4-Mindful Morning Rituals To Start Now
The way we start off our mornings can really affect how we take in the rest of our day. It can be really easy to get into a morning routine that feels like we’re on auto-pilot. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to decrease anxiety over time, so adding some sort of mindfulness practice to the mornings can have a positive effect on the rest of our day. Creating an intentional morning routine can help balance our mood and anxiety to become more resilient throughout the day. Our daily stressors can become more manageable if we stay consistent with a few mindful morning rituals.
Focusing on your breathing can make you calm and clear your mind. It’s a popular stress relief method because you can do it just about anywhere at any time. All you need is a comfortable and safe place where you can close your eyes and slow your breathing. Visualize your breath entering your nostrils, traveling into your lungs, and then exiting back out of your nostrils. See the stress leaving your body with each exhalation. And visualize relaxation entering your body with each inhalation. This is something you can practice in bed even before getting up for the day.
Most people do all sorts of things while eating. We might be watching TV, scrolling through our phones, or browse online. We have a tendency of mindlessly putting food in our mouths, not actually tasting what we’re eating or enjoying in the moment. This is known as unconscious eating. Mindful eating is a form of meditation. No multitasking is allowed. You simply sit quietly, relax, and enjoy your meal. You’re fully present, and aware of the feelings and sensations that you’re experiencing. Focusing on your senses while you eat your breakfast and savoring the experience while letting your thoughts come and go allows you to build mental resilience.
Take a few minutes to journal in the morning to write down your thoughts and feelings as you first start to wake up. You can also write down your daily intentions for the day, or affirmations you are wanting to attract more into your life. The process of writing, especially first thing in the morning, allows you to clear your mind, check in with yourself, and get intentional about your day.
The last ritual to start adding to your morning routine is to practice mindful walking. This is a form of meditation that benefits both your mind and body. It’s a combination of meditation and physical exercise that you can practice before heading to work, or even on your work breaks. Mindful walking encourages you to remain focused on the sensations you are feeling in the moment through your 5 senses. When thoughts come up regarding the past and the future, simply let them go and continue to focus on the sensations that you’re feeling and seeing. Pay attention to your breath, the feel of the ground beneath your feet, and nearby sounds and smells. The goal is to clear your mind by focusing only on the present moment. These mindful rituals in the morning may not completely eliminate the stress you face on a daily basis, but it can help you change the way you respond to your daily challenges in a more calm way.
**** Written for Meridian Counseling by: Saba Kerendian, AMFT Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT 88936)