Why Everyone Should be Meditating First Thing in the Morning
Guest Post By: Danielle Hegedus
Daily meditation provides you with the opportunity to quiet your mind amidst the constant demands of life. It allows you to have more focus and control over your emotions, making you less prone to depression and anxiety.
According to Time Magazine, we need to be taking meditation more seriously, as it pertains to our overall well-being. “The practice of mindful meditation can offer real help for patients with depression, anxiety, and pain.
Researchers are increasingly demonstrating the measurable influence of meditation on the brain, proving that mindfulness can make us feel happier, have greater emotional resilience, and take fewer sick days.”
At Modernize, we believe that your personal success begins with self-care. Make meditation a non-negotiable part of your morning routine by practicing for at least 10 minutes at the start of every day. Meditating before you start your day will help you stay relaxed and balanced all day long. Read on for tips to make the most out of your practice.
Start Your Day Off Feeling Refreshed, Not Frazzled
Yes, many of us are sleep deprived, and the temptation to hit that snooze button is great, but does it ever really make you feel more rested? Going back to sleep for just a few minutes at a time can leave you feeling very tired and disoriented, not to mention ill-prepared for the day ahead.
The next time your alarm clock goes off, go to your meditation space instead. Sit comfortably, but straight up so that you are focused and don’t fall back asleep. You may notice that your mind naturally tends to reel, jumping from one thought to the next, without really allowing the time needed to think deeply about ideas.
This barrage of random thoughts in your head can create a tremendous sense of anxiety and stress. Quiet your mind through your practice. Focus on your heart and breathing rate, and you’ll notice them start to slow. The physiological effects of meditating will make your body better equipped to deal with stress throughout the day.
Improve Your Immune System
Most people can’t prevent stress from manifesting in their body. They experience stress and start having headaches or 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.”
Don’t Overthink Meditation
If meditation is new for you, it may initially feel silly or like you are doing it incorrectly. You may have your grocery list, your weekly schedule, and a work assignment running through your mind, but don’t get discouraged. There is no wrong way to meditate. There are simply different techniques to employ to help you get the most out of your experience.
1. Create a Physical Space for Meditation
Find a space that is quiet and peaceful, where you won’t be interrupted. You will be focused on quieting your mind, so eliminating distractions is essential. Wear comfortable clothing that won’t irritate, you as that can hurt your ability to concentrate as well.
Meditate where you feel most comfortable. 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 feel of the sun or the sound of birds and insects humming around the garden.
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. Close your eyes and concentrate only on your breathing. Count, inhaling for seven seconds and exhaling for seven seconds, to help you find a rhythm and to narrow your focus onto this simple task.
You can also try playing ambient noise or 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 just 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.
Continue to Grow in Your Practice
As you really become committed to meditation, you may want to try practicing longer and with others. Once you are truly aware of the strong connection between your mind and body, you may find yourself making time for other activities that are important for self-care like exercise and good nutrition.