How to Practice Mindfulness During Your Morning Commute
It’ll become the most relaxing part of your day.
The Importance of Being Mindful in the Morning
For better or for worse, the way our mornings unfold have a tendency to impact the rest of our day.
This is why starting your morning with a short mindfulness practice can have such positive lasting effects throughout the day, says Michael Apollo, the director of the University of Toronto’s applied mindfulness meditation program.
According to research conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, health benefits of mindfulness include:
- A stronger immune system
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased attention and focus
- Helps with anxiety and depression
Fortunately, practicing mindfulness for just 15 minutes a day is all you need, according to a 2015 study by Harvard Medical School.
That daily consistency is what’s important, says Apollo. “In those moments when you need peace the most,finding that sense of space and being present is possible,” he says.
Want to add mindfulness into your daily routine?
Try these four simple ways you can practice mindfulness even on the busiest of mornings.
How To Start Your Day Off Mindfully
Start your day off mindfully by asking yourself these four questions as soon as you wake up, says Apollo.
- What am I feeling right now?
- Can I notice any physical sensations?
- What thoughts are present?
- What’s one thing I need most right now from myself?
“Let yourself be OK with how things are right at that moment,” he says. Another portion of mindfulness is being aware of how you can become more compassionate with yourself, which helps you become more compassionate with others, Apollo explains. “This is a type of attitude that really is helpful to cultivate.”
How to Practice Mindfulness When You’re Getting Ready
Whether you’re brushing your teeth, taking a shower or putting on your makeup, practice mindfulness by being fully present in whatever activity you’re doing. “Bring full attention to this every day process,” says Apollo. And when you start to think about other things, very gently invite yourself to come back to that morning activity, he adds.
How to Practice Mindfulness While Drinking Your Morning Coffee
For those chaotic mornings when you’re just overloaded with things to do, allow yourself to be mindful of just one sip of your coffee. “Even if the whole morning is completely lost on you, let yourself that have one sip where you appreciate that moment,” Apollo says.
How to Practice Mindfulness During Your Commute
Your morning commute is the perfect time to practice mindfulness. If you’re driving, bring your full awareness to the sensations and the sounds associated with maneuvering your car, Apollo suggests. If possible, take a different route and ask yourself what you can notice in your new surroundings.
For those taking public transit, take a few moments to close your eyes and listen to what’s going on around you. Or, download an app like Meditation Studio for guided meditations that you can do on the go.