Many people find it difficult to be motivated to start their day with mindfulness, calm, down to earth and lightness. There are many reasons why this happens. Some people just don’t know where to start. Others may not know what to do or how to start. Still, others may feel too tired to even think about starting something new. Whatever the reason, there are some simple steps you can take to motivate yourself to have a more mindful morning.
What is mindfulness
Mindfulness is a quality of awareness that recognizes the present moment, including thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions. It focuses on the here and now rather than being caught up in past or future events. Mindfulness helps us live in the present. It is a skill that can be learned and cultivated over time.
Mindfulness is a term used to describe being aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, and actions. Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through conscious attention in the present moment and without criticism or judgment. It’s about getting fully involved in the here and now instead of getting lost in thoughts or daydreams.
Benefits of a mindful morning ritual
A mindful morning is a great way to start the day on a positive note. Being mindful helps you live in the present moment and appreciate everything that exists around you. A mindful morning ritual can boost your energy and make you feel calmer and more centered throughout the day. You will become more productive and motivated. Your mind will be prepared for positive thinking and creativity.
Being aware of where you are now enables you to make decisions based on reality rather than emotions. This enables you to act from a place of wisdom rather than fear. In addition, research has linked the regular practice of mindfulness with improved memory, focus, and concentration, and decreased emotional reactivity.
Here’s how to create a mindful morning routine
A mindfulness routine doesn’t have to be complicated or require too much extra time. If you want to create a more mindful morning, start small. Start by taking just 5 minutes each morning to practice a mindful morning task or technique. Start with one thing at a time. Do not overwhelm yourself with putting everything in the same place. Just pick an aspect of your daily routine and see how it goes. Then slowly build from there. Try adding one more little thing to your routine to make it more meaningful.
If you are struggling to motivate yourself in the morning, try to remember the last time you were really excited about your day. What made you feel like you couldn’t wait to get started? Try to recreate these thoughts and feelings when you go to bed and as soon as you wake up.
10 tips for a more mindful morning
To-do lists can feel a little overwhelming from time to time. Sometimes it seems like the more you get done, the longer the list gets, and prioritizing what needs to be done can feel like a Herculean task. But how many of these items on your to-do list actually serve you? We seldom bother to think about what we could do ourselves. If you don’t take care of yourself, everything else becomes more difficult. I found five key things to add to my to-do list to help make my days more mindful, productive, and healthier.
1. Get a good enough night’s sleep.
The success of the morning mindfulness practice relies on getting enough sleep and a nightly ritual. When you wake up rested and refreshed, you will have the mental clarity, physical energy, and motivation to incorporate mindful moments as you prepare for your day.
2. Wake up early.
Try to wake up 5–15 minutes before leaving for school or work to make room for more mindfulness in the morning. It will be very difficult to add to your morning routine if you don’t start with a little more time. If you’re not rushing your morning, you may feel more energetic, less stressed, and ready for the day. Waking up late will create a hectic state of mind and an unproductive mindset that will make it harder to stay focused and calm for the rest of the day.
3. Set an intention or goal.
Make sure you understand what you want to accomplish by adding more mindfulness to your morning. Setting an intention, affirmation, or goal creates excitement, motivation, and getting out of bed and starting the day on the right foot.
4. Do something slowly and with full attention.
The quickest, easiest way to add some mindfulness to your morning is to hack your existing routine. You can practice mindfulness while you make your bed, brush your teeth, have a cup of coffee or tea, or eat your breakfast. Whichever task you choose, work on slowing down and focusing all of your attention on your breath, body movements, and other senses as you complete this task.
5. Move your body.
Take at least a few minutes to move your body every morning, especially if you have a desk job. Go for a walk, do a 10 minute yoga sequence, take an hour long class at your local studio … it doesn’t matter how you do it, just stand up and move around. Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, fight off heart disease, maintain low cholesterol, keep your blood sugar levels low, and more.
6. Take a breather.
Adding five to ten minutes of meditation to your morning routine is ideal, but allowing yourself time throughout the day to focus on your breath can help you relieve stress and manage anxiety. The next time you’re in a long queue or stuck in a traffic jam, use the break as an opportunity to reconnect with your breath instead of stressing out about waiting. Even after you have a busy morning, it can make all the difference whether you can handle what comes next with ease or whether you get overwhelmed by taking time to take a few deep breaths. You can experiment with the different types of yoga breathing exercises to bring more energy or peace of mind to your day.
7. Practice gratitude.
It’s scientifically proven that gratitude leads to healthier relationships, better physical health, better mental health, higher empathy, less aggression, better sleep, higher self-esteem, and more mental strength. Whether you’re starting out by keeping a gratitude journal or just pausing in the morning to remind yourself of what you’re grateful for, gratitude should be on your daily to-do list.
8. Spend time contemplating.
How often do you sit down with no agenda other than sit and think? We move, do, and act all the time, often with little or no time to think about why. By giving yourself just five minutes to sit with your thoughts, you can be intent on following everything you do. Ask yourself questions like, “What do I need?” and “Are my thoughts and actions helpful?” As you ponder questions like these, you open the way for more meaningful and focused behaviors.
9. Embrace silence.
Recent studies have shown that silence can be incredibly beneficial for our brains and bodies. By adding silence to our morning routine, we are giving our brain the much-needed TLC. I like to wake up every morning before the rest of my household and sit with a cup of tea and a journal, just thinking in silence and writing down anything that might come up. I know others who prefer to sit in silence for a few minutes before bed. Just showering in silence instead of playing music can be a rewarding change. If you add just a little rest to your morning, your day can make all the difference!
10. Practice kindness and compassion.
Having compassion for yourself or for another person can be a form of mindfulness. The first step in compassion and kindness is adjusting to how you feel about yourself or another person. The more present you can encounter these feelings, the more understanding, acceptance, tenderness, kindness and love you can show your expression of compassion.
Practice every day
I created this list as a framework. It has a few general ideas on how to improve your day each day, but don’t be obsessed with following this (or any other) to-do list. Every day is different and we are all imperfect beings so take it day by day and minute by minute. Although I think this to-do list can be very powerful when practiced every day, the real goal is to learn to take care of yourself and to take a little time each morning to do things, that will make you a happier and healthier person.
What activities or practices would you add to this list? How has a mindful morning routine improved your life? Share them in the comments below!