See how your energy, mood, and life changes just by taking 10 mindful minutes each day for yourself.
The Science behind Mindful Mornings
Think about you first wake up every morning. First you hear a horrible iPhone alarm clock go off (worst sound in the world honestly), then you flip on your lights and reach for your phone and squint at it while you take in hundreds of posts and messages from people and news networks all over the globe. On top of that, if you wake up late or start rushing around, you add so much more anxiety into the first five minutes of your day. Most of us are checking our messages within two minutes of waking up, we go from out cold to processing all of this information within minutes every single morning. Humans are not built for that kind of quick transition mentally or physically.
Waking up in a gentle manner allows you to take advantage of the natural theta-brainwave states your mind is in at that time and slowly build up toward those demanding tasks of the day. Theta brainwaves occur during the period that you are between totally waking and sleeping. This state is associated with increased insight, creativity, healing, and deep awareness - aka you are very powerful during this state. Your mind is most impressionable in these few minutes and having a mindful practice here spares your mind from being influenced immediately by news and social media.
Regulating having a morning routine will allow you to build up self-efficacy, develop mindfulness and more peace in your mind, as well as allow you to properly prepare for whatever the day will throw at you. You reduce the spike in cortisol from jumping out f bed and into the day to day motions by easing into the day. Creating a mindful moment each morning trains your body to sustain that deliberateness, peace, and focus all day long.
Psychology Behind Mindful Mornings
There is a psychology behind having routines in place. Some of the most successful people adhere to a morning routine, and there’s a reason why. Routine is important because habitualness actually creates your mood. Your mood affects your personality daily, so not only can having a small solid daily routine in place increase your mood temporarily, but it will positively alter your personality in the long run as well.
When you regulate your daily actions, such as with a short mindful morning routine, you deactivate your “fight or flight” instincts because you are no longer confronting the “unknown” every morning. The more you build up a habit, the longer you turn your fear instincts off and allow your subconscious to actually enjoy it! One last cool fact about mindful routines - they build your capacity for self-efficacy and it empowers you to start your day on your own terms! It is truly time that you create for yourself.
Building Your Perfect Routine
First thing in the morning, let’s try not to use the phone for social media or messages. If you have a guided mediation or a journaling app, those are perfect, but practice not answering messages or opening Instagram until your 10 minutes are over.
There is no right or wrong way here, whatever of these options feel good to you or stand out the most, I suggest trying! Think of it like a pick- and mix! Pick 3 things to try tomorrow for 10 minutes in your morning. You can even chose just one activity if it calls to you the most.
Upon waking, our mind might start racing about what we have to do or any feelings that are resent in your mind. We can start to think ourselves into a negative state automatically. By cultivating a gratitude practice, not only can we improve our mood instantly but, we can make a lasting effect on our brain as well. Research from Harvard shows that gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Creating a morning gratitude practice is simple, either mentally say or physically write down 3 things that you are grateful for. Each day you come back to the practice, take on the challenge of writing something different and try not to repeat what you wrote already. You will be surprised with what you will come up with!
Choose any feel good activity here:
Read 5 pages of a book
Read 1 new insightful passage
Read a poem
Write a poem or love note to yourself or someone