4 Step Formula for a Morning Meditation Practice
One of the most important things I teach is something called Mind Setting. It is powerful. In fact with most people that I work with, it is one of the top things that they’re lacking. Often people are deficient in how they do a mindset practice. Mind Setting is a form of meditation. I believe it’s a little easier. It’s a four step formula I’ve found to be very, very effective. And most of these elements are taught by some of the top coaches out there for the mind. So let’s get right into it.
So the first thing you have to do every morning is breath work. Most of us are stuck in a sympathetic dominant posture. We habitually breathe with our shoulders elevated, we breathe with our neck or chest elevated. We have to get out of that. So number one is breathe, but with shoulders down and with your belly first. So expand that belly first and then allow the chest to expand, think of breathing more laterally, kind of front to back instead of just up and down. Breathe with the shoulders down and get at least 10 reps of really good deep breathing in and just really start to get that calm feeling. Ideally somewhere around four seconds, inhale, eight seconds exhale- that would be awesome. So that’s step one. But you can do 20-30 reps of that breathing if you’d like- feel free to keep rolling with if it feels good.
Step two, is gratitude. There’s so much research showing gratitude is incredible for you. It can’t be overstated. You have to have gratitude. It’s powerful – find a way to be in deep sincere gratitude. Put aside unhappiness and grumpiness for a moment. Because you can’t be in true gratitude unless those feelings and those emotions are put aside for a little bit. So it’s powerful. It displaces that instantly so the key is though, no matter how bad you feel, (and I’ve been through a lot of chronic health problems myself, I understand), no matter how bad you feel, find a way to be grateful for something in your life. There is something there that’s light. You have to find it, even though you feel like it’s all dark. Once you start finding things to be grateful for you’ll find it easier and easier to practice gratitude. There’s literally studies done on just exactly that- gratitude has a huge placebo effect, just your mind saying you know what, things aren’t so bad after all, and there’s some good, this is good in my life. That’s good. I forgot about that thing. You can raise a lot of your incredible healing properties by practicing gratitude. That’s step two.
Step three is prayer. You don’t have to be religious at all. I just want you to just start to get into some kind of prayer. And again, this is more spiritual prayer than religious prayer. You can make it religious if that’s your practice, but if not try sending positive energy to others who need it. I do want you to be spiritual. You know what the best type of prayer is, is also the hardest? That’s praying for those in your life, that you have conflict with those that have done you wrong, those that you maybe hold some resentment for, for those that are, you know, just really irritating to work with or maybe a family member. You can’t do anything about it, but they just get on your nerves every time you see them. Those people are challenging. I get that, but that’s the people you have to pray for. Not only do they need it, right, there’s a reason that they may irritate those in their life. They need help. Now once you look at that with empathy, look at them and how they lash out at people how they deflect their energy out and others negatively-they’re hurting. They’re probably in some crisis that you don’t know about. So I’m not saying it’s okay to be like that. I’m not saying that. If they’re really toxic, get away from that person. I am saying though, pray for them, that it starts the process of healing for you. Because remember, they don’t care about you and your healing, even though they might be a loved one. They got their own agenda and you have to heal yourself. So I want you to pray for them. Let go of them. There are many other things we could do with this situation, but a simple step is to at least work on sending that positive energy- it’s going to be powerful.
And then the fourth step is a micro goal. How do we get to larger goals like let’s say you have depression or anxiety? You want to conquer those? That’s a big goal. That’s not something we can just flip a switch and do it next week. Right? If we chunk that down into tiny little pieces, we can make progress on large goals. Health goals are made up of behaviors. So, healing your body is an outcome. You can’t just flip a switch and just boom, you’re there. You have to create behavior. So step four, is to create a single behavior for that day that you know you can do in one day, something that’s simple, easy, doesn’t take a lot of stress and doesn’t take a lot of time. Make sure you set that goal at the end of your mind setting. It’s so important because the worst lies are those that we tell ourselves, believe or not. So we open the loop with that goal in the morning or whenever you do your mind setting and we close it by following through with that task and actually checking it off. And your subconscious mind says, well, thank you, you know, you can do this, right? It really is a huge confidence boost to your subconscious programming. And you do this every day. Imagine, 180, 360 days of these tiny little goals- you’d be so much further ahead in your life or whatever big goal that you’re setting out for.
So work on his mind setting practice! Start with breath work, followed by gratitude, prayer, and a micro goal. Work on that and let me know how it goes.
Dr. Jason McCammon
Naturopathic Doctor in Lansing, Mi