Have you ever considered starting your day with a simple morning meditation? If you have never meditated before then you are missing out on some incredible benefits. If you have been taking part in this exercise, then it might be time for you to switch things up a bit and try some morning mindfulness meditation.
How To Start Morning Meditation?
If this exercise has piqued your interest, the first thing you will want to do is learn how to do it correctly. Here are some pointers that could be helpful to you:
Mediate As Soon As You Wake Up
You can choose to do it while lying down or while seated in bed. The point is to do it as soon as your alarm rings or as soon as you naturally wake up. The reason behind this is to prevent distractions. As soon as you step outside the bed, you start worrying about your children, classes, work, etc. Once this happens, you may find yourself distracted and occupied with other things to a point where you no longer have the time to or forget to meditate. Avoid this by meditating as soon as your eyes open.
Something tells us you often forget to put all the everyday hustle and bustle on hold and simply concentrate on yourself. It’s time to straighten out your priorities! Take a moment to heal, process your emotions, ground yourself, release all the pent-up tension and recharge with the BetterMe: Meditation & Sleep app before getting back into the race of life!
Keep Your Phone Away From You
How many times have you woken up, switched off your alarm, then picked up your phone only to find that you’ve spent 20 minutes to an hour aimlessly scrolling through your news app or social media feed? This is a distraction that can significantly affect your morning meditation.
Avoid this by setting your phone on airplane mode the previous night so that you do not wake up to new messages or emails. If you do not need the phone to wake you up, switch it off and place it as far away from your bedside as you can. With your mobile device away from you, you can easily get a quick morning meditation to help set your intentions for the day.
Meditation is not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of practice and because of this, you are advised to try out different meditation techniques to find what works best for you. Here are some examples for you to consider:
1. Focused Meditation
Also known as breath awareness meditation, it uses your breath to help focus your attention, anchor the mind, and maintain awareness. Once your mind begins to wander – as it inevitably will – simply return it to your breaths.
2. Body Scanning
This technique is said to help us sync the body to the mind. It helps you scan your body for areas with tension, and once found, release it. This is helpful to those who wish to relax, get a sense of calmness, be rid of or ease chronic pain, and sleep.
3. Gratitude Meditation
As soon as you gain awareness when you wake up, your mind quickly starts going through all the things you need to do for the day. This creates a sense of urgency, stress, and anxiety. Instead of falling into this mental trap, practice some morning gratitude meditation. Do not think about all the things you have to do, instead take a few minutes to count your blessings. This is said to help with lowering blood pressure, improving our mood and sense of optimism, relieving depression, and improving immune function.
This technique is used to cultivate an attitude of love and kindness toward everything around you. It enables you to foster feelings of compassion, kindness, and acceptance toward oneself and others. This technique allows you to be open to receiving love as well as sending love to those around you.
Combining both visualization and meditation, the technique enables you to picture an experience before you have lived it in real life. Using visualization in morning meditation can help set a positive note for the day. Visualize yourself having a good day, passing the upcoming test, acing the interview, being congratulated on a big project, etc. It can help you navigate your day with an extra pep in your step.
6. Mindfulness Meditation
This technique requires you to pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You are further required not to engage, interact, or judge these thoughts. It is also often combined with breath awareness meditation.
7. Mantra Meditation
This is almost like breath awareness meditation but instead of focusing on your breath, mantra meditation fosters concentration by focusing on a mantra – a word, syllable or phrase.
8. Movement Based Meditation
These techniques require you to get up and move or do some activity to help keep you focused. Some examples include qigong meditation, walking or yoga meditation.
Buddhists who have been meditating for years can sit still for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours (or more) meditating. However, for a beginner this can be hard. You may find yourself falling back asleep or letting your mind wander if you spend too long meditating.
Instead of trying to aim for a 20-minute morning meditation session, start with a 2-minute session. After you have done this for 3 to 5 days, increase the time limit to 5 minutes, 10 minutes and eventually you will find yourself easily sitting unbothered through a half-an-hour session.
How To Do Morning Meditation?
Below is a simple 10-minute meditation script that you can follow to help you start your day on the right foot:
Choose Your Location
It is recommended that you find a quiet and peaceful location to meditate as this helps you concentrate better. This could be on your balcony watching the sun rise or right there on the bed.
It is advisable to wear loose fitting and breathable clothes. In the case of a morning meditation, you do not need to change as your pajamas work just as well.
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Find A Comfortable Position
You could do it while still lying down, seated cross-legged in the middle of the bed or floor, or at the edge of your bed with your feet resting on the ground.
Close Your Eyes
This will help with concentration as you are not distracted by the things your eyes land on. Since you just woke up, you must be careful not to fall back asleep, especially if you choose to meditate while lying down.
Focus On Your Breath
Take notice of how your body expands and contracts with each inhale and exhale, respectively. Visualize what your perfect day would be like. Imagine that this perfect day will be today. What clothes are you wearing? How is your body feeling? Are you able to complete all your tests, tasks, and to-do list? Imagine yourself doing everything correctly and having the day unfold and progress with no hiccups. You may also create a mantra to help you convince yourself that you can achieve this.
