Mindfulness is on the rise these days and for good reason. Being mindful throughout your day can set the tone for your entire week. More often than not, most people’s fears and stresses are about things that have already happened or may be happening in the future. We tend to panic so much about things that are actually not happening in our present moment. Mindfulness means being fully aware of the now, living entirely in the moment, and being fully aware of everything around you and everything you’re feeling. This can help reduce stress immensely; it brings you fully into the present moment instead of letting your mind wander into the past or future. I am a firm believer in kick starting mindfulness first thing in the morning. That’s why I compiled this list: Morning Mindfulness: How to Reduce Stress Before Getting out of Bed. It sounds like a lot of work, but really, there are some simple ways to start your day mindfully.
The best way to declutter your mind of all it’s worries and stressors is to remind yourself of each and every individual thing you have to be thankful for. Feel free to be as obnoxious with this as you possibly can. Be thankful for the breath you’re breathing, be thankful for your bed, your health, your home. Be thankful you have a toothbrush. It seems like such a silly thing, but really, what would life be like without a toothbrush? Pretty nasty. You really dodged a bullet there.
Take some deep breaths and with every new thing to be thankful for, take the time to smile. Did you know you can literally trick your brain just by smiling? You could be having the worst day of your life and if you put on a smile, it will slowly start to make your brain believe that you are actually happy as a clam.
A great way to begin mindfulness is by really being fully aware of your body. To do this, you can start by taking time to feel each part of your body. With your eyes closed, take the time to wiggle your toes. Put your focus only on them. Slowly, start rolling your ankles to move your feet. Notice how your feet feel on the sheets. After your ankles, flex your calf muscles then your thighs. Work your way up your entire body paying attention to each individual piece of you.
When you have taken the time to be fully aware of each part of your body, let it work together to stretch and squirm and start waking up.
This is a mindfulness trick I used to use with kids in my fitness and yoga classes. Using the sound of a chime, bell or gong can really help clear your mind and direct your focus. Apple has a great app called Gong! This app simply places the sound of a gong. Close your eyes, pay attention and quiet your mind, paying attention to the sound of the gong. The sound slowly fades out and when the sound is completely gone take a moment to stretch. Tap the gong again and repeat the same process.
These few easy tips are things you can do with 5 minutes in the dark, in bed before your feet even hit the floor. Start your day right and with good intentions. Let all this positivity and self focus spiral you toward other great things throughout your day.