Developing a habit of morning meditation can be a life-altering experience in the most positive way. Effective meditation requires commitment to the process and patience along the way, as it can be quite challenging at the beginning to slow down and control your thoughts. If you do it right, it will supercharge your self-development and will literally re-wire your brain to be calm, collected, and hyper-focused.
Meditation is based off of the premise that the only moment that we have, is the present. We do not control the future and cannot change the past…we can only act in the present moment. The goal of meditation is to create a deep presence, where you’re completely engaged with and aware of your current reality.
Meditation has also been shown to positively affect the mood in numerous ways as it increases serotonin production. It has a large number of physical benefits too, from decreasing inflammation and improving cortisol levels to lowering blood pressure.
If you are still wondering you should develop a practice of morning meditation, you can read about some of the amazing benefits, along with a handful of tips on how to start a meditation practice and how to unlock your brain.
The Benefits of Morning Meditation
There has been numerous scientific research into how meditation changes the brain and rests the body. But here are some practical, unexpected benefits that occur as a direct result of a consistent morning meditation routine:
Instills deep inner peace.
At dawn, when most of the world dormant, before the sound of speeding cars and ringing phones, a peaceful environment and a mind not clouded with the day’s affairs facilitate meditation that provides the deepest rest and restores inner balance and peace. Even 15-20 minutes of spare time is enough to meditate peacefully and deeply whether on your bedroom floor or by the swimming pool of your garden.
Creates a positive momentum.
As practicing meditation puts you in touch with the still, calm centre of your being, you start to find a deeper connection to life. Within each of us, there is a place that is always fresh and untouched by the world. Immersing yourself in that calm centre will restore your faith and confidence in the goodness and positivity of life.
Makes us bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Morning meditation sets the tone for rest of the day and helps us be focused, content, and optimistic. Try to set aside 15-20 minutes first thing in the morning. If you need to, start with five minutes and work your way up.
Eliminates the need for coffee.
Meditation activates our parasympathetic nervous system, which triggers a deep state of relaxation during the practice. So even though we may wake up from sleep still tired, after meditating for 20 minutes, we get energy-boosting endorphins that help us to spring to life without having to rely solely on caffeine.
Turn on the mental “spam” filter.
The “busy mind” syndrome occurs if our spam filter is not activated. Meditating helps filter out the internal and external “noise” and negative self-talk that can sabotage our otherwise sharp, clear perceptual acuity. This is a simple and effective answer if you ask how to clear your mind.
Meditation allows us more easily to drop into a “flow state” in which we become supremely adaptable to change. We therefore become better prepare for the unexpected turns the day ahead might take.
Counteracts stress and anxiety.
Meditation is like kryptonite to stress. It helps increase feeling of joy, improves sleep and creativity. Daily meditation is the perfect solution to dissolving stress.
Numerous studies have shown that meditation has various health benefits–most notably, easing stress. Meditation is a unique opportunity to create Me-Time, away from the responsibilities and obligations of daily life. Although the mechanism isn’t fully understood, researchers believe that meditation may stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing down the heart rate and breathing rate, and improving blood flow. These physiological effects that take place during meditation may be part of the reason why meditating makes us feel so relaxed. Starting the day in a calm, relaxed state can also help be less affected by the little frustrations of life and reduce overall stress and anxiety.
Promotes healthier appetite.
Numerous studies have found that stress or sleep-deprivation, make us crave and eat more junky, starchy and sugary foods. After building up momentum from meditations, you may discover that cravings for such unhealthy foods will dissipate and get replaced by a craving for cleaner foods that the body will have an easier time digesting and turning into fuel for you to operate at a higher level.
Improves ability to multitask.
People who have difficulty multitasking tend to be more accident-prone, especially while driving. Meditation has been shown to increase your ability to multitask, and coincidentally it makes you a safer driver. The ability to multitask allows us to be more productive in almost all areas of our lives. It makes us more productive at work and at home.
