15 Ways To Start Days Positively [Morning Meditation Is Best]

10 great ways to start the day positively

Want to know some great ways to start the day positively and mindfully?

Morning meditation is best. But there are a lot more thing to try too.

When you start the day off right you wake up happy and everything falls into place.

 

twitter-icon“Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”—Buddha

 

 

Why You Need To Start The Day Positively

Many believe that the morning is the single most important time of the day.

Science supports this belief.

A study conducted by Roy Baumeister, psychology professor at Florida State University, showed that it is vital to make the most of the morning because that is when our willpower is at its strongest.

Willpower is similar to a muscle. The longer you work the less willpower you have.

Therefore, willpower is stronger in the morning, and that is when we are most able to get things done.

We have to make the most of the morning because that is when we are at our most productive.

So whatever you need to do, do it in the morning.

For instance:

If you’re on a diet, you should eat the perfect diet for breakfast because your willpower is higher then. Come the evening your willpower will be less, so it will be harder to stick to your diet.

If you have something important to do, you should get it done early. (Make that your personal mantra).

Same with decisions.

Your decision making skills are at their best in the morning.

If there is a difficult decision you know you need to make, make it early in the day and then act on it.

National Wellness Expert Lynn Taylor says:

“How you begin your morning often sets the tone and your attitude for the day. Your morning can derail you or direct your focus. If you remain committed to good morning work habits, you won’t fall prey to feeling unproductive and distracted at the end of the day or week.” [1]

Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast agrees. Her book reveals that successful people begin their day with important spiritual, intellectual, or physical pursuits. By having a fulfilling morning you will motivate yourself to work positively for the rest of the day.

Science says to make the most of the morning.

Spiritual gurus agree.

 

How The Buddha Would Start The Day Positively

The Buddha had a daily routine that he is said to have done every day.

The Buddha’s morning session began at 4am and ended at noon.

Buddha would begin the day by washing and would then meditate. His meditation would last for one hour. Afterwards he would spend one hour looking at the world through his third eye.

This meditation period begin at 5am and ended at 6am. During this meditation, Buddha would seek those who needed help. He would immediately help anyone he could.

That was the Buddha’s morning ritual. You can read more about the Buddha’s morning ritual in my article about The Path To Enlightenment.

Your own morning routine makes or breaks your day. That’s why it’s important to start the day positively and mindfully. When you make your morning a mindful and positive experience, you create the right foundation on which to build the rest of your day.

 Here are 10 ways to start the day positively

I’d like to share with you ten of my best ways to start the day positively and mindfully. Try each of these and let me know how big a difference they make to your daily routine.

Here are my favorite ways to start the day positively and mindfully.

 

 1: Have A Mindful Morning By Welcoming The Day

The best way to start the day positively is to express thanks for the day itself.

The day is a blessing.

Prince said, “Every day I feel is a blessing from God. And I consider it a new beginning. Yeah, everything is beautiful.”

What a great mantra for the morning.

My advice?

Welcome the day mindfully.

Open the curtains and mindfully observe the fresh light of day swimming upon your skin. Tell yourself that this is your day; a valuable, precious day to achieve great things.

As the Dalai Lama says:

twitter-icon“Every day, think as you wake up, ‘Today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.”

 

 

2: Have a goal for the day

Laura Vanderkam says that the most successful people get something important done early. [2]

But in order to get something important done, you first have to find something important to do.

What matters to you today?

If you could go to bed tonight knowing that you achieved one thing, what would that one thing be? Get it done as soon as possible.

You’re at your strongest in the morning. Use that valuable time like currency. Invest it. See a return from it. Get something major done. That’s starting the day positively!

 

3: Morning Meditation

Being a meditation teacher I obviously advocate morning meditation. One of the best ways to start the day positively is to meditate.

I personally do a morning meditation for half an hour a day. And I like to vary the type of meditation I do (although I find that the best morning meditation is mindful writing).

When you meditate in the morning you focus your mind for the rest of the day. That perhaps is why Buddha meditated first thing every morning.

Morning meditations are akin to sharpening a blade. No knight would desire to enter a battle with blunt sword.Why start a day with a blunt mind? Meditate first thing in the morning and your mind will be in tip-top condition for the rest of the day.

 

4: Eat A Mindful Breakfast

Mindful eating is one of my personal favourite ways to start the day positively. And it is another great morning meditation.

Mindful eating is a process that involves nonjudgmental observation of the food we eat.

When we eat breakfast mindfully, we intentionally eat slowly, focusing the mind 100% on the sensations of the food we are eating. We observe what the food looks like, tastes like… and we also observe any thoughts that enter our mind while we eat.

