How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners
10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation
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How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners
10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation
What is Meditation?
Benefits of Mindfulness: Mindful Living Can Change Your Life
Mindfulness 101: A Beginner's Guide
Rich shares a simple approach for creating powerful morning routines.
Hi, it's Rich here.
I've been asked to answer the question,
how can I create a better morning routine?
So look, while morning routines are
personal, for most of us, it's the
only time in the day that we have an
opportunity to be fully with ourselves
and focus on ourselves, be that your
first 10 or 20 or 30 minutes of the day.
This is really true for me as life is
so full as a leader of an organization,
a husband, a father mindfulness
teacher, and so on, on, and on.
My days are filled with meetings,
calls, emails, deadlines, and so forth.
And I'm sure many of you can relate.
But as the saying goes, if you
win the morning, you win the day.
So I'd like to share a couple of tips
on establishing a good morning routine.
It's really three tips.
The first one is don't
negotiate with yourself.
The second one is to create
a very simple routine.
And the third one is to try
something called habit stacking.
So let me explain each of these.
So first the idea of not
negotiating with yourself.
That really means skipping the narrative.
In other words, if there's a story or
dialogue running in your head about the
do or not do, about the way you feel
about doing a routine, what I often
try to do is I just try to skip that.
To not negotiate with myself, but
just to go straight to the routine.
It's kind of like brushing your teeth.
Brushing your teeth can
happen in many, many different
states of awakeness, I found.
So for example, I've brushed
my teeth when I'm half falling
asleep, but the point is I did it.
I didn't tell myself a story
about doing it being half asleep.
And so what I'd invite you to do is to
try not negotiating with yourself, not
necessarily going with a dialogue or
story about whether it's a good thing
to do or not to do, whether you feel
like doing it or not feel like doing it.
But simply moving in and doing it.
That is, doing your routine, which
brings me to the second point, which is
to really create a very simple routine.
For me, it's the first 20 to 30 minutes
of my day when I really try to make
time for my mind, my heart and my body.
So what does that look like?
It means when I wake up, the first thing
I do is I go to the bathroom and brush
my teeth and splash water on my face.
And then I literally go and make time
for my mindfulness practice, where I
really try to cultivate qualities of
mindfulness and also heartfulness.
So I do some meditation and then I
try to do something called the loving
kindness practice, which is to invite
thoughts and intentions of kindness
and goodwill towards myself and others.
Other days I may do a gratitude practice
or an intention setting practice.
But it's really a way to kind of
orient around the heart and perhaps
cultivate a positive emotional state.
And after a number of minutes
of doing that, I transition to a
little bit of body-centered work.
And for me that means some
stretching and light yoga.
So this is now the first 10
20, maybe 30 minutes of my day.
And then I reward myself with
having breakfast and coffee.
So that's sort of my second point
there, which is create a very
simple routine that you can follow.
Again for me, it's brush teeth, wash
face, sit and meditate, do a heartfulness
practice, do body focused practice.
And finally, the third thing that
I wanted to share with you in
terms of developing a good morning
routine is to try habit stacking.
Habit stacking means that you
stack a new habit or a behavior
on top of a pre-existing one.
I have a few things that kind of
fit in a sequence as I've shared
with you and help me sustain the
habit of mindfulness, for example.
It's the meditation, the heartfulness,
the body centered practice.
But then if I want to build on
top of that, I can add other
behaviors or habits on to it.
So, as I mentioned to you, I also have
a yoga and stretching routine that I do.
And honestly, that is
something that's new for me.
I've really brought that in
because honestly my back's
been bothering me lately.
So I really wanted to kind of emphasize
the stretching and the yoga after my
meditation and heartfulness practice.
And so I added that onto
the mindfulness practice.
So that's an example of habit stacking.
And if you're trying to build a new
behavior into your morning routine, don't
try to shake up your routine all at once.
Rather I'd encourage you to do
what you normally do, that is
to follow your normal routine.
For example, wake up, brush your teeth, go
to the bathroom, have coffee, et cetera.
Then you can consider the aspects
you want to integrate as part of
a new routine or adding a habit.
For example, perhaps a working out
or prepping a meal or some other
behavior that you may want to
bring into your morning routine.
Choose just one aspect of what you'd
like to integrate into your current
routine and commit to making just one
behavior change until it becomes habitual.
Be very clear as to when and where
you'll insert your new behavior.
So for example, for myself, after I
brushed my teeth and before I have my
morning coffee, I will do five minutes
of a guided meditation in my armchair.
That's an example.
So this is habit stacking.
Finally, I'd invite you to consider
that an effective morning routine
can actually start the night before.
Preparation for your morning or
team can make a big difference.
For example, spending five minutes
the night before setting up for
the morning can go a long way.
Let's say you want to integrate 10
minutes of yoga into your daily routine.
The night before, what can you
do to increase the likelihood
of following through?
Perhaps setting out your yoga mat or
laying out your yoga gear, so that
in the morning you won't have to
make the decision to practice yoga.
You won't have to negotiate with yourself.
You won't have to find
your gear or your mat.
It's already been set out for you.
That's what I do.
In fact, as we speak, it's likely that
I left my yoga mat on the floor in the
living room to the chagrin of my wife.
Normally I'd put it away.
I think I rushed out of
the house this morning.
So these are the tiny decisions
which left until morning, you're less
likely to get to, or are more likely
to drain your vital mental energy
before you even step out the door.
This is something known as decision
fatigue, which leaves you with less
mental resources available when you have
those really important decisions to make.
For example, in my life I sometimes
have to decide on one budget versus
another, or to email this person about
an important issue or to not email them.
And then if I do choose to
email them, what to say.
Those are really the important decisions
and it's better to approach them
without having this decision fatigue.
So just to conclude things and
to tie off my suggestions for a
better morning routine are number
one, don't negotiate with yourself.
Skip the narrative.
Number two, create a very simple routine.
And number three, stack your habits.
starting the night before.
So I want to thank you for
considering these ways to
create a better morning routine.
And I wish you well, as
you work towards that.
And most importantly, I'd invite
you to be kind and understanding
with yourself as you try this.
There'll be days where you succeed at
installing a new morning routine, and
there'll be days in which you fall off.
It's really natural.
It's something that
happens to me all the time.
And you always have the
opportunity to start again.
So I'd invite you to just hold the
whole approach, the whole attempt
at starting a morning routine with
kindness and goodwill towards yourself.
Thanks for your practice.
Talk to you again soon.
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