Many people who meditate regularly or teach people how to meditate recommend meditating every morning. This doesn’t take a lot of time, usually 20 minutes is enough time to center yourself and kickstart your day right. But a lot of people wonder how to meditate in the morning when they aren’t morning people or their mornings are so busy to begin with. It’s actually pretty easy to make a habit of it as long as you build it into your routine. You just have to want to do it.
So, why should you meditate in the morning? We already know that meditation is good for your health generally, it benefits your body and also your mind. But the time of day that you meditate can also bring specific benefits to your life. The rewards of a morning meditation practice are endless. Here are a few:
- Meditation gives you energy boosting endorphins that can replace coffee as a morning pick-me-up. (Read about the science behind this.)
- Meditating clears out any unproductive and negative thoughts immediately so you start with a fresh and positive mind to tackle the day
- It prepares your mind to be adaptable to change, which means sudden stressors, like another driver cutting you off, will roll off your back more easily.
- The practice dissolves stress and anxiety and helps treat depression. When you meditate in the morning, it can help prevent stress.
- Meditation increases your ability to multitask, meaning you’ll be more productive at work, be a better driver, etc. (Read about the science behind this.)
- Mindfulness from meditation helps you detach from chaos and stress, so you can see the big picture more clearly
It is impossible to list all of the benefits of meditation here, but I think that list is enough to give you a reason to give it a try.
Even if you’ve never meditated before, you will begin to feel the benefits immediately, and it’s very easy to build a habit out of it if you plan to do it every morning as soon as you wake up. I recommend doing it as soon as you get out of bed: before you look at your cell phone, the news, or anything else. If you make this the starting point of your day it will really help you set an intention and a mind frame for success.
Here is a step by step guide to meditating in the morning. Try it out and you may find this is the perfect way to start a regular meditation practice.
How to Meditate in the Morning
Step 1: Make Sure You’re Relaxed and Comfortable
You don’t need to get dressed to meditate! In fact, your PJs may be more comfortable for you. You should wear loose clothing so your body is not constricted in any way and can easily relax.
I recommend getting out of bed to meditate. It may be tempting to stay in the warmth of your bed–especially during colder months–but you will be more likely to fall asleep again if you stay in bed. The point of a morning meditation is to wake up and feel refreshed and energized.
If you do feel chilly, either turn up the heat or use a blanket–away from your bed–to keep warm.
Step 2: Create a Calm Space to Meditate
It helps if you have dedicated space for meditation because you can personalize it with candles, incense, flowers, or anything else that calms you. If you don’t have enough space to create a dedicated area, try to find somewhere you won’t be disturbed by partners, pets, or kids. Make sure it’s clear of clutter and other stressors (don’t meditate next to a pile of laundry that needs to be folded!).
Sit as low to the ground as possible, either directly on the floor or on a cushion or meditation chair if you need back support. Sitting on the floor leaning against the wall works in a pinch. If you can’t get to the floor, sitting in a normal chair is fine too. Just make sure you’re comfortable and sitting with a tall, straight spine.
If you need to stop meditating at a specific time (like to get ready for work) set an alarm on your phone or a timer. 20 minutes is a recommended time, though 10 minutes is okay if you’re really pinched for time.
Step 3: Focus on Your Breath
This is the core of your meditation practice: meditating. Breathe naturally and just focus on your breath as it flows in and out of your body.
Let your thoughts float through your mind. Acknowledge them–don’t judge them. Then let them float away. Always bring your awareness back to your breath and the moment.
Step 5: Repeat the Next Day
This is the most important part! To really feel the benefits of meditation, you want to build a daily habit to stop and check in every morning. Once you start, you have to keep going every day. No matter how tired or cranky you feel, even if you don’t want to get out of bed you have to do it. Once you settle into your meditation space and start breathing, you will immediately feel better and when your meditation is done for the day you’ll wonder why it was so hard to get out of bed in the first place!
If you have a hard time focusing or are new to meditation, you may want to try guided meditations. Here are a few morning guided meditations to get you started.
Creating steps to your habit makes it easier to keep. Try programming your morning to lead to your meditation habit. Here are the steps I used to program myself:
- Alarm goes off. Get out of bed and briefly stretch
- Use the bathroom
- Put the kettle on for tea and prepare my tea leaves
- Sit crossed legged in my meditation space
When my alarm first goes off in the morning, I do not want to go meditate. But once I’m out of bed and into my routine it all flows. Once I’m done meditating, my tea is ready and I’m energized for the day. Once you build your habit, meditation will become such a core part of your life that you won’t remember how you lived without it before.
Morning Meditations Resouces
If you want to learn more about meditation or would like some guided meditation CDs or MP3s or meditation music to listen to, check out these resources:
CDs and MP3 Audio
Mozart For Morning Meditation
A Day in the Country with Tibetan Singing Bowls: Music for Relaxation and Meditation
Chakra Healing: Guided Meditation and Guided Visualization Program
Morning Glory – Mastering Manifestations