“Those 10 minutes really lay down the groundwork for the rest of the day.”
If you painted a picture of your typical morning, what would it look like? For many people, it would be them hitting the snooze button and giving themselves just 10 more precious minutes of shut-eye. For others, it’d show them awake, still snuggled in bed, scrolling through their Instagram feed. For Holly Rilinger, a Nike master trainer, it’s her sitting with her eyes closed, enjoying 10 minutes of calm, serenity, and mindfulness.
“My intention is to meditate every single morning,” says Rilinger. “When I wake up, the first thing that I actually want to do is dive right into my emails, dive right into my Instagram, dive into everything I have to do, but when I take a second, and I sit down and I breathe, it allows me to condition myself to stay focused for the rest of the day.”
Meditation is practice that encourages you to slow down and find relaxation through mindfulness. Not only does meditation have a host of health benefits, including stress relief and even a lower risk of heart disease, it can also be an invaluable reset button for many people’s overbooked and overworked lifestyles. “I wake up in the morning with so much going on. From playlists to my outfits to who I’m training and the meetings I have,” says Rilinger. “Those 10 minutes really lay down the groundwork for the rest of the day for me.”
Meditation may seem intimidating for a newbie, but just remember that it’s an individual practice. There’s no one-size-fits all way to do it, and everyone experiences it differently. As long as you’re relaxed and focused—on anything, whether it’s your breathing, the feel of the wind, or the food you’re eating—you’re meditating. Here’s Holly’s advice on how to start meditating.
And remember, no one’s perfect. Even Holly has trouble getting her meditation on some mornings. “Are there days when I head out the door and I didn’t get it done and I got sucked into my instagram? Yes. But in a perfect world, I wake up every day and I meditate for 10 minutes before I head out the door,” says Rilinger.
If you skipped your morning meditation sesh, no sweat. Get back on track with one of these alternative ways to meditate.
How does stress affect you. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association, 2016. (Accessed on June 25, 2018 at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/StressManagement/HowDoesStressAffectYou/How-Does-Stress-Affect-You_UCM_307985_Article.jsp#.We4SoWhSwdV)
Meditation and heart health. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association, 2017. (Accessed on June 25, 2018 at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/StressManagement/TakeActiontoControlStress/Meditation-and-Heart-Health_UCM_452930_Article.jsp#.We4WH2hSwdV)