- Continue focusing on your breath and mantra as you strengthen the vision for this day.
- After the 10 minutes are up, slowly open your eyes, stand up, do some stretches and go about your morning routine without touching your phone. Leave this for later – say during your commute to work or school.
Morning Meditation For Anxiety
A lot of us can attest to the fact that when we wake up, the first and almost automatic thing we do is pick up our phones and log into our favorite social media apps, emails, or look online to read the news. When you do this you are immediately bombarded with new messages, emails, and to-do lists that can increase your levels of stress and anxiety.
The situation gets worse when you look at and compare yourself to other people’s curated lives on social media or read about how politics, war, and diseases are taking lives and crippling the world and it’s economy by the day. Replacing immediately picking up the phone with a 10-minute morning meditation can help you start your day better.
But what about people living with anxiety and other mental disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder and panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, selective mutism, separation anxiety, and specific phobias? Can morning meditation help them?
Morning Meditation And Mental Disorders
Yes, it can and science has backed up these claims.
- The results from a study done in 2018 revealed that practicing mindfulness meditation for an hour can lower anxiety levels in beginners. These levels became significantly lower after a week of taking meditation classes (1).
- In 2013, a meta-analysis was done to show if meditation was truly beneficial and an effective treatment for a variety of psychological problems. After reviewing 209 studies with a total of 12,145 test subjects, the review concluded that this practice can be used as an alternative treatment for issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress (3).
- A year later in 2014 another review was published. In this one, researchers evaluated 18 753 meditation studies to find out if the claims about its benefits to mental health were true. According to their findings, they saw that 47 trials with 3515 participants proved that mindfulness meditation can ease negative psychological stresses like anxiety, depression, and pain (2).
If you are struggling with anxiety and nothing else has been working for you, then doing a quick morning meditation for anxiety could significantly help you. If your anxiety levels are low, you get to go about your day with less unproductive worries because this practice teaches you how to distinguish between a problem-solving thought and a nagging worry that has no benefit.
The best morning meditation is one that leaves you feeling ready to tackle anything that comes your way. You feel calm and are in a positive mood. Mantras are sounds, words, or phases that when repeated though the morning meditation will help with self-affirmation giving us the strength and confidence to face the world and anything that it throws our way.
Here are some positive mantras that you may use during your morning meditation (1):
- I am purposeful, motivated, and enthusiastic.
- My positive thoughts guide me to new heights.
- I feel gratitude and positivity flowing through me.
- I surrender to the flow and have faith in the ultimate good.
- My potential is limitless, and I choose where to spend my energy.
- I will speak with confidence and self-assurance.
- I can do it and I will do it.
How To Wake Up Your Body For Morning Meditation?
Staying awake during meditation can be quite hard – not only for beginners but also for experienced practitioners as well. The situation can become even harder when you try to meditate first thing in the morning. To prevent this, here is how to wake up your body for morning meditation:
- Sit up. When you remain lying down you are liable to go back to sleep. Even better yet, get out of the blankets and let your legs rest on the floor.
- Go to the bathroom. Empty your bladder and splash your face with some cold water. If you still feel sleepy, brush your teeth to give yourself some extra time to fully wake up.
- Do some stretches. Stretching loosens and realigns the muscles. It also helps circulation, getting your blood flowing after your heart spent the night moving a little slower than it does during your waking hours.
- Yoga. Like stretching, this is a fantastic way to loosen up the muscles in the body. It also improves mental clarity and energizes you chasing sleep away.
Some simple yoga poses that you can easily do in bed include happy baby, cat-cow stretch, legs-up-the wall, bridge, and the reclined butterfly among others.
How To Do The Reclined Butterfly:
- While lying on the bed, bend your knees, keeping the soles of your feet on the bed.
- Open your knees out to either side, bringing the soles of your feet together.
- Your arms can be in any comfortable position – overhead, relaxed by your sides or resting on your thighs etc.
- Stay here several minutes as gravity works to deepen your stretch. Breathe naturally throughout the pose.
- To come out, reach down and help your knees come back together. Then roll over to one side and use your hands to support you as you sit up.
What Does Meditation Do For The Body In The Morning?
Setting 5 to 10 minutes aside each morning to meditate helps with increased awareness, prevents stress and anxiety, can boost your mood and empower you.
When Should You Do A Morning Meditation?
There is no set time for morning meditation. However, it is best done as soon as you wake up. Whether you wake up at 5am, 8 am, or 10 am, it doesn’t matter. The point of it all is to enable you to set your intentions for the rest of your day.
The Bottom Line
Incorporating daily morning meditation helps you set the pace and positive expectations for your day and your life. Instead of being dragged down by social media and the news, try meditating and getting ready for the day before opening any apps on your phone. You may end up realizing that your stress, anxiety, and depression levels have gone down significantly and that you can handle life’s curveballs better without breaking down.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Even a single mindfulness meditation session can reduce anxiety (2018, sciencedaily.com)
- Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis (2014, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Mindfulness-based therapy: A comprehensive meta-analysis (2013, sciencedirect.com)