The Power of Morning Meditation
Mornings set the tone for the rest of the day. Incorporating meditation into your morning routine can have profound effects on your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Starting the day with meditation allows you to create a peaceful and CNTRD mindset before the demands and stresses of daily life kick in. It lets you establish a sense of calm that can act as a buffer against the inevitable challenges you may face throughout the day.
There are multiple advantages to starting a morning meditation practice at home, making it the perfect way for beginners to meditate. Physiologically and psychologically, the brain is naturally more receptive to meditation practices in the morning hours. Whether listening to a guided meditation in bed right when you awaken, or getting up to have a sit and just watch your thoughts or your breath, it will be easier to stick to your new mindful routine when you meditate before your day begins.
Here are a few reasons why it’s easier to find your own meditation routine and rhythm in the early morning hours:
Brain Waves- When you wake up, your brain transitions from a state of deep rest during sleep to wakefulness. At this point, the brain waves shift from slower delta and theta waves during sleep to faster alpha and beta waves associated with wakeful relaxation. This transitional state provides an optimal environment for mindfulness and meditation.
Cortisol Levels- Cortisol, often referred to as the "stress hormone," follows a natural circadian rhythm. Cortisol levels typically peak in the early morning, shortly after waking. While elevated cortisol is associated with stress, moderate levels can enhance alertness and focus, making it an opportune time for a mindful start to the day through meditation. Morning meditation can enhance focus and attention, attributes that are crucial for starting the day on a productive note. As the brain awakens, engaging in mindful practices can help sharpen cognitive functions and the effects can last, even in novice meditators. If you can find a spot (inside or outside) where you can meditate in the sunshine, the benefits increase. Morning sunlight exposure stimulates the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation. Meditation complements this natural process, promoting a sense of calm and well-being that aligns with the elevated serotonin levels in the morning.
Increased Neuroplasticity- Neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to reorganize and adapt, tends to be higher in the morning. During sleep, the brain consolidates memories and experiences. When you wake up, your brain is more flexible and open to new patterns, making it an ideal time to establish positive habits such as meditation, journaling, visualization, etc. Establishing a consistent morning meditation routine helps signal to the brain that it's time to enter a state of mindfulness and relaxation, instead of the typical immediate dread or stress about things that need to get done. Take advantage of this increased ability to learn and create new patterns and habits!
Empty Mind, Fresh Start- When we just wake up, the mind is relatively clear of the clutter and thoughts because information gets consolidated while we slumber. This mental freshness creates a receptive state for meditation, allowing you to start the day with a clean mental slate. Like a fresh page, it’s primed for you to draw, write and create what it is you would like to experience. In this way, a morning meditation at home can set a positive tone for the entire day. By cultivating a sense of calm and mindfulness early on, you are more likely to carry these qualities into your daily activities, being more positive, open-minded, and less emotionally reactive than you may have been. This mindset contributes to better stress management and overall well-being.
The early morning is often the best time for personal reflection, providing a quiet and undisturbed time before the demands of the day kick in. A time when you can carve out a little ‘me’ time and embrace a self care routine, even if it’s only for 5-10 minutes. Utilizing this quiet time for meditation allows for a focused and uninterrupted practice, fostering a deeper connection with the meditation experience, and increasing the likelihood that your personal practice will stick, and grow more profound.
Creating a Morning Meditation Routine in Bed
One of my favorite ways to meditate is in bed, right when I awaken. Even though it’s nice to get up, find a seat or a patch of sunshine, as mentioned above, it’s super easy to establish a morning meditation routine right in the comfort of your own bed, especially if you’re just starting meditation.
Here are a few tips on how to meditate in bed:
Make sure you’re Comfortable:
Some prefer to meditate as they awaken without moving an inch (me!). To me this feels like all of my energy is channeled into my mental space for visualizing. If you like to sit up to feel more alert and allow the brain to awaken as you practice, you can prop yourself up with pillows.
Set the tone of the day with an Intention:
Begin by setting a positive intention for the day. Whether it's gratitude, focus, or simply embracing the present moment, having a clear intention can guide your meditation practice and infuse your day with purpose.
Focus on Your Breath:
With your eyes closed, bring your attention to your breath. Notice the natural rhythm of inhalation and exhalation. If your mind starts to wander, gently redirect your focus back to your breath. Use this time to ground yourself in the present moment.
Take a few moments to express gratitude. Reflect on the positive aspects of your life and the opportunities the day may bring. Gratitude meditation can shift your mindset towards appreciation and abundance.
Envision your day unfolding positively. Visualize yourself handling challenges with grace and accomplishing your tasks with ease. This mental rehearsal can contribute to a more confident and proactive approach to your day.
As the sun rises, so does the opportunity to cultivate a positive and mindful start to your day through morning meditation. Mornings act as the canvas on which the rest of the day is painted, making it essential to establish a serene and centered mindset from the moment you open your eyes.
Morning meditation, especially when practiced in the comfort of your own bed, carries profound benefits for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. By delving into this practice, you embark on a journey that can transform your entire daily experience. Physiologically and psychologically, the brain is naturally inclined to be more receptive to meditation in the morning— setting the stage for a focused and tranquil meditation experience.
Establishing a consistent morning meditation routine, whether it involves listening to a guided meditation or practicing mindful visualization or gratitude, sends a signal to your brain to enter a state of mindful awareness. Your mind is clear, unburdened by the clutter of daily life, creating a receptive space for meditation. As you embrace morning meditation in the comfort of your bed, remember that the early morning hours provide a precious and uninterrupted time for personal reflection. It's a time to nurture yourself, even if only for a few minutes, and deepen your connection with the meditation experience.
By making meditation part of your morning routine, you not only set a positive tone for the day but also lay the foundation for lasting well-being and personal growth. So, as you open your eyes to the new day, consider opening your mind to the transformative power of morning meditation—a simple yet profound practice that can enrich every aspect of your life, right from your own bed.
Jessica Crow is the founder of CNTRD Wellness and CNTRD Meditation. She helps people harness the power of meditation and mindfulness to change their lives and the lives of others through practical classes and courses for the everyday practitioner, meditation teacher trainings, and personalized mentorship.
Check out her book 'The Power of Guided Meditation', published by Fair Winds Press and her New On Demand Course 'The Power of Guided Meditation' or anyone who wants to harness the power of meditation in their own lives.