Use Your Snooze Alarm To Practice Morning Mindfulness

The next time your morning alarm goes off, use your nine minutes of snooze time to stretch, check in with yourself, and reflect on what you hope to get out of the day.

I’ve written about the value of a “morning brain dump” before, in which you use the first part of your morning to capture any insights that your mind might have generated during those all-important sleep cycles. If you’re having trouble turning that kind of morning reflection into a habit, the answer might be built into your phone, smartwatch, or (if you still use one) actual alarm clock.

Inc recently published a list of 22 simple daily habits that can improve our lives, including a tip from author and leadership expert Anese Cavanaugh—who advises us to set aside a specific amount of time every morning to practice mindfulness, and to use the snooze function on our alarms to ensure we get that time.

Here’s what Cavanaugh suggests we do during those all-important nine minutes:

First, check in with your body (how you’re feeling, what you need, what parts may need extra TLC today, if you want or need to exercise, or if you want or need rest). Then, your mind: how you feel about that issue you were trying to figure out yesterday, the solution that you were just on the edge of resolving but couldn’t quite get there yet (sleep does wonders for problem solving), what you want to create today, and any other first thoughts that come in the morning. And finally, your heart and spirit: what your emotions are today, how your heart is, and where you might need a bit extra care or nourishment… It is during this time that I often find solutions to problems I couldn’t get to previously, where I find out how I really feel about something, and when my intuition is the strongest.

I agree that morning often provides a fresh perspective on whatever I’d been perseverating on the night before, especially if I slept particularly well. It’s also a good idea to take at least a few minutes to mentally and physically prepare for the day ahead, instead of grabbing your phone and checking your email—or, as many of us do these days, your sleep score.

So go ahead and hit snooze, and then use that time to stretch, reflect, connect with your partner, jot down any insights your brain might have come up with overnight, and so on.

You might find the practice even more refreshing than a nine-minute nap.


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