Although meditation is not a substitute for medical treatment, it has been shown to reduce pain associated with headaches, making it an ideal complement to more traditional approaches to health and wellness.
Mornings are a time when everything is in harmony. And intuition is the succinct reflection of harmony with nature. Dawn is the best time to tune our intuitive strings as your mind is present in the moment, before the race of the day.
The mind has a tendency to jump from one thought to another randomly, like a wild monkey jumping from tree to tree. In Buddhism, this concept is referred to as “monkey mind,” and it is a reality for most of us who live in the modern world. By starting a meditation practice and tuning into our breath and body when we first wake up, we become more aware of our thoughts–and that “monkey mind”. Some thoughts might make sense while others seem to come out of nowhere. A powerful benefit of meditation is being able to detach from habitual thought patterns, especially the negative ones. Through regular practice, we can gain control of our thoughts. Being in control in this way can help move from a proactive state of being rather than the reactive one.
Provides a broader perspective.
Meditation gives the mind a break, offering an opportunity to detach from the chaos of our lives and seek shelter in silence and stillness. Being still creates the space for us to gain a broader perspective. There is an abundance of clarity and wisdom that surrounds each of us and when we take a step back, we are able to see things more clearly. A balanced perspective is a valuable tool for living a meaningful and fulfilling life.
Increased mindfulness makes us more emotionally balanced and encourages a general sense of wellness. Scientific evidence suggests that mindful meditation might even boost immune function. A daily meditation practice leaves us present each day and intensifies appreciation for positive experiences.
For men, meditation can cause testosterone levels to increase as well as cortisol level to decrease. As testosterone increases, so does the ability to last longer in bed. Men may find that in addition to having more stamina, meditation equips with more patience and sensitivity when it comes to being present with their partner.
How to Get Started
Most of us don’t look forward to doing things that don’t provide some type of immediate gratification. But daily morning meditation routine not only leave you with a tangible feeling of clarity to start your day, but its ripple effects will extend throughout all areas of life.
Here are some tips to answer how to meditate effectively in the morning:
1. Get comfortable. Wear loose clothing and if you’re cold, grab a blanket or shawl to keep warm. Get comfortable so you are able to focus instead of fidgeting.
2. Choose a place where you won’t be disturbed. Sit in a quiet corner of your house or garden, anywhere calming where you can find solitude and peace and quiet. Sitting in the same spot might help increase your ability to concentrate. Your body will start to associate this area with meditation, and nothing else.
3. Sit comfortably. Your body should not experience discomfort during meditation. The goal is to be comfortable in your body while allowing your attention to be focused completely on the object of concentration. Use a blanket or pillow so that you’ll be able to sit comfortably with a nice, tall spine. This will help you stay alert while keeping your spine and legs at ease. Sit against a wall to support your back if necessary.
4. Set a timer. Because you'll need to train both your body and your mind to meditation, start with short sessions, 5-10 minutes in length. Gradually work your way up to longer intervals of time.
Use a timer rather than a clock so that you won't have the distraction of checking to see how much time you have left. If you are sleepy, it may also keep you from falling asleep for longer than the time you've allotted. There are many meditation timer apps available to help you, or you can use an ordinary kitchen timer. It doesn't matter what you use to set the time, so long as you let go of the need to attend to it.
5. Allow your eyelids to relax. You may choose to close your eyes, or to keep them partially open without being entirely focused. If visually focusing on an object of concentration, make sure your eyes are entirely relaxed. Do not strain your eyes or hold tension in your eyes. This includes your eyelids, the small muscles around the eyes, and the muscles which move the eyes.
6. Direct your attention to the focus of concentration. Many people chose to focus on the breath. If you have chosen to focus on the breath, turn your attention to your breath as you inhale and exhale. One complete inhalation and exhalation will be 1 breath. In your mind, concentrate on the number 1. Then take another breath, all the way in and all the way out. This is breath 2. Continue until you've counted 10 breaths. Then start again. Holding your attention to this count will deepen your concentration meditation.
