The alarm clock sounds, and you hit the off button. As you do, your mind goes from zero to 60, immediately filling your head with all the items on your to-do list and any unfinished thinking from the night before.
As you brush your teeth with one hand and check your email with the other, your mind has already transported you to some other time and place, way ahead of your body that is still waking up. As you gulp down your coffee and eat your breakfast without really tasting it, your mind is firming up plans for lunch, going over the presentation you have to give, or planning kids’ transportation issues.
Sound familiar? We spend most of our time lost in thought, from the moment we wake up in the morning to the minute we finally fall asleep. We don’t realize how this incessant mind activity leads to stress and anxiety, which in turn causes much of our dis-ease.
Mindfulness, or present moment awareness, is the antidote to this. We can easily learn to shift from our multitasking, frenzied pace to the tranquillity of the present moment, just by finding a few minutes each day to practice a bit of mindfulness. Yet, even with the best of intentions, we simply forget. Or, for many of us, we remember for a day or two, then slip back into our old patterns.
What can we do to help stay on track? Using triggers is one of the easiest and most effective ways to remember to do things we have difficulty remembering to do. Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habits, talks about creating habit loops by using existing habits or routines to trigger new habits we want to create. As a certified meditation coach and founder of my own meditation app, I’ve come across several proven triggers you can use to rewire your day for a bit more peace and calm.