When is the last time you had a calm and peaceful morning? Think about that for a moment…how we start our mornings has a huge impact on how the rest of our days go. And for many of us, the mornings are far from relaxing. Quite the contrary – they’re hectic, busy and stressful.
Between rushing to get to work, or running around the house making sure our kids are ready for school, we find no time for a moment of quietude. As if that isn’t bad enough, the day ahead brings another heap of stresses and struggles and we fail to be as productive as we’d like.
Is there a way to stop this cycle of stressful mornings? Of course. How? One word: Mindfulness. Today I will be digging deep into some mindful morning routine ideas – I hope you find these helpful.
Other posts you may like:
Mindful Morning Routine – 12 Amazing Ideas!
What is Mindfulness?
To keep it simple, being mindful means remaining present. Despite the hectic nature of our modern-day world, practicing mindfulness encourages self-awareness, acceptance, and taking in the moment. It allows you to truly focus on what you’re doing right now.
Mindfulness stems from ancient Buddhist meditation teachings, but Jon Kabat-Zinn adapted the concept in 1979. Over the last few years, mindfulness has gained a lot of popularity. This may be due to more mainstream coverage, publications like Mindful, and the power of social media! After doing some research, I also found that mindfulness is often used in therapy. This is because it’s thought to help with anxiety and stress!
A couple of great channels from YouTube for mindfulness content, are as followed:
What are the benefits of Mindfulness?
Mindfulness has a lot of benefits for your overall well-being. It could easily be another blog post (maybe in future) – here are a few important points.
Mindfulness increases focus
We have a lot of things to cross off our to-do list every day. It would be simple if we could finish one by one easily. But I find that whenever I am ready to do a task, I am reminded of something else that needs to be done. It makes me anxious because it is unfinished.
Then I feel the stress rising. I am not able to concentrate on the current task. I feel overwhelmed. In such moments, I do a mindfulness meditation exercise (read below to see how to do it). It calms my mind and helps me relax. I am able to concentrate on the task at hand better.
Mindfulness helps you increase focus and concentration because you are making an effort to bring your attention to the present moment repeatedly. It even has the power to change your brain. The effect of mindfulness practice can last long even when you are not consciously doing it because new neuron connections are formed through neuroplasticity.
Mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety
When you practice mindfulness you are more aware of your thoughts. So, if any thought comes up that gives you stress you try to acknowledge it. You say to yourself “Ok. This is stressing me out. Back to the task”. So you get to respond to your negative thoughts rather than being controlled by it. You can choose to step back from them as you are mindful of your emotional state. You acknowledge your thoughts and you are able to respond rather than react to it.
Mindfulness improves physical health
Research has proved that our brain has the ability to influence the body’s inflammatory responses. Our brain and immune system are interconnected. Mindfulness can be used as a pathway to train our brain to control stress reaction and prevent a lot of stress-based diseases. It also improves your memory retention, promotes heart health, improves the quality of sleep, etc. But how do you become more mindful? How to incorporate mindfulness in daily life? Read on.
Why practice Mindfulness?
Over the years, many benefits of mindfulness have been scientifically proven. For example, being mindful improves your mood and enhances your creativity and it also helps to reduce stress and anxiety. It also makes you more focused as you train your brain to remove distractions and concentrate on one task.
But Mindfulness also helps you to slow down and stop rushing, to stop dwelling on the past but focusing on the present. You’ll notice that you’re enjoying the little moments and appreciating life more, because you’re actively concentrating on being in the moment.
Now let’s go into the mindful morning routine ideas.
Mindfulness meditation is practiced by focusing the mind on the present and keeping your thoughts from wandering into the past and future. It focuses on breath awareness to draw attention to your body, open up your senses and anchor you into the present and your immediate surroundings.
- Sit comfortably with your upper body straight but do not stiffen.
- Relax and pay attention to what every part of your body is doing like how your legs are positioned and where your arms lay.
- You may close your eyes if you need help getting more focused and relaxed, but it’s not necessary.
- Gently inhale and exhale, getting into the rhythm of your breath noticing how each part of your body reacts and what you’re currently feeling.
- Open your eyes and with a soft gaze, notice your surroundings using your senses, without allowing your mind to wander. See your surroundings and free yourself of any judgment.
Meditation for any period of time, is a good meditation. So, start off small (5 mins) and build yourself up. When you feel the benefits of meditation, and how beautiful stillness feels, you will fall in love with the practice.
Social media algorithms are designed to hijack our minds, ensnaring us into endless, scrolling rabbit holes. If the first thing you do in the morning is open Instagram or Twitter, you’re handing over the day’s most precious moments to AI designed to distract you.
Greeted by a list of notifications each morning, we frame the first moments of our day around ‘catching up’ rather than setting up. In reality, most, if not all, of those notifications can wait until later in the day. Avoid the temptation of reaching for your phone by turning it on to a “Do Not Disturb” setting until 9am, or whenever you’re ready to start your work day.
