this step to your morning routine today…science says so. Here are just a few reasons to begin your day with meditation and how to get started.
Reduce stress and anxiety
Are you stressed and anxious? Before you automatically say “no,” consider this report from the American Psychological Association that calls chronic stress a “public health crisis.” This study indicates that the majority of Americans are struggling with some sort of stressors in their life. Do you worry about things that keep you up at night and cause you to lose sleep? Are you fatigued all the time due to burned out adrenals and a flood of cortisol to your system? If so, you’re stressed, and it’s time to take back your life.
Morning meditation is one of the greatest tools you can utilize to reduce or even eliminate your stress and anxiety for good. Spending a few minutes each morning clearing your mind, focusing on the big picture, and just sitting in silence without any mental or physical distraction can do wonders. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, slows your heart rate, breathing rate, and improves blood flow. This will allow you to have a clearer outlook on the day before jumping into the busyness and forgetting to look after yourself.
You may eat better
Fast food joints and other unhealthy options like donuts and chips exist to fuel the never-ceasing monster of modern society. Fast, quick, and right away are words that propel us through the day, and food options that don’t require consideration or preparation are there to comfort our stressed-out, frazzled minds. When you spend time in morning mediation, you are recalibrating your thinking for the entire day, including what you will eat. You are more willing to set aside the time for a healthy, mindful meal and are more in tune with what your body needs for fuel.
Gives you more energy
Mediation releases endorphins into the body that go with you throughout your day. They increase your sense of emotional well-being and help keep you energized and upbeat, allowing you to feel more awake, alert, and productive. All that for 10 minutes of quiet time? Sign me up.
How to get started
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are life-changing, healthy habits. Mediation is a “practice,” which means that it takes practice to do it effectively. Give yourself time to learn and grow and have patience with yourself as you strive to add this step to your morning routine. Spend 5-20 minutes each day in morning meditation and you’ll notice astonishing changes in your life.
Wake up early enough so that you can meditate before you have to rush out the door or even get ready for work. Sit on your bed or in a comfortable chair with a blanket and while still in your pajamas or other loose clothing. This will help keep you from wanting to fidget and allow you to focus. Be sure not to get too comfortable to where you might fall asleep. If you have difficulty staying awake, it may be a good idea to eat breakfast, take a shower, brush your teeth, or do something else to wake up a little first.
Choose a quiet place
Dedicate a spot in your home for meditation and create an oasis in this space. Be sure you have somewhere to sit up straight and prop a pillow behind your lower back if needed.
Focus on your breathing
Many people think meditation is clearing your mind. In reality, when you try to focus on clearing your mind, it instead fills up with all the things that you’ve been putting off. For instance, if I told you not to think about a pink elephant, you would immediately start thinking about one, right? Instead of focusing on nothing, close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing and take deep, calming breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Let your thoughts wander and don’t try to force them in any particular direction.
Use this time to release any pent-up negative energy you’ve been holding on to and any resistance that might arise as circumstances evolve throughout the day. Be willing to embark on the day with an open mind and practice reciting in your head all of the things you are grateful for. This will help direct your thoughts towards positivity.
Do you meditate in the morning? Have you noticed a difference in your life? Let us know in the comments below!
-The Alternative Daily