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Chances are you already know the importance of a morning routine.
Almost every successful person attributes their high productivity and success to their effectively-designed morning routines.
From my own struggles of trying to build and follow a morning routine (for years) with activities suggested by the articles of popular business magazines, I have made a significant realization.
A morning routine will never work out if you don’t enjoy the activities in it.
This is what ultimately made it so freakin’ difficult to sustain any morning routine for longer than a week.
We all know that an effective morning routine will set the tone for our entire day.
Now imagine feeding your mind and body with stress through your morning routine.
A perfect recipe for a terrible day!
The key to designing a perfect morning routine is including the activities that are not only beneficial (or necessary) but are also the ones you would enjoy doing.
I do cardio workouts because it is necessary for my fitness and I love how it makes my body active and focused on my breathing.
I take a cold shower because it helps me to maintain personal hygiene and I absolutely love how it relaxes me after my workout.
I drink green tea on an empty stomach because of its antioxidant properties and I love how it refreshes my mind and body.
When you include activities in your morning routine that end up making you feel relaxed and peaceful, chances are you would stick to your routine.
Most of us tend to wake up anxious over all the things we need to do for the day.
This sort of puts us in an emergency mode and becomes counterproductive in the long run, ultimately interfering with the morning routine and ruining our peace of mind.
A very simple yet effective solution to this chaotic way of living can be activating your mindful mode during activities in your morning routine.
Operating in the mindful mode means we are actively paying attention to our experiences by becoming aware of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, without judging that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel.
Instead of being reactive and overwhelmed by the situation, we simply accept our experience as it is without getting caught up in them and just be there in moment-after-moment, absolutely free from distractions. This gives us immense clarity on how to take control of the situation and what we should do to help ourselves.
Beginning your day in a mindful mode prepares you to handle the rest of the day in a calm and composed manner, minimizing any possible chances of agitation.
I’ve made mindfulness meditation practice a part of my morning routine and I would recommend anyone to do the same. However, the brilliance of mindfulness is that you can activate your mindful mode at any time, during any activity.
If you’ve struggled with taking time out to meditate, here are 5 tips for you to design an effective mindful morning routine and reap the benefits of mindfulness.
Start With Sleep
No amount of meditation or well-designed morning routine will work if you don’t have enough sleep. Thousands of research studies have consistently considered sleep to be beneficial for optimal health and well-being. Sleep is one of the most critical factors for better memory and productivity.
Reduce exposure to bright light and avoid caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals 2~3 hours before bedtime to have a good quality sleep.
If you want to wake up energetic, make sure to set aside 7-8 hours for a good night’s sleep.
Being mindful of your sleep and prioritizing it every night is of paramount importance.
It will prepare you for the next morning and help you win all of your tomorrows.
If you’re struggling with sleep issues, check out the…
4 Weeks Sleep Training Program
with Sleep Diary (Journal + Tracker)
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Wake Up With Gratitude
When you wake up and open your eyes, simply pull yourself up and sit on the bed. Turn off the alarm, if you use one and keep everything aside.
Close your eyes. Put one hand on your heart. Take five deep breaths. Become mindful of the sensations of your pumping heart through the hand and how it feels inside your body.
Remind yourself that you’re blessed to be alive with the gift of one more wonderful day.
Many never wake up at all.
Water is life and no living being can survive without water. Every time we drink water, we are rejuvenating our bodies.
Become mindful of drinking your first glass of water and experience how it boosts your body.
How everything feels alive inside of you when hydrated.
As you sip/pour the drink inside your mouth, hold it, and close your eyes. Pay attention to how it feels inside your mouth and as you gulp it down your throat. Then slowly open your mouth and express your gratitude with a sigh of relaxation.
When you brush your teeth or wash your face, become mindful of it, and deeply engage with this act of self-care. Becoming mindful is simply being aware of what you’re doing at that moment.
Instead of getting lost in other thoughts, make these daily boring activities into little meditation practices. Focus on the little sensations you experience and any movement you engage in.
This is an effective way to practice mindfulness, simply because you won’t miss a day.
Love and Compassion
I love this last tip which I discovered after reading Dr. Shauna Shapiro’s bestselling book, Good Morning! I Love You. Dr. Shapiro is a clinical psychologist and an internationally recognized expert in mindfulness and self-compassion. In her book, she introduces powerful mindfulness and self-compassion practices that she claims can change the physical architecture of our brain and help us live a healthy, happy, and more meaningful life. I highly recommend you read it!
One of the self-compassion practices you should definitely integrate into your morning routine is to stand in front of the mirror and put your hand on your heart, look yourself in the eye and repeat the words, “Good Morning! I Love You” with a gentle smile on your face.
You might feel a bit embarrassed, or shy at first. But Dr. Shapiro asserts that we keep doing it every day. It’s one of the most effective ways to cultivate love and compassion towards yourself.
Activating the mindful mode is an effective way to bring relaxation into your mind and body. Doing any activity in a mindful manner not only brings deep relaxation but also helps you to deeply engage with the activity and realize it’s true importance.
I hope the five tips I’ve shared will help you to cultivate mindfulness into your lifestyle and sustain your morning routine.
I have also shared a list of daily activities to experience mindfulness. Read it here.
Starting the day by tapping into your mindful mode can prepare you to enhance your experiences for the rest of the day and it will all be worth living for.