Meditate in the Morning

Photography by: David Roth

Daily meditation works wonders for your health; studies show it can lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and ease stress. It can also improve memory and heighten awareness and compassion, according to a report in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. And you don’t need to spend a lot of time— or carve out any time during your busy day—to do it. Instead, make it part of your a.m. routine after hitting the snooze button.

“Morning, as soon as you wake, is the best time to meditate,” says Victor Davich, author of 8 Minute Meditation (Perigee Trade) and 8 Minute Meditation for Stress Reduction (Simply8 Press). “It’s usually the quietest time of day, and also a time when your mind is just coming out of the dream state, which can leave you a little foggy and confused. Meditation is a great way to get clearer and can certainly start your day in a positive light.” And it can be accomplished in just a few minutes. Here’s how to do it:

1 » Press the 10-minute snooze button, then get out of bed and sit on the edge of a chair with your feet on the floor; be comfortable, yet alert and aware of your body.

2 » Allow your eyes to gently close and take a long, deep inhalation; imagine it sweeping up your worries, hopes and dreams. Hold for a moment, then gently sigh it out. Take another deep breath and release any remaining tension as you exhale.

3 » Begin to breathe normally, without trying to control your breath in any way. Notice where the sensation of breathing is most pronounced. It may be your chest, diaphragm or nostrils. With your attention on this anchor point, observe the rise and fall of the breath and how it feels.

4 » Try to follow with one full in-and-out cycle of breath. Then another. When thoughts or emotions arise, simply notice them and gently return your attention to your anchor point. Continue to observe the natural cycle of breath until your alarm sounds again.