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Why Everyone Should Be Meditating First Thing in the Morning
Regular meditation gives you the opportunity to quiet your mind amidst the constant demands of family, work, and whatever else may be going on in your life. It allows you to have more focus and control over your emotions.
According to Dr. Emma Seppala of Stanford University, there are also serious health benefits to meditation including reducing social anxiety and depression, increasing grey matter in the brain for improved memory, and boosting your immune functions while decreasing pain.
Via Yogi Approved
Make meditation a habit by doing it every morning. Meditating before you start your day will help you stay relaxed and balanced all day long.
Mediating first thing in the morning also helps you protect that time, ensuring that your practice doesn’t get pushed aside, or moved down a growing to-do list as your other responsibilities mount throughout the day. Read on for more reasons to start your day with meditation, as well as tips for making the most out of your practice.
Start Your Day Feeling Refreshed
Though we may love the snooze button, going back to sleep for just a few minutes at a time can leave you feeling very tired. Worse yet, so many of us start our days squinting at our mobile devices to catch up on emails, social media, and news.
Allowing yourself just 15 minutes to meditate (or five if you did hit that snooze button!) will help you start your day with more focus and optimism, as well as a healthy dose of perspective.
Avoid Falling into a Frenetic Pace in the Morning
The mind tends to reel, jumping from one thought to the next, without really allowing the time needed to think deeply about ideas.
This ping-ponging of random thoughts in your head can create a tremendous sense of anxiety and stress, as you are never quite able to keep up with all that is going on in your head. Meditation helps slow your heart and breathing rate, and increases blood flow.
These physiological benefits to meditating can make you more equipped to deal with stress and anxiety throughout the day.
Boost Your Overall Well Being
Have you ever noticed that when you experience stress that it starts to manifest in your body?
Maybe your shoulders and back ache or you experience an upset stomach. This is because your immune cells are very intelligent and in constant contact with your brain.
Deepak Chopra writes:
“Your response to potential illness, as managed by the immune system, improves with meditation. Being susceptible to chronic disorders like type-2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure, conditions that are not the result of invading microbes, is also reduced through meditation.”
Two Simple Components to Successful Meditation
If meditation is a new practice for you, it may initially feel silly or think that you are doing it incorrectly. However, there is no wrong way to meditate but there are different techniques you can use to help you get the most out of your experience.
1. Prepare Your Environment
Just like you would put on specific clothes to exercise or go to work, put on your most comfortable clothes to meditate.
Find a space that is quiet and peaceful, and where you won’t be interrupted. Some people have a space in their home that is particularly comfortable, while others like to meditate outside where they can focus on natural elements like the sun on their face, gentle breezes, and the sounds of wildlife.
As you become more experienced at meditating, you will be able to do it anywhere--even next to a pile of laundry, but in the beginning it’s important to minimize distractions that might derail your practice.
2. Quiet Your Mind
Our lives are so busy these days that it can be difficult to allow yourself the time to simply do nothing - because that’s what it might feel like at first.
Avoid the impulse to multi-task. Temporarily abandon thinking about a project that you have due at work or what you are making for dinner this week.
Close your eyes and concentrate only on your breathing. Count, inhaling for 7 seconds and exhaling for 7 seconds, to help you find a rhythm and quiet your thoughts as your mind focuses on this simple task.
You can also try using a playlist of soothing music to help you relax. Many people find that guided meditation helps them to truly be in the moment and stops their thoughts from wandering. Stop, Breathe & Think is an app that won the 2015 Webby People’s Choice Award. It includes the basic fundamentals of meditation and includes a number of exercises that can work for short or long practice.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
Understand and Manage Stress in Your Life
Learn more about the nature of stress and how you can effectively cope with stress at work, at home and in life generally. The Skills You Need Guide to Stress and Stress Management eBook covers all you need to know to help you through those stressful times and become more resilient.
Continue to Grow in Your Practice
Once you are truly aware of the strong connection between your mind and body, consider making healthier food choices and exercising more regularly, perhaps incorporating yoga. You may also want to explore one of these meditation centres around the UK.
About the Author
Danielle Hegedus is a freelance writer based in Atlanta, GA and currently writes for Modernize.com.
For more tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com.