7. Watch and feel your breath move through you. Focus on your breath and take deep breaths. Just breathe and let your thoughts drift in and out of your mind.
8.Do a body scan- Think about the tips of your toes. Bring your focus and attention to all 10 of them. Think only of your fingertips and direct energy through them. This will help you connect with yourself in the moment and bring you to here and now. Slowly move to your toes, the tops of your feet, your ankles, all the way to the top of your head. Focus your attention on one body part at a time.
9. Focus. Let the thoughts the thoughts that creep up exit with the same ease they came in. Don’t judge your thoughts and don’t ponder on their significance. The goal of meditation is to train the mind for continual focus. Some might experience disappointment, frustration, or irritation as distracting thoughts and feelings come up. Notice them, and return your attention to your breath.
10. Cultivate your inner smile. Take a few deep breaths and smile. Smiling releases endorphins in the brain which will help make thoughts and feelings more positive. It will also helps relax and prepare for a deep and productive meditation.
11. Remember that meditation is a practice. Some days will be harder than others. It’s not about finding complete stillness in the mind but letting go of resistance and reactions to what arises. Morning meditation can be easy to blow off while lying cosy in bed, but once you try it, you will experience the positive ways it makes you feel. Commit to a regular practice and see the benefits unfold.
12. Practice gratitude. Prepare for the day. Begin with self-gratitude for your hard work, grit and perseverance. Continue with gratitude and appreciation for what surrounds you and for a new day.
13. Commit! Commitment and perseverance are key to success.
Advice for Non-Morning People
If you’re not a morning person would like to change that, consider this advice:
Keep your blinds open to let the light in at sunrise. It’s harder to get up when it’s dark. This obviously doesn’t work if your goal is to get up before sunrise, in which case you can turn your light on as soon as your alarm sounds.
Splash cold water on your face as soon as you wake if you find that refreshing and energizing.
Splash hot water on your face when you wake if that feels good.
Take a deep inhalation with peppermint or grapefruit oil under your nose to energize your senses.
Hop in the shower first thing.
Don’t make giant changes overnight. It won’t work if you are someone who hates waking up before 10:00 a.m., is used to going to bed after 2:00 a.m., and you try to shift your schedule four hours earlier overnight. Move your wake-up time slowly and implement morning rituals incrementally.
If you’re really into the whole idea of starting your morning off with mindfulness, you can create an entire morning routine. Follow this guide to create and maintain a mindful morning routine that will inspire and motivate you to take your days to the next level.
Some people use binaural beats, monaural beats, and isochronic tones when they meditate—if you’re a beginner you might want to use these with caution.
They emit certain frequencies that “train” your brain to enter into a certain wavelength more easily. Depending on the frequency, there will be different effects:
Beta frequency (13 to 30 Hz): Awake and alert, slightly anxious.
Alpha frequency (8 to 12 Hz): Relaxed and alert, ideal for creativeness and focus. Best before work.
Theta frequency (4 to 7 Hz): The “mental twilight zone,” between sleep and wakefulness, intensely relaxed. Best used in the evening.
Delta frequency (1 to 3 Hz): The “Buddhist Monk,” state. Most people only experience delta frequency when they’re asleep.
Binary sounds will increase the rate that your brain adapts and re-wires itself, but you shouldn’t jump too far ahead of yourself, otherwise it can cause massive panic attacks and existential angst, so exercise great caution.
If you would like to learn more about theses and other health promoting techniques, we invite you to book a Health Consultation with The Health Coach academy team or join our Health Coaching Program.
Results may individually vary. Information and statements made in articles of The Health Coach Blog are for education purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. The Health Coach does not provide medical advice, prescribe medication and treatment plans, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by The Health Coach are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. Should you have a medical condition or health concern, consult your physician.