You’ve all heard about it at some point or another; so why do we keep turning a blind eye to the pink elephant in the room? Having a morning meditation routine will provide immense benefits to both your mind and body. The difficult part can be starting a morning meditation routine. And of course, staying consistent with your meditation practice.
Meditation has evolved quite a ways in to the mainstream over the past decade. Where once, people would scoff at the thought of meditating; judging this in a way as if they must be out of their minds (pun intended) to do this daily. Yet now, its much more widely accepted, spoken of and certainly gaining popularity.
Countless studies have confirmed its varying benefits. And the percentage of successful people around the world that use meditation as a part of their foundational morning routines continues to grow.
Sadly though, a lot of people put this into the “I know I should” category. Which in turn, results in this mildly destructive loop reminding themselves of disappointment.
The disappointment that they haven’t yet adopted this into their daily lives.
How to Start a Morning Meditation Routine
I feel that its safe to assume you’ve been in this category for quite sometime, and you’re ready to make the time and space to incorporate a morning meditation routine. That said, here are 7 tips on how to start a morning meditation routine.
Tip #1 – Do it First Thing in the Morning!
Ive played with meditation for many years on and off, typically struggling with adopting it as a daily habit. Since the occurrence of a certain event in my life, I can humbly say that I have not missed a morning meditation session in well over 1.5 years.
It’s become such an ingrained part of my morning routine that its completely non-negotiable for me. Where once I struggled to sit in silence for 10 minutes; I now look forward to this each and every day. Easily sitting in silence between the 20 to 30 minute range.
I suggest doing this first thing in the morning is for a few reasons:
1. You’ll greatly increase the chances of actually doing it.
If you don’t do this shortly after you wake up, you’ll likely not do it at all. Turning into something you’ll do… tomorrow.
The problem with this, is that tomorrow never really comes.
I don’t mean to sound cliché here, but tomorrow is just another now. It’s another day, another moment with that same potential to put this off again.
2. Its much easier to do this with a fresh, non stimulated mind.
Think about it, you just woke up from hours upon hours of subconscious navigation. A full nights rest with no outer stimulus.
Your mind, in this alpha state is in its prime time to sit in silence; to extend your brainwave state.
I’ve always found that with adopting particular habits; such as a morning meditation routine, its best to dive in with a fresh mind. Which brings me to the next huge tip…
Tip #2 – Keep your Phone on Airplane Mode!
I would hope that before you meditate, you haven’t done anything more with your smart phone beyond shutting off the alarm. You are likely going to be plugged into the digital world for the rest of your day. So why not give yourself a break?
Any notifications that came through between the time you went to sleep and the time you woke up can easily wait another 30 minutes… minimum.
Avoiding your phone before your morning meditation routine can really set your day up to be more responsive instead of reactive.
So do yourself the favor of keeping your phone in airplane mode. Acknowledge that this time is for you and for your connection to yourself. Give yourself this gift.
This opportunity to really enjoy your mornings.
Tip #3 – Start Slowly & Simplify your Meditation Goals
We can sometimes be overly ambitious, which unfortunately, can lead to failure before even building up any momentum.
What I mean is that if your goal is to meditate for 20 minutes a day, but you’ve been procrastinating for years… You definitely need to simplify your goal.
Start Slowly & Keep it Simple
You may be able to meditate for much longer than 5 minutes, and if so that’s great! But, the goal here is not for how long. Its about developing your morning meditation routine as a habit. So let’s just start with a simple 5 minutes and build from there.
Now, in the direction of keeping it simple, please do yourself a favor; DO NOT concern yourself with anything beyond the simplicity of sitting with your eyes closed for the next 5 minutes.
You might think that you’re supposed to sit in a certain way, breathe a certain way, etc. Worrying about these details or thinking that you need to research it before you start, is really oversimplifying the process. And, will almost certainly delay you from starting.
Just remember to sit comfortably, rest your hands wherever they want to be and b r e a t h e.
Tip #4 – Setup your Environment to Succeed
The purpose of setting up your environment is to remove as much decision-making as possible. When you remove minor decisions, you greatly increase the chances of doing it.
You greatly reduce your likelyhood of experiencing the “I’ll do it tomorrow” complex.
Setting up your Environment
Its imperative that you do this the night before. Whatever you feel that it is you’ll need, sort this out before you go to sleep.
Here are a few suggestions:
Decide where you’re going to sit.
