If you are not a morning person like me, the early hours of the day can be rough. In fact, even with a cup of coffee, I find myself hazy and simply low on energy for most of the first half of the day. However, I also realized that I am wasting so much valuable time, time that I can use more wisely. There are many things I wanted to achieve, and the only way to squeeze everything is to maximize the morning. Therefore, I decided to try to improve my morning ritual.
I wanted to find a way to focus my mind on what I want to achieve for the day. Upon reading about it, I learned and decided that incorporating meditation in the morning ritual is the way to go.
Research has shown that starting the day by meditating will help you become more productive. For example, workers who were taught mindfulness were able to focus on single tasks longer and had better memory while performing these tasks. Even marines showed better working memory capacity (WMC), which helps us think clearly and regulate emotions in moments of stress.
Beyond helping me concentrate better for the day, there were other reasons why morning meditation makes sense. First of all, our minds are quiet when we wake up. It is then easier to meditate when we don’t have a million thoughts going through our heads.
Second, meditation is the equivalent of exercise for our bodies. It literally gives us a good start, preparing us for what lies ahead the rest of the day.
Third, meditating before the world around us becomes chaotic also allows us to gain energy and be nourished. This way, no matter what life throws us on this day, we feel a bit more protected, allowing us to react better and keep good spirits.
In order to begin incorporating meditation into your morning ritual, here are some tips:
- Choose a convenient time
This is a time to relax, so make sure you do it at your convenience. If you are also not a morning person like me, it does not make sense to force yourself to wake up much earlier for this. It just has to be a quiet time when you are able to relax alone.
- Choose a quiet place
If you are living alone, then maybe this is not a big issue. However, if you are married and have kids, you will definitely have to find a spot where you will not be disturbed. Moreover, being somewhere quiet and peaceful will help you relax and meditate better.
- Sit comfortably
Your posture is very important when meditating. Doing it lying down is not a good idea, you might fall asleep instead. Sitting up is better, but do not be too stiff. Keep your spine straight, relax your neck and shoulders and close your eyes to block out the outside world.
- Do it on an empty stomach
It is always ideal to meditate before breakfast, because when you are full, you are more at risk of falling asleep during meditation. However, if you are very hungry, it is also not a good idea. Otherwise, you will have hunger cramps and will find it hard to concentrate. You might end up thinking about food the entire time. You can choose then to either drink some coffee to stop you from falling asleep or eat something small, or meditate 2 hours after a big breakfast.
- Do some warm-ups
Doing some warm-up exercise or yoga before meditating will help you improve blood circulation and reduce restlessness. Your body will then feel lighter and ready to sit peacefully for a longer time.
- Breathe deeply
This is a great way to get yourself in the mood. Start by breathing deeply in and out, focusing on each breath. You will find yourself clearing your mind in the process, and you start to feel relaxed for the session.
- Open your eyes slowly
After you finish meditating, go back to the real world slowly, by opening your eyes gently. Take your time to be aware of yourself and the surroundings.
You may choose from different kinds of meditation techniques, and they may have their own practices. The important point is to find what feels natural for you, based on the time you have, based on where you meditate and based on how you want to meditate. Do not also feel that you can only do it at home. You may do it in your car if this is the place where you can be alone, or in your own office.
By doing so, you can start to enjoy the benefits I myself have experienced. Nowadays, I find myself starting my day with more purpose and focus, and do not wonder where the hours went. Morning meditation is definitely a great addition to your morning ritual, much better than your morning cup of coffee!