by Karson McGinley: What if you could take a magic pill each morning that would reduce your stress, lessen your anxiety, increase your ability to focus, and improve your memory?
It would also help you to become more self-aware, more patient with the people in your life, and even help you live a longer, healthier, happier life. There would also be no side effects, you wouldn’t have to go anywhere to get it, and it is 100 percent free. Would you take it?
Of course you would! And you can. The pill, of course, isn’t a pill at all, but meditation, and absolutely anyone can do it. All you need is the desire to try, and to make a decision to sit still and go for it.
Why Should You Meditate?
It seems like everyone nowadays knows they “should” meditate, yet less than 10 percent of working Americans are doing it. Why is that?
Most people say they don’t meditate because of one of the following reasons:
- They don’t have time.
- They don’t know how.
- They don’t think they are good at it.
While these three explanations are common, none of them are actually valid, and actually represent the precise reason meditation is necessary in the first place. The mind makes up stories, and meditation helps to see through the stories to the truth of the matter. Here is the truth:
- You can feel the benefits of meditation in as little as 5-10 minutes of meditation a day, and there is not a person alive who can’t find 10 minutes in their daily routine to do something that is important to them. If Oprah has time to meditate, so do you.
- While it is true that there are many meditation techniques, meditation is really just sitting still, in silence, doing nothing. Even your dog knows how to do that.
- Can you imagine if your child tried riding a bike for the first time and threw it on the ground because it wasn’t easy? You would tell him or her that he or she simply needs to practice, and that eventually, it would become second nature. The same is true for meditation. Practice is the only was to “get good” at it, although there really is nothing to “get good” at. Meditation is the practice of being with yourself fully, and honestly, you can’t get that wrong.
There are some ways to make meditation easier though, and meditating in the morning is one of them. Here are five reasons why you should start your day with a morning meditation.
1. How You Start Your Day Is How You Live Your Day
You may be starting your day with an alarm, kids, or pets waking you up, and immediately thrust yourself into the news, email, and the internet. By starting the day frazzled and distracted, you can pretty much expect the day to follow suit.
However, starting your day with a morning meditation will set the tone for a calm, mindful, and productive day, and who doesn’t want that? Sure, you feel like you don’t have “extra” time in the morning to meditate (who has “extra” time, anyway?), but adding meditation to your morning routine means you need to wake up a little earlier. Start with just 5-10 minutes, free of distractions, and see how you feel. Just know that the more time/effort you put in, the greater the results will be.
2. You Are Less Likely to Make Excuses in the Morning
Perhaps one of the best reasons for meditating in the morning is to be sure you actually do it! Even with the best intentions, it’s all too easy for your to-do list to take over your day, and before you know it, you are too busy or too tired to sit and meditate.
By having a meditation morning routine, you ensure that you actually follow through, since you are far less likely to make excuses first thing in the morning. Sitting in peace and quiet at the start of your day is like pressing the reset button on your life, and therefore, worth the effort of making sure you prioritize it every day.
3. You Will Be More Productive at Work
It might sound counterintuitive that by doing nothing you will get more done, but meditation increases your ability to focus, improves your attention, and advances your ability to come up with creative solutions to problems. By restructuring your morning to include mindfulness practices, you are also more likely have more energy and will be more proactive as a result.
As reported in the Harvard Business Review, biologist Christoph Randler found that “people whose performance peaks in the morning are better positioned for career success, because they’re more proactive than people who are at their best in the evening.”
4. You Will Feel More in Control of Your Life
By having a meditation morning routine, you show yourself and the Universe that you intend to be in charge of your day, instead of being pulled around by external demands on your time. Also, by beginning your day with something that makes you feel proud of yourself, you set the trajectory for more wins throughout the day. You will create the mindset you want to bring into your daily activities by starting the day feeling grounded, aware, and clear-headed. Meditation also helps you train your mind to see things more clearly, and be able to cut through negative thoughts, stories, and suffering.
5. Ancient Wisdom Suggests Meditation as a Morning Ritual
Many spiritual traditions suggest waking up before the sun to do yoga and meditate. The specific reasons vary, but ultimately it all comes down to creating a sacred connection to your higher self when the world and your mind are at their quietest.
Have you ever tried sitting at 5 a.m.? The peaceful calm and stillness at that time is unlike any other. And although to many people 5 a.m. seems like the middle of the night, being awake as the sun rises actually aligns you with nature and builds your energy reserves.
See if you can sit and be present for the first birds to chirp in the morning. There is a magic in the air when wild animals sense the sun about to rise. And as the sun rises, so too does your consciousness, if you choose to make of it a sacred ritual.
Not a Morning Person?
Just because you don’t consider yourself a morning person doesn’t mean you can’t have a meditation morning routine. There are several things you can do to improve your chances of waking up earlier, but ultimately, it all comes down to your priorities. If you want to meditate in the morning, there are some good reasons to try. However, if you meditate in the afternoon or evening and it works for you, by all means, keep it up! Keep trying until you find the way that’s right for you and fits in your routine naturally, and remember one of the greatest passages from the Bhagavad Gita, “On this path, effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure. Even a little effort toward spiritual awareness will protect you from the greatest fear.”
Whether you are on the path of seeking higher consciousness or simply want to have a little more patience with your coworkers, meditation is a crucial and healthy habit to develop in order to regulate your nervous system and live a life of greater well-being. Once you make it a part of your routine, you’ll quickly see how this practice can bring great peace and mindfulness to your life.