Journal mindfully to know your thoughts and emotions better
Journaling lets you release your thoughts and feelings onto paper. If you don’t speak about your emotions, they may build up in your body so let it all out on the page. You can write letters to people, discuss how your felt during certain times and find what is truly working for you. You can even use your journal as a template to turn your imagination into a reality.
Express yourself and if you can’t think of anything to write, one day, just write down things you are grateful for. This will help you to appreciate life more and hopefully take one day at a time. Be present, be here and now. Practicing gratitude in the morning is a great way to introduce positivity to your day right away. Instead of dwelling on things that aren’t going well, focus on the many things you have to be grateful for.
Practicing gratitude daily will help you think more positively by teaching you to focus on the what is going well in your life instead of spending energy focusing on what isn’t. Try writing down 5-10 things each morning that you’re grateful for to create a mindful morning routine.
Move your body mindfully
When you move your body, you stimulate your mind. Movement can produce creativity, relaxation and help you lose weight. A mindful morning routine could be anything sort of exercise while present and aware. I exercise first thing in the morning – I train yoga, calisthenics, HIIT, Muay Thai and run (depending on the day.), and then I walk my furry friend.
During these stressful times, it’s best to stay physically and mentally fit so you don’t go down a depression rabbit hole, even if you just exercise for 10 minutes. So, get outside or move inside with online classes you enjoy. Speaking from experience, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just do something you enjoy, which enables you to move your body and be in the moment.
Recite positive affirmations
Make it a habit to recite positive affirmations aloud to yourself every morning. We often don’t realise how negative our self-talk is. Affirming good qualities, you have of yourself is an amazing way of boosting your productivity. Just think about it: you wake up in the morning more or less knowing what needs to be done.
It’s a busy day ahead. What will make you feel better and inclined to work hard? Language like “I can’t be bothered with this. I’m too lazy” or “today will be an amazing day and I will tick everything off my to-do list”? The second one, right?
You can write a list of positive affirmations in a notebook beside your bed and read them every morning. Or if you prefer, on your smartphone. To give you an idea of what you could say to start your day right and be productive, here’s a post below with regards to positive affirmations for you.
By reading here, I don’t just mean a book. It can be a quote or poem, anything that inspires you. Every morning, take a couple of minutes to read a few pages of an amazing book on personal development you love or a positive poem. To read mindfully, I advise that you think about what the words are teaching you.
What lessons and benefits can you learn? Another type of mindful journaling is writing down your thoughts on what you read. Share your thoughts on what you learned and loved; it’ll stick with you throughout the day. If those words inspired you to be motivated and productive, that’ll give you the boost you need to own the day.
I also recommend the following books to read for Mindfulness, these books are amazing and I cannot recommend them enough.
Take a mindful walk
Being in nature is one of the easiest ways for me to be mindful in everyday life. I regularly take my dog for a walk over the local lake. When I’m there, I take deep breaths, taking in the fresh air. I listen to the sounds, watch the birds, and I enjoy the smells.
Depending on what weather it is, the lake always smells differently. If you don’t have the luxury of local lake, try take a walking break during the day and go to a park or the woods/forest. Notice everything around you and enjoy. You’ll return to everyday life recharged and with a fresh mind.
Take a mindful shower
Being mindful doesn’t require much effort. You can be mindful with every little task. Try to take a mindful shower. Feel the water touching your skin and notice the temperature of the water. Focus on smell of the soap, it will give a calming effect. Listen as the water hits your skin and falls on the floor. Touch your skin and notice what this is like for you. Pay attention to your feelings. Do fresh? Be aware of your thoughts and feelings as you do this. This will also enhance the need to care for yourself, which is a very good practice for your personal wellbeing.
Often when we are rushed in the morning, we combine eating breakfast with another task like reading news, checking email or driving. By slowing down, being present and eating your breakfast mindfully, it is a way to bring calm into your morning for even a few minutes. Plus, your breakfast will taste much better, with no added cost or effort.
Watch the sunrise mindfully
This may not become an every-morning ritual, but have you considered adding more sunset-watching to your morning? It’s a beautiful thing that happens every morning, whether we see it or not. It really feels you with a warm sense of gratitude inside.
Open the curtains and welcome the day
Be there. Embrace the moment. Take a deep breath and open the curtains. You may also want to add in a phrase, mantra or a simple “I am grateful for today”.
Be mindful with family members
Speak, listen and be in the moment when communicating with family members during the morning. Be grateful for another day ahead, and take in the moment with your children, loved ones and pets. We often take the simple things in life for granted. Appreciating the simple things in life, leads us to an attitude of gratitude.
Mindful Morning Routine – Final Thoughts
Thank you for reading these mindful morning routine ideas and tips. I hope you can successfully incorporate them into your life and allow yourself to follow your dreams. Never stop believing in you. You have the power, and determination, to be unstoppable so go grab life by the horns. Be the best person you can and treat yourself with care.
If you have any questions please reach out to me via firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you! I really hope you found inspiration in this post.
Other posts you may like:
Hello! My name is Adam and welcome to my space on the internet. Here you can find me writing about subjects such as spiritual growth, self-discovery, wellbeing, addiction recovery and mental health. Please connect with me on my journey and join the community!