The awareness of the benefits of mindfulness is on the rise these days and for good reason. Being mindful throughout your day can set the tone for your entire week. More often than not, most people’s fears and stresses are about things that have already happened or may be happening in the future. We tend to panic so much about things that are not actually happening in our present moment. Without realizing it, when we spend our time worrying about the present or missing the future, we are taking away from our present joy. Mindfulness means being fully aware of the now, living entirely in the moment, and being fully aware of everything around you and it doesn’t have to be super complicated. Here are 8 ways to practice mindfulness before you even get out of bed!
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Start your day with gratitude
The best way to declutter your mind of all its worries and stressors is to remind yourself of each and every individual thing you have to be thankful for. Feel free to be as obnoxious and specific with this as you possibly can.
Take the time to appreciate anything that took place the previous day that you really enjoyed. Don’t think big. Instead focus on tiny little gratitudes that only you get to enjoy.
- Your son’s laugh when you watched his favorite movie
- Getting to read to your kids in bed last night
- A kiss from your spouse first thing in the morning
- The sound of your dog snoring
- Only peeing once in the middle of the night (just me?)
Just starting your day by saying out loud the things you are thankful for instantly sets the tone for the rest of the day. You could even take it one step further and write down 5-10 things you are grateful for each day.
Start with journaling
Keeping a journal right next to your bed is a genius way to start waking up without actually jumping out of bed. Chances are you might be in the habit right now of reaching for your phone and scrolling social media. Instead, try starting your day without journaling out your current thoughts, even if they are boring.
There are amazing, beautiful planner available like the ones at Silk + Sonder that have mindfulness practices and gratitude prompts built right in! If you love the idea of waking up, setting an intention for the day, click here to see the available planner options.
The benefits of writing it down
In an article shared by Forbes, it states that by simply writing down your goals you are 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to see success with those goals.
Writing things down consistently sort of re-wires our brain. Taking a moment each morning to write down your gratitude can drastically improve your outlook on life and even aid in depression.
Wake up from head to toe
A great way to begin mindfulness is by really being fully aware of your body. To do this, you can start by taking time to feel each part of your body.
- With your eyes closed, take the time to wiggle your toes. Put your focus only on them.
- Can you JUST move your toes without incorporating any other part of your foot?
- Slowly, start rolling your ankles to move your feet. Notice how your feet feel on the sheets.
- After your ankles, flex your calf muscles then your thighs.
- Work your way up your entire body paying attention to each individual piece of you.
When you have taken the time to be fully aware of each part of your body, let it work together to stretch and squirm and start waking up.
- When flexing your muscles, flex them as hard as you can for 10 seconds and then release.
- Don’t rush. Go as slowly as you want.
- When tightening your muscles for 10 seconds, try holding your breath too.
- When breathing breath in your nose and let a BIG exhale out your mouth
Chime into the day
Using a chime or a gong is a tool that I used to use with kids in my fitness and yoga classes.
Listening to the sound of a chime, bell or gong can help clear your mind and direct your focus. Since most of us don’t have a gong lying around, Apple has a great app called Gong!
How does gong mindfulness work?
While gong mindfulness can work better with a partner, it is still something you are capable of doing yourself.
Simply open the Gong app and tap the gong. As the sound rings throughout the room, close your eyes, and pay attention to the sound of the gong. That’s it.
Listen intently for the sound to completely fade away from the room. This can be tricky as it gets quieter and quieter. Once you can no longer hair the sound give your body one great big stretch.
Do this as many times as you need.
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Create a “mixtape”
You know how it feels when your favorite song comes on the radio or finally pops up on your playlist? It just boosts you right up, right? Your emotions are activated, and you become completely absorbed in the sound of the music.
What if, you could have your favorite song or playlist of songs ready and raring to go at the start of each day? Instead of waking up to an alarm, try a song that will help slowly bring you into your day with intention. Read: The Best Songs to Wake Up to According to Science.
Music has been proven to reduce stress, calm anxieties and even bring back the memory of those suffering from diseases like Alzheimer’s. Don’t underestimate the power of what positive lyrics are capable of.
Wake up your senses
I don’t know about you, but I am a slow riser. Taking the time to slowly and enjoyably wake up each morning is one of the best ways to enter your day with mindfulness and joy.
Thankfully, there are so many awesome tools these days that can help you do exactly that.
If you have a coffee maker, set it on a timer so that when you wake up, you get to breathe in the smell of a fresh pot of coffee brewing just for you like the Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker.
There is so much proof showing that waking up to sunlight helps you wake up better and subsequently sleep better at night! Now, it’s a bit frivolous, but you can actually purchase Remote Control Blinds that hooks up to your current blinds. This way you can slowly open your blinds as you slowly allow your body to walk up. Yes, please!
If you’re not going to choose a good song to use to wake up your morning, why not start with the sounds of water running or birds chirping. Most of us don’t have the luxury of waking up smack dab in the middle of nature, but thankfully we can trick our senses into thinking we did! The Hatch Restore sound machine and smart light is a great way to wake up your sight and sound in the morning.
Listen to your breath
Lastly, and probably most importantly is to remember to just pay attention to your breath.
You can lie in bed with your hand on your stomach just paying full attention to your breath going in and going out. This is also a great technique when it comes to falling asleep at night.
I get that some morning are more chaotic than others and you may find yourself with no time to listen to a gong or wiggle your toes. No matter what, just take big, long, full deep breaths. This will help wake up your brain, slow your heart rate and get you started on the right foot.
I am a big fan of audiobooks. Particularly the self-help genre. Instead of waking up and scrolling Instagram in the morning, I switched to playing Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo.
All I have to do is tap the play button while I lay in bed and it helps me tune into her words — which are uplifting and encouraging. It’s almost like I have a friend slowly talking me into my day, but I don’t have to talk back.
Having this kind of motivation sets the tune for my entire day.
Breath work and favorite memory
One other technique that is part of Tony Robbins morning wakeup routine, is to hold your focus on a past memory or experience that brings you to an elevated place of joy or ecstasy while incorporating breath work. He calls this priming. You can view a full video below.