When was the last time you noticed the first thing you thought of when you woke up? You may never have deliberately paid attention to what your mind and body does on waking, and if you do it’s probably only because you can’t avoid it. Like a hangover, or just waking up “feeling terrible.”
So often I hear people say to me, they just “woke up feeling anxious.” I believe them, and I also think what a terrible way to start the day.
Mindfulness skills can help.
The trick is to just learn to pay attention calmly and compassionately to what your mind does when you first wake up, and to use that as information as to how to best approach the day. It sort of sets us up in a positive way rather than just launching into whatever we think and feel and letting that define how our day will run.
So here’s the task:
When you wake up, try and lie there and just pay attention to what you think and feel. Slowly, move to sitting up on the edge of the bed, feel flat on the floor, back straight and eyes either closed or with a loose focus on a spot on the floor. And just pay attention to your breathing. If your mind wanders bring the attention back to the breath. Do this for just one minute. Use a timer on your phone, or your bedside clock if you have one.
After one minute, just pause and try and use some non-judgemental words to describe your experience: “I feel tired/ happy/ relaxed/ well rested/ sore etc…”
And then start your day. Do it for a week and let me know how you get on. I’d love to hear about your experiences.
All the best, Kyle