Why Meditation Is The Most Important Part Of Your Morning Routine – Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, For Health, In EVERY Way.

by Scott Laidler

Cultivating an energising and empowering morning regime is a fantastic way to start your day and can really set you up; not only to excel in your work and creative endeavours but also to provide you with the resilience to deal with life’s little frustrations. 

It’s important to start your day with activities that set you up in a positive way, reducing stress and engaging your mind in what you would like to achieve in the day ahead. I believe a healthy morning regime should have three main elements: a physical element, a protective or preventative mental element; and, thirdly, an offensive or ambition driven element. 

Here is a morning routine that I’ve used personally for several years now. I also coach my personal development clients through this routine to help them reduce stress and prime them to achieve great things in their private and professional lives. (Note: You can implement the whole routine if you have the time available or, alternatively, you can select the elements that you know work best for you (or that you know you have time for!).) 



My 7 Step Happy Healthy Morning Routine


1. Early Morning Start 
Getting an early start on the day sets you up for maximal achievement. The early bird catches the worm so to speak! Getting your day off the ground nice and early means that by the time most people are still hitting the snooze button for the third time, you will be well on the way to a textbook day. Don’t get up early at the cost of your sleep though; getting to bed early is part of the discipline - unless you know you can make it up with a significant nap later on that day.

2. Heart Rate Variability Test (HRV) 
Now this element probably isn’t going to be for everyone but I wanted to mention it because in my opinion it’s a breakthrough development in measuring the effects of stress on the body. Conducting a simple HRV test each morning allows you to see how fatigued your body is or know how well you have recovered from the previous day’s activities. This allows you to manage your levels of fatigue, letting you know when you can take on a considerable strain or when you should pull back! 


Using a Fitbit Alta HR to check your HRV as you can also use it to monitor your fitness, heart rate, sleep and many other elements that contribute to a happier, healthier and more rested you.


3. Get Comfortable In Your Environment 
For optimal happiness, relaxation and productivity, it’s important to make yourself comfortable in your environment. Whatever works for you – from brewing a fresh coffee, having a morning shower or taking your dog out etc. – make time for it. This may seem obvious but many people still don’t do it so it’s still worth mentioning. 

4. Morning Mobility 
It is a good idea to prepare your body for the day ahead by performing some basic mobility drills and bodyweight exercises that allow your joints to flow through their full range of motion, align your spine and begin to generate energy in your body. 

You’ll have a hard time getting through a busy day with no energy. These drills might be what are considered a ‘work-in’ to build energy rather than expending energy as you would in a traditional ‘work-out’. 

5. Gratitude / Law Of Attraction
For the esoteric minded out there, this is where I spend 10 minutes experiencing and ‘attracting’ the opportunities and circumstances that I would like to see manifest in my life, with faith that my very thinking about them will help them to ‘become flesh’. For the more traditional minds, use the time to give thanks for your health, that of your families and the opportunities and moments of joy that have come your way; not in a dogmatic sense, just because it makes you feel good and, psychologically, it will prime the day to be a positive one. 

6. Meditation
I recommend spending 10 minutes soothing your mind with daily meditation. This will allow you to separate yourself from ego driven thoughts and anxieties by helping you gain perspective and reduce your stress levels. If you are new to the practice, you can download an app like Headspace, which will take you through a guided meditation. 


7. Daily Purpose 
The final part of my morning routine (equally you could do this as the last thing at night) is to set out the primary goal of the day, and any other auxiliary goals I am looking to achieve. It’s important to take a step forward towards your major targets in life each day so setting this list up in the morning stacks the odds in favour of you reaching your goals. 

 

Recommended Exercises For Step 4: Morning Mobility

1. Jefferson Curl

Why? To begin with, perform this exercise with no weights until your body learns the movement. Remember to engage your glutes and core throughout.

How to: 

  • Begin on an elevated surface (e.g. a conventional gym step or bench). 
  • Tuck in your chin and look at your chest. Slowly curl each vertebra, one at a time, as your head descends towards the ground.
  • Keep your bodyweight evenly distributed on the balls of your feet, knees straight when at the bottom of the movement, and lengthen the spine.
  • To reverse, slowly raise each vertebra from base of the spine upwards, lifting your head last.
  • Once comfortable with the movement you can begin to add in weights such as dumbbells or kettle bells.
     

2. Energy Gathering Jumping 

How to:

  • Perform the movement for 30secs
     

3. Shoulder Mobility 

How to: 

  • Perform continuous articulations of the shoulders. 
     

4. Hip Mobility 

How to: 

  • Perform articulations of the hips. 
     

5. 8-Point Around the World Lunges

How to:

  • Start with your feet together and your hands behind your head. Attempt to keep your pelvis neutral.
  • Perform a lunge in each plane of motion. First, lunge forward, then laterally, followed by backwards and then transverse (curtsey). 
  • After you have completed the 4 lunges, move on to the other side. 
  • Perform 3-5 rounds with each leg. 



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