If you’re unsure about how to incorporate mindfulness activities into the morning rush, we’ve got you covered!
Mindfulness is the practice of bringing more self-awareness to your everyday life. It can reduce the effects of stress and anxiety, physical tension and discomfort, and even help with sleeping problems.
1. Practise gratitude
When you wake up in the morning, get into the routine of thinking about what you are thankful for. No item is too small to list. It could be something as simple as declaring how thankful you are to have a comfy bed. Gratitude shifts your mindset, it reminds you that whatever the day may bring, when you look for the good in the world, you have a better chance of finding it.
2. Be kind and smile
Research shows the act of smiling can contribute to your own feelings of happiness. When you smile, it triggers a mood lift. The more you do it, the more it will become natural to you. Research also shows kindness can make us happier. Brain scans show acts of kindness light up our pleasure centre just as much as eating chocolate or receiving a gift. Neuroscientists call it “the warm glow” effect.
3. Enjoy a healthy breakfast
As the pace of our lives keeps increasing, so does the pace at which we consume food. Take the time to truly experience the taste, smell, and sensation of each mouthful. Reserve breakfast time for eating only – don’t complicate things by multitasking and watching television. Consider putting your utensils down between bites; it will encourage you to take your time to finish chewing. As a bonus, having a healthy breakfast and drinking plenty of water will ensure your digestive tract is working as it should, resulting in you feeling less sluggish.
4. Get some fresh air
Connecting with nature and bringing fresh oxygen into your bloodstream will make your mind feel more awake and alert. When travelling to and from work or running errands, try to snap yourself out of autopilot and enjoy the scenery.
5. Move your body
Even if you’re time-poor in the morning, invest in a few minutes of gentle stretching. To transform your exercise routine into a mindfulness practice, focus on your movement, notice your environment, be conscious of your posture and concentrate on the rhythm of your breathing. This allows you to experience the present moment during your physical activity.
A little bit of mindfulness goes a long way. Incorporating a few of these tips into your morning routine will help calibrate your body to start the day right.
For more information on living mindfully, visit cancerqld.org.au or call Cancer Council’s 13 11 20.