The Art Of The Mindful Morning: 5 Practices To Begin Every Day
We're all susceptible to a little madness in the mornings. It starts with a couple of hits on the snooze button and unfolds in a tizzy of getting dressed, brewing coffee, and fumbling out the door with hands full. Those extra Zzz's might have felt nice at the time, but rarely are they worth it. Turns out, there's a better way to do mornings, and it starts with mindfulness.
In our recent mbg Motivational Mornings—hosted by Sumo Citrus® and yoga teacher Phyllicia Bonanno—we enjoyed a 40-minute yoga flow and a conversation about the importance of mindful moments. Phyllicia gave us some morning practices as sweet and easy as snacking on a Sumo Citrus...and we're (healthily) obsessed.
In case you missed it (or simply want more), here's how to inject a little "motivation" into your mornings.
Begin your day with 5 to 10 minutes of meditation.
Everyone knows by now that daily meditation practice is a good idea, but sitting still is harder than ever. What if we told you that was the point? First thing in the morning, practice sitting comfortably for five to 10 minutes. Close your eyes and do your best to quiet your mind. As you fidget around and annoying thoughts bubble up—great! You're doing it right. All that matters in our meditation practice is that we show up and just sit. Everything that happens during, like thoughts and fidgets, is our body's way of releasing stress—so welcome it all in!
Set an intention for the rest of your day.
As part of your meditation, or as a separate exercise, take a morning moment to set an intention for your day. To set an effective intention, first establish present-moment awareness. Then consider something you'd like to experience more of in your life or something that you'd like to work on—like, "being open to new possibilities" or "peace." Do your best to keep this intention in your awareness throughout the day, or circle back to it when things get tough.
Honor your breath.
Morning is the perfect time to slow down and cultivate a connection to breath. Either in your meditation or for a few calm moments, do nothing but acknowledge your breath. Instead of taking it for granted, get curious about the breath—its regularity, how it moves, and how it feels. If you'd like, take one hand to your heart and one hand to your belly to feel the tactile sensations of your inhales and exhales.
Use a journal to release stress and stay grateful.
Take five minutes to journal in the morning, and watch your day feel lighter and more intentional. Find a comfortable place to jot down the thoughts clouding your mind. Then list out a few things you're grateful for. Tapping into gratitude is the easiest way to open ourselves to abundance for the rest of the day.
Practice mindful eating.
Meditation actually is hard, we'll give you that. But this part is easy, especially with that super-sweet Sumo Citrus in hand. So often, we ditch breakfast or rush through it, but we can't truly feel motivated without nutrition. Transform your morning by eating mindfully. Slowly peel that enormous Sumo Citrus (it comes off so easily and without any mess!), and tune into the act of eating. No screens, no distractions—just you and a delicious oversize mandarin.
The importance of mindful moments.
What we learned from Phyllicia Bonanno is that mornings are the prime time for mindfulness. But mindfulness doesn't have to be a grand, time-consuming gesture. Small moments of mindfulness add up quickly. And when we see how they positively affect the rest of the day, these moments become healthy obsessions before we know it. Next time you hit the grocery store, look for the topknot and move toward that pile of iconic citrus. Let the ritual of enjoying Sumo Citrus remind you that mornings are best enjoyed slow—and in this case, in sweet, juicy slices.
Devon Barrow is a Branded Content Editor at mindbodygreen. She received her degree from the University of Colorado. When she's away from her desk, Devon is teaching yoga, writing poetry, meditating, and traveling the world. She's based in Boulder, Colorado.
Devon's first book, Earth Women, is coming soon. To learn more, join the mailing list, and receive updates, head to www.devonbarrowwriting.com.