This could be a chair, a cushion on the floor or a lambswool mat if you want to get fancy. Whatever floats your boat! And if you need some back support then go for it.
This isn’t a competition of who has the best posture, the key here is to be comfortable. That said, I would greatly advise not to lye down. The whole point here is to be present with your mind and thoughts. Believe me, lying down will make it far too easy to drift to sleep.
Fill a large glass with water to keep yourself from going into the kitchen! If you leave the space you’ll be meditating in (other than going to the washroom) you may be tempted to veer off course.
…. Before you know it, its too much trouble to get back into what you planned to do.
You have to form the habit. Discipline needs to come first.
Make sure that you are warm!
lay out your clothing the night before to keep you warm enough. Whatever you feel that you’ll need to be comfortable.
Through designing your environment by making sure all of the above are ready for you the night before, this will eliminate multiple small decisions at the beginning of your day. In turn, making it much more likely that you will actually sit and meditate instead of putting it off.
Tip #5 – Breathe, Observe, Breathe again & Repeat
There seems to be a large stigma around meditation . One in which you need to remove all thoughts from coming into your head space…
This couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is, that if you can close your eyes and keep your mind empty of thoughts for 30 seconds you’re likely not human. Possibly an Olympic meditator?
All kidding aside, there are a variety of types of meditations that follow similar guidelines in the direction of observation. Where in which, once you realize your mind has wandered, you simply bring your attention back to your breath or a certain focal point. The inhalation, the exhalation, how your chest or stomach expands; even the sensation of the hot air flowing through your nose hairs.
For the sake of simplicity, lets stay with the focal point of returning your attention to the breath.
Just remember, your mind IS going to wander, there’s no getting around this. The trick here is to not judge or be hard on yourself. Be the observer. The observer of your breath and the thoughts that will naturally flow in.
Our brains are these inconceivably potent super computers processing billions of bits of information every second. Training yourself to calm and quiet the mind will create a cascading effect of of benefits for you that will ripple outward.
Tip #6 – Be Patient with Yourself on your Meditation Journey
Developing your meditation routine takes time as this is not a quick fix. Certainly not the kind of deal where you reap all the benefits with zero effort. However, once you’ve found your rhythmic flow with meditation, its likely to become a key pillar in the foundation of your morning routine.
If the thought of committing to this small amount of time for yourself seems daunting, just ask yourself: Do I want to….
- Reduce my stress levels?
- Better control anxiety?
- Live a longer, happier life?
- Increase my mental clarity and focus?
- Be less reactive and more responsive in life and my relationships?
- Experience greater levels of awareness & presence?
If you answered yes to any of those (or all) then I’m sure you can agree with me that this is well worth the “trade off.”
Trading off such a small-time investment in your day. An investment to yourself, for your well-being, and surprise… everyone else around you!
Just be cautious with one thing…
Do not set expectations of these benefits for yourself. Be patient & gentle with yourself.
No matter how far you progress in your morning meditation routine, you will have some meditations that may be super distracted. Some that will be so loaded with thoughts you’ll feel you barely noticed your breath. And guess what? That’s OK! This is all part of the process.
So, I remind you again to be patient with yourself.
Tip #7 – Stay Consistent
As mentioned in Tip#3 start with a realistic amount of time that will make it easy to stay consistent with.
Its important to understand, that feeling the benefits of having a morning meditation routine will take time. And of course, people will experience their advancement in different ways.
Inevitably, you’ll likely have people around you pointing out that you seem different; calmer and less reactive. Eventually, you will wake up excited for this and start increasing your morning meditation routine from 5 minutes to 10 minutes.
Remember that you’re building a foundation for a greater level of clarity in your life. One in which you will be happier and healthier in. Leading to a life that will be much more fulfilling for you.
Consistency is key when it comes to building on your morning meditation routine. So keep it up and the habit will form.
In the End, We Could All Use Less Stress in Our Lives
I can only assume that what has brought you here today is your interest in starting a meditation routine. Maybe you’ve had numerous attempts or have become overwhelmed with all of the information out there; putting you into a cycle of inconsistency and frustration.
I wrote these steps out for you in hopes to provide some insight on what has worked for me. A path I’ve laid out that could help you develop something big.
I invite you to take yourself on this new journey; to provide this gift to your life.
Let this be the big choice that becomes a daily habit for you; eventually, snowballing towards other practices that you can strategically use to set yourself up for amazing mornings and daily success.
Because, how you start your day greatly impacts how the rest of it goes.