Meditation and visualization is a hot topic right now.
5 Step by Step Guide to Add Meditation to your Morning Routine.
Everyone from Oprah to Forbes and the Huffington Post are talking about it! Major businesses and corporations, including Apple, Google, and Nike, have caught wind of the benefits and are encouraging meditation for their employees; many of which have even created meditation spaces in the office and offer meditation classes.
Whether you have only just heard about meditation, experienced it in yoga class, or dabbled in it on your own, this guide will give you all the best tips to make it a permanent addition to your morning routine.
For the experienced meditators, stay tuned, there is a guided visualization at the end of the post.
Get to know why meditation is good for you.
First and foremost, this is important because understanding the purpose meditation serves for you to create a stronger motivation to make it part of your daily schedule.
The benefits you get from meditation will be your why—this is what will push you to get up and get it in, just as you would with a workout or healthy eating. Meditation has an almost endless list of benefits, both mental and physical.
Step Number 1
Studies have shown that with regular practice, you will experience:
- Improved mental clarity
- Increased creativity
- Better flow in your day
- A more positive mental state
- Higher productivity
- Less stress
- Stronger immune system
- Increased happiness
- Improved concentration
- Increased self-awareness
- Slowed aging
- Reduced worry and anxiety
- Greater self-esteem
- Increased relaxation
- Stronger memory retention and recall
- Improved breathing and heart rates
- Reduced blood pressure
- Fewer PMS and menopausal symptoms
- Decrease in breathing and respiratory issues, such as asthma
- Easier time with breaking addictive habits, such as smoking
- And, *my personal favorite* it creates a foundation for you to always return to no matter how your day goes.
The American Psychological Association recommends yoga and relaxation techniques like meditation to reduce stress and rest your mind. Further studies show that meditation not only relaxes you, but is actually like exercise for your brain allowing you to grow and strengthen the gray matter and its functionality.
Thanks to the popularity of “The Secret”, almost everyone has heard of the law of attraction.
However, both the book and the movie really leave you hanging on the how…
How do you apply the law of attraction to your life?
Get to know what visualization is.
Step Number 2
I see meditation and visualization as essentially the same thing, only visualization is active. You aren’t trying to achieve no mind, where you have no thoughts at all. You are actively using your imagination to see things in your mind’s eye as you would like them to be in real life.
Meditation and visualization takes the things on your vision board and the goals you have set for yourself, supercharges them, and helps you draw them to you.
As an entrepreneur, it is highly beneficial to visualize the flow for your day as well as your business and personal goals. If you want to make it only about business, that is ok; however, this can be used for every aspect of your personal life as well. You can visualize your ideal romantic partner, a trip you want to take, or something as simple as finding the perfect hairdresser, plumber, or anything else you’re looking for.
Find or make time to meditate.
Step Number 3
Now that you have the why and the how, where do you add meditation to your already busy day? Morning is by far the most effective time because your mind is fresh and has not geared up for the day yet.
For the most part, you are not immediately thinking about your to do list when you first wake up, so your mind is starting out pretty clear with less to work through.
If you have an easy morning and can easily find the time to meditate, move on to the next step and start meditating!
Is your morning already full and you don’t have 10 minutes to spare? Here are a few of my favorite ways to work a meditation into a busy morning:
- Wake up 10-15 minutes earlier than planned (trust me, it’s worth it).
- Get ready for work first and use the last 10 minutes before you leave to meditate, this takes the pressure off because you’re already ready to go.
- Drive to work early and meditate in your car before going in (set a timer so you aren’t distracted by thinking about the time and being late for work).
- If you commute to work by public transit, take a pair of headphones to put in and meditate on the ride. The motion of the car/bus/train can be quite soothing for meditating.
- After you send your children to school, meditate in your quiet house before you get yourself ready.
All it takes is evaluating how you spend time in the morning and swapping out 10 minutes of email, social media, or playing a game on your phone to meditate instead.
If you woke up late and ultimately just cannot do your morning meditation, meditate on your lunch break outside, in your car, or just in your office with the door closed.
In the end, it is ok if the day gets away from you. You can always meditate in the evening and start fresh with it in your morning routine tomorrow. The most important thing is being consistent and sticking with it.
Special note for those of you who are not a morning person:
I am also not a morning person! When I first started meditating in the morning, I was sleepy and had to work hard to break through the cloudiness in my mind.
Initially, I felt like my morning meditation wasn’t doing anything. I kept at it regardless and eventually broke through. Now, my most powerful meditations are in the morning, which has resulted in some of my best creative ideas and writing.
Step Number 4
it overwhelming knowing where to start. In reality, you don’t have to follow a complicated process for meditation to be effective.
- Pick a spot in your house, outside, or wherever you are meditating where you can sit in a comfortable position with good posture.
- Depending on your preference for silence or some soothing background noise, pick some calm instrumental music, white noise, or nature sounds to listen to. I love listening to ocean sounds.
- Grab a pen and paper to have by you. If any thoughts, to dos, or important ideas come up, use the pen and paper to get them out of your head. You don’t have to have a perfectly quiet mind, just get the thoughts down and get back into your meditation.
- Start with focusing on your breathing. Slowly inhale through your nose and exhale out your mouth. Take long, deep breaths. If you find that your breathing is shallow, you may count to 10 on every inhale and exhale for the first few breaths.
- Once you’ve gotten comfortable with the breathing, the next step is to connect with and relax every part of your body. Starting with your toes, breathe in deep and focus on sending your breath to that body part. It may take you a bit to relax, so take your time and spend 2 to 3 or even 5 breaths on each body part, working your way up from your toes, through your legs, hips, back, stomach, chest and shoulders, down your arms, up your neck, over your head, and ending with your face.
- Next is my favorite part because you get to use your imagination to visualize the flow for your day. Whether that is visualizing yourself facing a presentation, business meeting, or sales call or just seeing yourself flowing gracefully through your day checking everything off your to do list. There is no right or wrong way to visualize and you can use it for everything. Visualize interactions with family, friends, or coworkers going smoothly. Visualize yourself being in perfect harmony with your significant other or your children. The possibilities are endless!
Finally, I like to spend a portion of my meditation focusing energy on my creative projects. Much like when you have a great idea come to you in the shower, meditation does the same.
You are relaxed, your thoughts are calm, and *BAM* great ideas just come to you. It may not happen immediately, but start with some simple projects or a problem you’re trying to solve.
The key is to stay relaxed and don’t try to think about it to figure it out. Open your mind, focus on your breathing, and observe your thoughts. Use that pen and paper to write whatever comes to you. You can edit it and expand on it later, but getting the essence down on paper is the key, as leaving it to memory doesn’t always work.
That’s it! Go on to your day feeling refreshed, inspired, and in a beautiful, positive flow.
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