Start Your Day Well With These Easy Morning Meditations
Imagine your perfect weekday morning. A refreshing start after a good, full night’s sleep, followed by calmly going about an uplifting routine that energies you for a productive, fulfilling day. Perhaps you leisurely flick through the paper, or listen to some mood-boosting music while enjoying a delicious, balanced breakfast.
Of course, for many of us the reality is a touch less idyllic. Trying to keep to a tight schedule first thing in the morning on a sleepy brain can mean that we may sacrifice taking care of our mind and body at the start of the day. The internet eats up a lot of the time that we do have, even before we’ve fully switched in mentally to the day. Research says that 80% of smartphone users check their phones and social media within fifteen minutes of waking up; it’s no wonder stress levels are on the rise!
How we choose to spend our time in the morning is crucial for our mental and physical wellbeing for the rest of the day. Habitually making time to practice even the simplest mindfulness meditation has been proven to offer extraordinary benefits, including alleviating symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and even boosting mood and fine-tuning focus.
Meditation has previously been misunderstood as a strict, religious discipline, but versions of mindfulness have been practiced around the world for thousands of years. The great news is that dipping your toe into meditation doesn’t have to involve sitting still for an hour trying as best you can to empty your mind!
Meditation is increasingly popular as a quick way of infusing calm into the stress of modern daily life, and it’s easier than you may think!
Try this quick four-step mindfulness technique called ‘RAIN’ to welcome a restorative sense of calm:
- Recognise: Engage fully with how you are feeling right now. Does that emotion have a name? Joy? Worry? Lethargy? Sadness? Determination?
- Allow: Are you comfortable with feeling this emotion? Gradually encourage yourself to accept that it is OK to feel this and any other emotion.
- Investigate: Play with this feeling in your mind. Does it live in a certain part of your body? Does it move or change shape, or does it stay the same? Does it have a colour, or a texture? Does it bring other feelings along with it?
- Not identify with: Hopefully, you can now imagine this feeling as something separate to you that is changing, transient and even companionable, and you start to think of it as less personal or impactful.
Meditation can also be easily integrated into your current daily routine, like this simple breathing exercise that can occupy just a few minutes on your morning commute or while waiting for the kettle to boil:
- First, inhale deeply through your nostrils for 3 seconds. Hold the breath for 2 seconds, feeling it your lungs expand, and then exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds. The essence of breathing mindfully is to give your whole focus to the experience. Repeat until you feel your mind clear and muscles relax.
Mindful meditation can be a wonderful complement to a nourishing and invigorating lifestyle.
We believe in actively supporting you through discovering new experiences so if these types of techniques feel alien, try these apps for beginner guided meditation to help you build up confidence in your mindfulness skills:
- Headspace offers bitesize courses in meditation technique, coaching through each short session. You can schedule session reminders to fit your downtime and choose sessions designed to help you however you are feeling at that moment.
- Stop, Breathe and Think is a free app that encourages you to check in with how you are feeling before and after each session so that you can track the progress of your mental and physical well-being as you practise.
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