How to Make Your Morning Routine More Mindful

Jon Kabat-Zinn talks about mindfulness meditation and his morning ritual in this video from Oprah Winfrey's "Super Soul Sunday."

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Mornings are difficult for many of us—we can barely find time for breakfast, let alone the time to meditate before heading out the door.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction and author of multiple books, is a man that’s busier than most. In this video from Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday, he shares how he makes time for mindfulness in his morning routine.

Three Ways to Make Your Morning Routine More Mindful

“There’s waking up—dragging yourself around—and then there’s waking up,” Kabat-Zinn says.

Here’s how he adds more mindfulness to his mornings:

  1. Practice mindful tooth-brushing, showering, and coffee-drinking: We can add mindfulness to tasks we do every morning when we practice them with intention. Brushing your teeth, drinking coffee—it’s all part of developing awareness, and you can build mindful habits around those morning tasks.
  2. Develop a meditation routine: Kabat-Zinn begins his morning with 40 minutes to an hour of mindful yoga before he settles into meditation. That may not be realistic for all of us, but you can add a quick stretch or even a 5-minute meditation session before you jump into your day.
  3. Check in on yourself: How do you feel this morning? Are you still upset about a fight last night, or worried about an upcoming meeting? What do you want to achieve today? Understanding how you feel before you embark on your day can help you go through your day more mindfully. “Drop in on yourself and rest for a stretch of time,” Kabat-Zinn says. “And then as you go about your daily life, check in. Once an hour, once a minute. Once a day. You decide.”
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