on Mental Health

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mindful Mornings: 4 tips to get the day going

How we start the morning often sets the stage for how the rest of the day unfolds. Of course life throws us curve balls in the middle of the day, maybe you get a stressful email or someone rear ends you with their car or you lost that deal that you were looking forward to. Anything can happen in the present moment, but how we start our day can often affect how we greet those challenges.

Here are four tips to start your day that will help you with the inevitable ups and downs that you get handed.

1. Mindful Check-In – It’s good to begin the day simply noting where you are starting the day from. How is your body, what emotions are present, is your mind calm or already racing off to work? If you’re lying in your bed, you just note that, getting a sense of the body feels comfortable or tense. Are you feeling calm, anxious, annoyed, or maybe neutral? What is on your mind?

Here’s a 2-minute video from The Now Effect to give it a go:

2. Prime Your Mind for Good – After a brief mindful check-in, one way of inclining your mind toward resiliency and even opening up to the good of the day is to consider an intentional gratitude practice. What in your life right now do you have to be grateful for? It could be something simple, like waking up on the right side of the bed, to having a roof over your head, to having a good cup of coffee in the morning. Just practice inkling your mind to the good in life.

3. Bring Presence to the Morning Activities – When you’re in the shower, be in the shower, not solving problems at work already. When you’re making breakfast for you or your family, consider the intention of that being to take care of yourself and others through the day. Put some love into your food. If there are pets or other family members in the house, before you leave make sure to say an intentional goodbye, looking into their eyes

4. Red Light Practice – As you drive to work use red lights as an opportunity to just check in, pressing the reset button if traffic has got you flustered or just using it as an opportunity to get centered and focus on what matters. You can make the choice to listen to your favorite music, intentionally plan the day out in your mind, or just have a quiet drive for a change. If you take public transportation you can do the same thing every time the bus, train, or subway stops. If you work from home, try this before turning on your computer. Exposing yourself to choices and acting on them just feels good and primes your mind for the rest of the day that you have choices in how you want to respond to situations.

Try these four things each morning as an experiment to see how your life changes.

[Photo: Flickr.com/elfon]

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This article was originally posted on Mindfulness & Psychotherapy with Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. See the original post. 

posted by Elisha Goldstein, 1:52 pm