Did you know how you spend your mornings can affect the rest of your day? It’s true. Whether you wake up on the wrong side of the bed or wake up feeling refreshed, the habits that follow can impact your mood. But if you prioritize your health and happiness by practicing mindfulness, you can begin to feel great every day, no matter what is currently happening in your life. If you’re ready to start your day off right, let’s learn the benefits of incorporating mindfulness and several mindful morning routine ideas that are easy to practice.
10 Benefits of Creating a Mindful Morning Routine
Research shows a consistent practice of mindfulness provides several benefits that improve your emotional and physical wellbeing.
- Lowers stress
- Reduces depression and anxiety
- Boosts energy levels
- Improves memory
- Strengthens your relationships
- Reduces chronic pain
- Improves sleep quality
- Lowers blood pressure
- Strengthens immune system
- Increases attention span
10 Mindful Morning Routine Ideas
Mindfulness teaches you how to recognize and appreciate the current conditions of happiness present in your life. It doesn’t involve a roadmap that says if you apply x, then you’ll be happy in x amount of years. Through increasing your self-awareness, you learn to love where you are, no matter the factors affecting your life. It’s essential to keep an open mind and be patient. Creating a mindful morning routine is not an overnight fix. It can be a long journey and requires the belief that it’s possible to cultivate happiness from within and not externally.
1. Prioritize your sleep
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but it bears repeating; if you don’t prioritize your sleep, you won’t have the energy to tackle the rest of your day. A mindful routine is no exception. Cultivating a mindful routine rests on the foundation of quality sleep. When you’re rested, you’ll have the mental clarity, and motivation to incorporate mindfulness as you begin your day. Therefore, avoid stimulants, heavy foods, and technology before sleeping, and complete a night-time routine to help you doze deeper.
2. Set an intention
Before you create a mindful routine, set an intention for how you want your day to go. You may feel overwhelmed by your to-do list, the day ahead, and any stressors. Therefore, setting an intention will help ground you and keep you on your desired path. For example, “I intend to start my day mindfully and respond before I react to any stress” or “I am calm and centered”.
3. Wake up early enough
Don’t press snooze on your alarm. It will be challenging to prioritize a mindful practice if you’re darting around to get ready. Try waking up at least 15 minutes before to incorporate one of these morning mindful routine ideas. When you’re not rushing, you’ll feel calmer and less stressed to respond to the day ahead.
4. Breathe slowly
Mindfulness is about using an anchor to ground you into the present moment. Most often, this anchor is your breath. If you can, try to practice 5-10 minutes of breathing upon waking up. If you can’t, asking yourself, “Am I breathing?” while you’re getting ready or commuting to work will shift your attention to the present moment. You can even integrate this habit into your overall day. For example, if faced with a stressor, use it as an opportunity to pause, take a few deep breaths, and repeat an intention to help you manage any anxiety.
5. Focus on a task ahead
Mundane tasks like brushing your teeth, making your bed, and getting dressed are more enjoyable when completed with mindfulness. For example, pick one and challenge yourself to stay fully present. Observe any thoughts or feelings that arise about your day, yourself, or any past or future event. If any uncomfortable feelings show up, acknowledge them, and focus on any movements or senses as you complete a task.
6. Eat mindfully
Before you start work, fuel your body with a nutritious and healthy breakfast. When eating your meal, practice mindful eating by savoring each bite with gratitude and noticing the different tastes, textures, and smells. This idea is one of the quickest and easiest ways to add mindfulness to your day, plus your food will taste better – double win!
7. Be open to silence
This idea may feel intimidating and challenging to practice at first. But, over time, it will become easier with regular practice. Add silence to your morning routine by journaling and writing down anything that arrives or by practicing a 10-minute silent meditation to calm your nerves. By adding a few moments of silence to your morning, you’ll cultivate a stronger state of inner peace and feel better when faced with any unplanned stressors.
8. Mindfully exercise
If sitting with your legs crossed and making funny shapes with your hands isn’t your thing, you can also practice mindfulness through movement. Whether you choose a quick walk, complete a few yoga stretches, or sweat it out through HIIT, focus on your breathing and enjoy the benefits. Regular exercise can help you reduce stress, manage anxiety, maintain a healthy weight, and prevent heart disease.
9. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude is one of the simplest ways to incorporate mindfulness into your mornings. It involves being thankful for what you currently have instead of ruminating about the past or worrying about lack. As soon as you wake up, say 5 things you’re grateful for, or track your gratitude in a gratitude journal. When practiced consistently, research has shown it improves your overall emotional and physical health, including increasing your happiness.
10. Love and compassion
Compassion and love are two ways to practice mindfulness that enhance your relationship with yourself. To begin, focus on your feelings. When you notice an unpleasant feeling arise, don’t judge it. Instead, acknowledge it, notice how it affects your body and let it pass by. Holding onto emotions can significantly weigh you down and create more stress in your life. Therefore, the more present you can become with these feelings, the more love, and compassion you will have for yourself.
When tackling this list of mindful morning routine ideas, remember that the true goal is to learn how to prioritize your health and happiness. Any time you are able to practice these habits is time well spent that helps you build your self-esteem, self-love and overall life-satisfaction.
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