Mastering Mindfulness: Morning Habits For Re-Setting Your Mind
7 minutes read
Science has proven that your attitude in the morning shapes the mood for the rest of your day. Over time, it sets the tone of your life. It also is the secret to the success of some of the most affluent people in history.
Here are the scientifically proven benefits of morning meditation and simple ways to incorporate it into your self-care routine in the AM.
What is meditation?
Meditation is another word for mind training. Experts define meditation as a family of mental training methods to familiarise the practitioner with specific cognitive processes. It is the mental equivalent of physical exercise.
What are the benefits of meditation for the mind and body?
Harvard scientists say that clearing the mind for a mere 15 minutes each day can change how the genes operate, promote health, and has the potential to reverse some conditions. It can also reduce stress, enhance performance, and as we become more aware of ourselves, we can better connect with the people and world around us.
However, in today’s fast-paced world, we can relate to how easy it is to get caught up in the busyness of life. In addition to the overwhelming impact of the pandemic, studies show that we’re finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the true toll on our mental health.
Intention-setting and cementing morning habits – including morning meditation – is a way to help prioritise what truly matters: our mental and physical health.
Despite mindfulness being a challenging practice, it can help us all move through a hectic world with more ease and contentment, bring us back to the centre, and put a halt to the mind’s endless rumination. Of course, easier said than done, but all it takes is commitment and consistency like all other long-term habits.
Medical professionals have used it for dealing with mental health issues like anxiety, stress, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It can also be said that it may alleviate physical skin issues such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne, a study suggests.
When is the best time to meditate?
The best time to practice meditation is in the morning, as it offers a calm, quiet time to focus on your practice before the day’s activities and distractions begin.
Experts say morning meditation also sets the tone of our nervous system for the rest of the day and helps us navigate stressful situations better and with more awareness of our body and breath.
We are all wired differently. Each of us has our rhythm and routine. Try morning meditation for a week or so and see what happens. Be willing to explore, and tailor what works for you.
Try meditating if…
You’re feeling work anxiety:
Many of us who have been working remotely are feeling unsettled about the idea of reporting back to the office space for a number of valid reasons such as; the risk of contracting COVID-19 at work or the commute, feeling anxious meeting people for the first time or mixing with lots of people you haven’t seen in a while.
If this happens, take a pause and remind yourself of the positives of returning to work. This might include being able to see colleagues again, separating your home and work life and getting back into a routine that you’ve missed, like making yourself a cup of coffee or that water-cooler moment where you can chat all things Netflix. Use your commute or lunchtime to do ‘me-time’ whether that’s a yoga class, lunch with friends, listening to a podcast or some meditation time.
How do I start a morning meditation routine?
Start small and don’t over-commit, as this will set you to failure. Mindfulness meditation, even as brief as five minutes, is enough. Here are five simple steps:
1. Avoid screen time.
As soon as you wake up, don’t reach for the electronics.
Pro tip: Don’t use your phone as an alarm to resist temptations on checking your emails, texts, or socials. Use Amazon or Google devices or invest in a Lumie Bodyclock Shine – it wakes you gradually with a sunrise-mimicking light and the lull of birdsong or waterfalls.
Another tip will be to wake up every day at the same time. According to the Sleep Foundation, keeping a regular sleep schedule will help reset the circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is important to managing the balance between sleep and wakefulness, helping us be alert or drowsy at the appropriate time.
2. Find your meditation spot.
Avoid the busiest areas of your home and create your own meditation hub.
3. Inform people you live with your meditation schedule.
This way, they know not to disturb you when you’re meditating. A classic hotel ‘do not disturb’ staple on your doorknob is a simple solution.
4. Start small.
Add a quick stretch and start with a five or ten-minute meditation session.
If you find it hard to concentrate, which is quite tricky at first, download meditation guide apps like Headspace, Calm and Simple Habit. Or use something like an Apple watch – where the device vibrates to help regulate your breathing.
5. Employ tools.
Morning habits to start your day – the statistics:
Experts say we can add mindfulness to tasks every morning when we practice them intentionally, from taking a shower, doing make-up, making skincare smoothies, or even sipping morning coffee. It’s all part of developing awareness, and you can build mindful habits around those morning tasks.
According to TikTok, morning habits and self-care are officially on the rise. Self-care techniques and how to live more mindfully have become a crucial part of our lifestyles, and working moments of care into your day can help you feel better mentally equipped to tackle day-to-day responsibilities.
The Clarins Beauty Daily team found those morning routines were slightly more popular than nighttime, with #MorningRoutine related hashtags garnering 6.6 billion views, compared to PM amounting to a total of 6.2 billion views on TikTok.
The Beauty Daily team explored other popular self-care and mindfulness techniques that are rising in popularity on the app and found the following:
Top TikTok mindfulness techniques by numbers
- Affirmations – 9.2 billion views
- Journaling – 5.4 billion views
- Meditation – 4.3 billion views
- Gratitude – 1.3 billion views
- Breathwork/deep breathing – 363.5 million views
- Aromatherapy – 352.4 million views
- Sound healing (such as a gong bath) – 315.2 million views
Experts say we can also add mindfulness to tasks every morning when we practice them intentionally, from taking a shower, doing make-up, making skincare smoothies, or even sipping morning coffee. It’s all part of developing awareness, and you can build mindful habits around those morning tasks.
We’ve listed, with Clarins Training Manager, Charlotte McHale, morning skincare habits we can practice every day.
Practicing a mindful beauty routine
There’s no better way of doing this than by adding the power of essential oils into your beauty routine coupled with massage techniques. Not only will it help to reap loads of skincare benefits, but it promotes a sense of well-being too.
McHale’s morning energy booster is the Tonic Bath and Shower Concentrate. “It has got some aromatherapy benefits in it. The mint and rosemary fragrances promote a feeling of enthusiasm for the day.”
“Use brisk upward sweeping motions to massage the body while you wash and improve lymphatic drainage,” she says.
“Take two pumps of double serum and warm the product into your hands and press onto your face and neck. Use hand-over-hand sweeping movements starting at the centre of the face and working outwards.” You can watch Spa at Home for the exact facial massage movements.
She adds, “Take one pump of the Double Serum Eye and warm it into the three centre fingers of each hand. Press under the eyes moving outwards along the orbital bone, then do the same above the eye on the brow bone. Press on the lid to finish. Take your favourite moisturiser and warm a 5p size amount in your hands, inhale the scent deeply before pressing it into the skin.”
Apply facial oil before foundation to create a nourished and hydrated base for make-up, or add drops to your foundation. Clarins beauty experts say this creates a thinner consistency that will blend better into the skin.
Focus on the journey, not the goal. Make daily meditation a way of life.