Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being aware of your current feelings in the moment, in an intentional and non-judgmental way. It has positive changes on your mind and body by improving well-being, physical health, and mental health.

Taking a few extra minutes in your day to practice mindfulness can decrease stress, help you sleep better, increase attention and cognition, and so much more.

With many of us currently dealing with increased stressors in our lives, there’s no better time to give mindfulness a try.

Today we will begin what we would like to call “Mindful Mondays”. We will be providing you with a series of exercises to help learn ways to strengthen mindfulness in our daily lives.

 

Morning Mindfulness

Let’s begin our day with intention and purpose. Our morning routines set the tone for the rest of the day. Learning to include mindfulness into that routine can increase mood and creative energy. Here are a few morning meditation practices to help get you started.

  1. Breathing: Upon waking, and before looking at your phone, sit on the edge of your bed in a relaxed posture with a straight spine. Take a few deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose slowly, pause for 2 seconds, then exhale through your mouth. Continue this technique for one minute, paying attention to the rise and fall of your chest.
  2. Be Mindful: Try being more aware during routine activities. Pay more attention when you are brushing your teeth or eating your breakfast, activating all your senses. You may come to realize that these activities are more interesting than you thought.
  3. Set intentions: What do you want to get out of your day, or let go of, to allow yourself the best day possible? Think about what’s ahead of you and the challenges you may face. Here are just a few examples of intentions you may choose:
    1. Accept whatever happens, even if I don’t choose it.
    2. To show up for myself.
    3. To bring light to other people.
    4. To be afraid and do it anyway.
    5. To discover who I am and what I enjoy.
  4. Make Use of Downtime: While waiting for a meeting to start, stuck at a red light, or waiting for your coffee at the coffee shop, check in with yourself. How are you feeling? Reflect and take a deep breath. Re-visit your intention.

Remember to start slow and be easy on yourself. As you become increasingly comfortable with mindfulness meditation and focusing on your intentions and the things around you, you may notice more positive reactions to stressors, increased acceptance of yourself, and better relationships with others.