Mindful eating is extremely beneficial for both mental and physical health. As Dr Susan Albers, a New York Times bestselling author [3], says:

“Studies show that mindful eating can 1) reduce overeating and binge eating, 2) help you to lose weight, 3) help you to cope with chronic eating problems such as anorexia and bulimia, and 4) improve the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes.”

But mindful eating isn’t just for people with eating disorders. Eating mindfully helps you to focus on the present moment, and also makes eating a much more pleasurable experience.

 

5: Express Gratitude

What better way to start the day positively than by expressing gratitude?

The attitude of gratitude is the fast track to happiness.

Psychologist Lauren Aarsonen, Ph.D, says [4]:

“Gratitude is a sentiment we’d all do well to cultivate according to positive psychologists… Feeling thankful and expressing that thanks makes you happier and heartier.”

Gratitude has been getting more and more press coverage as we begin to full understand precisely how important gratitude is.

Dr Wayne Dyer [one of our top spiritual gurus] says, “Being grateful helps remove the influence of our egos… and allows us to adopt the radical humility that’s very persuasive in helping others connect with the Spirit that unites us all.”

Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychologist at the University of California-Riverside, says that keeping a gratitude journal (in which you write a record of all the things you feel thankful for) will increase energy, boost positive feelings, and even relieve pain. Take a deep breath. Connect with your breath. And say, “I am thankful to be experiencing this divine moment in my life.”

Spend ten minutes every morning writing a list of things to be thankful for. Or alternatively, tell one person that you are very thankful for something specific that they have done in your life. This will get both yours and their days off to a fantastic start.

 

6: Morning Yoga

It’s great to start the day positively with some exercise, and morning yoga is the best (in my opinion).

Research shows that the immune system is not ready to deal with intense exercise first thing in the morning [5].

But some gentle morning yoga? Now that’s perfect. And tai chi and Qigong are good too.

Take a look at the top 13 forms of yoga. And try one of the gentle forms,

Yoga To Start Your Day – Morning Yoga – Yoga Workout

 

 

7: Say something that matters

Say something that you know truly matters to at least one person.

For instance, if you’re really proud that your kids did so well in their recent school tests, remind them about it in the morning.

This is double-magic, because it makes the morning magical for two people. You will feel amazingly positive because you’ve made someone happy. And the other person will feel supported and proud / satisfied with the compliment you’ve given.

What a happy way to start the morning.

 

8: Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country… or community

Buddha spent every morning finding a way in which to benefit the people in his community. This helped both his community and helped Buddha himself.

Positive psychology tells us that a sense of social importance is immensely valuable to our mental wellbeing.

When we feel that we are important to the community around us we find the positivity and motivation to do work that matters.

Look for ways to help your community. And then…

 

9: Do one thing that actively helps your community

Having found a way in which to help your community, immediately set to it.

You don’t have to move mountains in the morning—that’s really much more of a mid-day activity—but you can make a start.

When you do something worthwhile in the morning you have already had a successful day.

 

10: Express appreciation, love, and pride for yourself

Psychologists have proven that self compassion is the key to self esteem.

You have to love yourself.

You have to forgive yourself your wrongs.

You have to appreciate and respect your strengths.

Only then, with proper love of self, will you fulfill the many wonderful things that you are capable of.

 

11. Practice Some Ayurveda In The Morning

Ayurveda is the fastest growing health trend in the world, and with good reason.

Ayurveda is a natural health system that uses natural ingredients to promote wellbeing.

For instance, one of the best Ayurveda methods to use in the morning is Oil Pulling, which is an excellent way of boosting your dental health.

 

11: For A Happy Morning, Smile

What easier way how to be happy in the morning than just to smile.

Not feeling like it? Try these 5 joy-filled ways to let yourself be happy.

Amy Cuddy proved that we can create our emotions by modelling them through our body language.

If we slouch we feel lethargic. If we stand tall we feel strong. If we smile we will feel happy.

Smiling is a free mind hack.

Try staying angry while smiling.

You can’t.

When you smile, serotonin and endorphins flow to the brain, creating happiness.

The pronoia sets in and you get off to a great start for the new day.

Smiling has been shown to reduce stress, reduce blood pressure and boost the immune system [6].

Scientists at the University of Cardiff Wales researched the effects of cosmetic botox injections on emotions [7]. Their tests showed that people who have had botox injections that prevent them from being able to frown are actually happier than the average person. Conversely,  fMRI studies conducted by scientists at the Technical University of Munich in Germany showed that people whose botox injections prevent them from smiling had much lower activity in the brain circuits involved in emotional processing and responses—in the amygdala, hypothal­amus and parts of the brain stem.

