I am very pleased to be posting the first of my Sunday Vibes series, which is a mini series posted every Sunday to help keep mental health in tip top shape.
Any information or tips that I give you have all been tried and tested by myself during my battle with anxiety. I learnt a lot of great things along the way which changed my lifestyle for the better. So, my aim is to every week give you a little snippet of information and positive vibes that will carry you through your week.
First up, is morning mindfulness. There is nothing more important than starting every day with a focused, relaxed mind. If you ever wake up feeling anxious, or just generally want to start your day with a positive mindset then, this 3 minute breathing routine will start you off on the right track.
This breathing exercise was introduced to me by my councillor, it was one of the first mindful techniques I learnt and, I love it. It can be done absolutely anywhere and does not require any equipment, just yourself.
Start your morning with mindfulness
Find a quiet space where you can practise this exercise until, you are comfortable enough to do it anywhere without being distracted. Also, if you have a tight schedule in the mornings then it is best to set your alarm 5 minutes earlier so that this becomes part of your morning routine.
To begin, sit in a comfortable position (I like to sit on the end of the bed with my feet on the floor). There shouldn’t be any discomfort so make sure you find a position suitable to you.
When you are comfortable, close your eyes and start to focus on your breath. Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose. As you breathe in say to yourself in your head, ‘breathing in’ and as you breathe out say to yourself, ‘breathing out’. Saying this helps your mind to focus on the breath, and stops it from wandering.
Once you have done 5 breaths in and out, check in with yourself and notice any changes you might feel within your body. You might notice your shoulders have relaxed or, your jaw is not as stiff. Just notice them and acknowledge these changes.
After paying close attention to the breath, we move on to our thoughts. This is where you need to allow your thoughts to filter in one by one but, not focusing on them or delving deeper into them. Just let them in, acknowledge the thought and how you feel about it, with no judgement and then move onto the next thought.
These thoughts can be anything that pops into your mind, it can be something your feeling anxious about, something your happy about, things you have to do today – absolutely anything. It may take some practising to get your mind to ‘flick’ through these thoughts without pausing at them and thinking deeper, but if that happens do not be hard on yourself just acknowledge it and move on to the next one.
When you have been through a few thoughts that popped up, take your awareness back to your breath and complete the exercise with 3 final breaths. After these breaths, flicker your eyes open slowly and take a look at what is directly in front of you. Say to yourself in your head what you see in front of you – this is to end your practise in the present moment as mindfulness is all about living in the now.
Make sure that once you have finished this exercise, that you talk positively to yourself – tell yourself well done for making time to do the exercise.
I used to do this every single day until my anxiety started to ease off, I still go back to it whenever I feel it creeping up but I can bring my attention to my breath a lot easier now. Mindfulness becomes a way of life when it is practised regularly, it is a game changer for sure.
If you practise this morning routine, please let me know what you think and how you got on – I would love to know.
Subscribe below to join me next Sunday for some more positive vibes.
Love, Dans x