For the past four or five years, I’ve been reaping the benefits of the practice of mindfulness and meditation in the morning. Once I’ve managed to make myself a cup of coffee and accept that I am up at an ungodly hour, I will begin a small meditation routine that has helped me meet each day with confidence and positivity. I start by putting on soothing music. I will listen to anything from soundtracks from movies to classical music. As long as there are no lyrics distracting me, I can focus my attention on my own thoughts. Then, I begin to breathe deeply and fully to help clear my head. I try to focus more on how my posture feels and less on what words, worries, or thoughts run through my mind. This allows me to begin to introduce new positive ideas or goals that I would like to achieve for the day.
For example, I will say to myself: “I would like to be confident, positive, and stress-free. I would like to have a delicious plate of pasta for lunch and I would like to understand what my French professor said today.” As you can tell, I ask for things that make me happy, even if they are a bit silly. The biggest things I try to be aware of are the words “no” and “not.” These words are negative and begin to change my mindset automatically. If I were to say, “I don’t want to be unhappy today,” I’ve already implied that something or someone will make me unhappy. This kind of thinking doesn’t help me to begin my day positively, and is not helpful as I go about trying to recognize the things that make me happy that day.
When I began to practice mindfulness and meditation, I immediately noticed improvements in the way I felt and the way I approached people and situations. I’ve become happier, more patient, and even a little more outgoing. While I’m not an expert on mindfulness or meditation, I recommend trying meditation for a couple mornings to see if it is helpful in giving you a more positive mindset and approach to life.
For more on meditation, I suggest the following articles:
“Mindfulness: Getting Its Share of Attention”
Watch Anderson Cooper report on the practice of mindfulness.
This site offers advice on meditation and stress management.
Check out these two Ted Talks, here and here, to learn how to meditate and find happiness.