I know what you’re thinking….take five minutes for yourself in the morning??! But how? As crazy as it might seem there IS a way, even if it means waking up five minutes earlier to do just that. But why bother? Research shows that the way you start your day sets you up for the rest of the day ahead, so with that in mind I’ve teamed up with Five Minutes In The Morning – A Focus Journal, to share some ideas on how you can do just that.
Think about one of the best moments of your life
Noticing the good things in our lives encourages us to cand positive thinking has been proven to be good for both our health and our happiness.
Explore how you really feel
When we put our feelings into words, studies show that we become less attached to them and more able to live in the present without distraction. Just by labeling our emotions, we help our brain to process them. And by engaging in this process you are also allowing yourself to truly feel, rather than suppress any difficult emotion. As soon as you acknowledge a feeling it immediately releases its grip. Stop for a moment and properly consider how you are feeling right now.
Mindfulness is a mental state of being in which you focus on the present moment and simply take notice. It is a state of awareness in which you are able to notice and acknowledge what is going on both inside you and in your surroundings.
Here are three simple exercises to draw your attention to the small but important elements that make up your everyday life:
1. When you wake up, stay in bed and spend five minutes just looking at your bedroom. Notice the pictures on the wall, the pieces of furniture and the way the light filters through the curtains.
2. Go out into the garden, stand on the balcony or just open a window. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the morning (preferably before the rest of the family is up!).
3. Make yourself a cup of coffee and take five minutes to drink it (this might have to be after the school run!). Do nothing else, simply be aware of how the cup feels in your hand, breathe in the aroma and savour the taste.
Take three deep breaths
Next time you have a few minutes spare, don’t check your phone; take three deep breaths instead and, as you do so, concentrate on nothing but the feel of the air as it comes into and then leaves your body with each breath. Notice the sensation in your nostrils, shoulders and rib cage.
See the big picture
It is all too easy to blow our day-to-day anxieties out of proportion and lose our sense of perspective. Next time you feel this starting to happen, try to think about the problem from the point of view of your future self. You can also try this manifestation exercise: Choose an aspect of your life, for example your career, finances or relationship. Now spend five minutes imagining all the detail of how you wish that aspect of your life to feel. Create a vibrant mental picture and really begin to lean in and experience how it feels.
For more ways ways to give yourself these few minutes at the beginning of the day for a little self-enquiry and reflection check out Five Minutes In The Morning – A Focus Journal, published by Octopus Books.
*The above extracts Five Minutes In The Morning – A Focus Journal have been published with kind permission