 

12: For A Happy Morning Take Meditative Breaths

The simplest way how to be happy in the morning is just to breathe.

Breath is the stem of life. As the roots of a tree must connect with fertile soil in order for that tree to grow strong, so too must the human mind connect with the root of life, the breath, in order for the mind to grow.

Don’t baseline to shallow breathing. That way leads to stress for both body and mind.

Breathe deep.

Fill your body with fresh life through your breath. And as you breathe, focus on the sensation of breathing. Connect with the breath. Mindful breathing will breed happiness deep within.

Peace activist and meditation teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says:

“Our breathing is the link between our body and our mind. Sometimes our mind is thinking of one thing and our body is doing another, and mind and body are not unified. By concentrating on our breathing, “In” and “Out,” we bring body and mind back together, and become whole again. Conscious breathing is an important bridge.”

 

13: To make your morning a happy one, forgive past mistakes

 Are there any among us who can say they live a perfect life?

Mistakes are a part of our journey here on Earth.

Mistakes are natural.

It is the way we react to those mistakes that does damage, not the mistakes themselves.

To grow, we must acknowledge our mistakes and learn from them. We must admit our regrets in order to grow stronger.

That’s why one of the best morning meditations is on forgiveness.

Every morning, meditate on yesterday.

See with a clear mind, with equanimity.

Say to yourself, “I accept the mistakes I made yesterday. I have learned from them. I will use the lessons I learned from yesterday to take myself further today.”

Forgiveness leads to happiness. Forgive yourself. And forgive others for their mistakes too.

Look at your shadows, and know that it is only through those shadows that you ever came into the light.

One of the biggest reasons for unhappiness is that people are too obsessed with their pasts. If you want to be happy today, get over yesterday.

Take a look my my guide to overcoming the past so you can be happier.

 

 

14: Do this morning meditation

Set your alarm ten minutes early

Some meditation practitioners might advocate waking up at the crack of dawn and watching the sunrise while doing some yoga. Good for them. Doubtlessly there are many great health benefits of doing so. But most of us need sleep after a busy day, and need to wake up and get to work. So let’s get real, shall we?

Setting the alarm just ten minutes early seems pretty real to me. That’s ten minutes we can give ourselves to meditate without losing too much sleep.

So, waking up ten minutes early, we can now leap out of bed and immediately . . . errr. . sit on the floor for ten minutes to meditate.

But remember, meditation improves sleep. So if you meditate you will need less sleep in the first place.

Your first Opportunity to Meditate

Remember, as with all the meditations in this book, it’s up to you whether you wish to use this one or not. Perhaps you don’t want to lose those ten minutes in bed in  the morning. If so, simply skip over this meditation and pick another one. There are plenty more opportunities to meditate!

If you’ve decided to stick with this meditation, here’s how to do it.

1: Sit comfortably:

Find a comfortable sitting position that works for you, preferably on a good meditation chair.

It is also better to be somewhere quiet and alone where you will not be disturbed (especially is there’s someone still lying in bed snoring!)

2: Close your eyes and focus on your breath:

First thing in the morning your mind may still be full of visions from your sleep, or you may find yourself thinking of the day ahead. Either way, close your eyes and focus on your breath in order to release these waking thoughts.

3: Listen:

In order to truly wake-up and start feeling energised, listen to the sounds around you. If you are so fortunate you may live in an area near running water or with birds singing that you can listen to. If not, simply find a piece of relaxing music, put it on your iPod and listen.

4: Connect with your body:

It’s important to reconnect body and mind in the morning. The best way to do so is with a quick five minute body scan. Begin by focussing your attention on the crown of your head. Feel the sensations there. Then, gradually move down your body, scanning as you go. Notice the sensations in your neck, arms, torso, legs, right down to your feet. Not gradually return your focus back up towards your head.

5: A bright start:

To make the morning meditation more effective, you may wish to take a couple of minutes to recite a positive mantra.

You might recite a line about the day ahead (for instance, “I am feeling positive about the day ahead” – something simple like that, it’s best not to be too complex in the morning, after all—or a loving kindness mantra (for instance “I extend love and happiness to all”). It’s entirely up to you which words you choose to use as a mantra, but choose something positive about the day ahead and recite it a few times over.

And you’re done. Ten minutes of this morning meditation will start your day on a happy note.

 

15: Morning Mantras And Mudras

Another excellent way to meditating in the morning is with mantras and mudras.

In my experience, the best morning mudra is the Prana Mudra. When used in the morning this mudra provides energy for the day ahead.

The best morning mantra (in my opinion) is Sa Ta Na Ma, which is a Kundalini mantra. Recite this mantra each morning 108 times.

 

The morning is the most important time of day.

Make the most of it.

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