09/13/2013 04:48 pm ET Updated Nov 13, 2013

Start Your Day In The Mindfulness Zone

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive -- to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." -- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

From the second we open our eyes in the morning, we have an opportunity to set the tone of our entire day mindfully, but most of us wake up and get out of bed in a hurry to do something or get somewhere.

How we wake up and get out of bed really does determine how the rest of our day will go, and if we can take just a few minutes to connect to a "mindfulness zone," everything we do from that moment onward will be with more awareness and keep us in the present.

Here are some tips to start your day in the "M" zone:

1. When you open your eyes acknowledge you're alive.
2. If you're in bed with a loved one, appreciate the gift of them in your life.
3. Follow your breath in and out for a few seconds and connect to your heart.
4. Think of something you are grateful or thankful for.
5. Get out of bed and start your ritual of getting ready for the day.
6. Be present with everything you do from making your coffee to brushing your teeth.
7. Put on some music that inspires you and listen to it while you're showering. One of my personal favorites is Krishna Das "Heart as Wide as the World," but maybe you like something with more octane like The Rolling Stones "Start Me Up."
8. Sing in the shower. That's right, belt it out. It will put you in a good mood, I promise, or at least make you laugh.
9. Get dressed with the same awareness of what you're doing.
10. If you have breakfast, eat it quietly without distraction. Really taste your food.
11. If you live with someone or have kids or pets, tell them you love them before you walk out the door.
12. Get into your car, and drive to your destination with the same focus and awareness you felt when you were lying in bed.
13. When you get there, treat the people you're with like you want to be treated.
14. Try and stay in the mindfulness zone for the rest of the day, and if you find yourself slipping away, focus on your breath for a few seconds.

When you start your day in the mindfulness zone, and stay present in all that you do until you're back in bed to go to sleep, your life will feel much richer and more meaningful to you. The small stuff won't matter as much, and your appreciation for the people and things that do matter will deepen.

The mindfulness zone is the place to be.

For more by Ora Nadrich, click here.

For more on mindfulness, click here.

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