By Paul Lenda
You just woke up and are ready to get out of your bed and start your day. But wait! Let’s bring some mindfulness into life from the moment we get lucid. I recently saw a list floating around of five things you should do before getting out of bed, and a chain of events led me to putting them into words to share with others. These five things can be looked at as life hacks because they’re so simple and easy to add to our daily routine yet so effective that it begs the question why we weren’t doing them before. You’ll soon discover that they will elevate your state of mind and make you feel like you’re going to be successful at whatever you set out to do. The first step towards accomplishing something is having the intent to accomplish something. These five things will help you do just that.
1. Express gratitude
Every new day leads to a new way to say “thank you” for being alive. Everything we experience and are capable of experiencing on this blue marble in this universal arena is something to be grateful for. Contemplate the fact that something rather than nothing exists and that within that something we exist and experience such an amazing reality. There is always something to be grateful for, we simply need to look around us and within us. Through continued gratitude we cannot help but feel an explosive volcanic eruption of bliss to be so fortunate as to have what we have.
Don’t get hung up on what you don’t have, because that will lead you to disappointment and suffering. Our life situation may never be ideal in our eyes but at any point on our life paths we can stop and be mindful of what we appreciate about our lives. Feeling like it’s difficult to find something to be grateful for? You can always get down to the basics… “Thank you for this breath that gives me life”. Say it or feel it, it doesn’t matter how you express gratitude, as long as the conscious intention is there.
2. Set your intentions for the day
Treat your thoughts as if they were spells of magic, replicating in the real world from the garden of your mind. Our thoughts are what shape the reality we personally experience. If we intend for something to happen, either to our state of mind or our life situation, we usually make it happen. If we want to be happy, we do what we know has brought us happiness before or what we feel will make us happy. If we want to get out of a physically or emotionally toxic environment, we initiate plans to move or relocate somewhere else. Without that initial energy to move things towards a new direction, our situation won’t be moved towards a change.
Most of us have to get up for work on a regular basis which leads to going through the motions of getting out of bed, getting ready and going to work. Before we do any of that we can affirm, either in the form of saying aloud or writing down, what we intend for the day or wish to get done. This could be something specific like set the intention to go grocery shopping, or something broader, such as intending to not say anything hurtful to anyone we interact with that day.
3. Take five long deep breaths in & out
Breathing is what keeps us alive. If we stopped breathing, our hearts would stop beating and we wouldn’t live to see a new day. Breath is incredibly powerful and can take us into transcendental states of consciousness where we become masters of our inner fire. All too often we baseline to shallow breathing which may sustain our lives but will not optimize them. Get up to the next level. Breathe in and breathe out deeply for as long as is comfortable… s l o w l y. You should feel your stress and tension melt away like butter on a hot day. If you want to enhance your breathing, get some essential oils like eucalyptus to keep beside your bed and take deep whiffs. Start your day off feeling refreshed.
4. Smile for no reason — just flex the muscle
Smiling is one of the best free life hacks we have. You know how difficult it is to stay angry or not feel better when smiling. All that serotonin and all those endorphins flooding your brain chemically cure melancholia. The pronoia sets in and you get off to a great start for the new day. Smiling has been shown to reduce stress, reduce blood pressure and boost the immune system which is all the more reason to do it after leaving Dreamland. Smile and get elevated.
5. Forgive yourself for yesterday’s mistakes
Can anybody say they lead a “perfect” life? Hardly. We all make mistakes… actions or reactions we come to later regret because we feel it would have been better if we didn’t do them. Forgiveness benefits you more than anyone else. Through forgiveness, we stop holding on to the cause of our suffering and let it go. Acknowledge that you made a mistake and while you can’t change the past, you can create a new present.
Everything is in a constant state of change… it’s the only constant in existence. We change all the time whether we realize it or not. We are not the same person we were yesterday, a year ago, or a decade ago. We shouldn’t forevermore hold something against ourselves since that will only create more suffering. We have all suffered enough for one reason or another. Let’s not add any unnecessary suffering to our lives. Look at your shadows, acknowledge their transient nature and let them go.
Originally published at Wisdompills