How you begin your day can change your life
Starting the day with a great morning routine can change the feel of everything that follows. Healthy morning habits can prevent hormone spikes, increase your ability to handle stressful events, improve your digestion and make you feel empowered in life.
Here are 7 ideas on how to start your day out right:
Wake up without the internet
It’s been widely acknowledged that the stream of stressful information we see on social media can cause contribute to anxiety and feeling overwhelmed, and is a bad way to start your morning. Jumping immediately into other people’s lives and opinions, when your brain isn’t all the way on, can set you up for a stress response. A jolt of adrenaline as you view a crisis unfolding is the opposite of a calm wake-up routine.
So in the mornings, wake up without your phone and computer. Give yourself time to adjust to the small world around you before tuning into the rest of the world out there.
Light and grounding
Natural light is also an important factor in both falling asleep and waking up. The sleep hormone melatonin is released as the light wanes and cortisol is at its highest in the morning. If you have curtains, sweep them open and stand in the light for a moment. If you wake up and it’s still dark outside, choose a soft light that mimics morning sun.
If possible, step outside for a quick moment each morning and put your feet in the grass. Grounding, or contact between human skin and the earth, has been shown to reduce inflammation and increase the immune response, lowering stress. The Journal of Inflammation study cites many studies all showing that grounding has tangible physical benefits, such as increased wound healing and pain reduction. What better way to start your day than this boost to your body and mood?
Drink a big glass of water
Some people engage in intermittent fasting – an eating plan that’s grown in popularity – and skip breakfast. Or maybe you’ve simply never been a breakfast person. That’s fine – but drinking a glass of water should still be on your morning to-do list. This is a wake-up call to your digestion and your gut, which is directly connected to your brain. In order to get all systems going, you want your metabolism revving. A glass of water also helps ensure you aren’t getting mildly dehydrated, which can fog your thinking and energy.
Move a little
Simply shuffling around your house in a haze can also leave you foggy as you head off to work. To wake up your brain and body, some real motion is required. Yoga-lovers can toss out their mats and warm up with a few poses. To really get the blood pumping, you can try some high-intensity jumping jacks. A few minutes of gentle stretches works, too, to connect you to your body and alert the brain that it’s time to get thinking.
Smell something wonderful
Maybe you have an essential oil infuser, and can start it each morning inhaling the fumes of peppermint or ylang-ylang oils. You can also use natural perfume with a cheerful scent to alert your brain that it’s time for the day to begin.
Your sense of smell is powerful. Using a scent each morning can create a happy association with waking up and starting the day off right. If coffee brewing in the kitchen is your happy-morning smell, that works too. It’s also a great fuel with antioxidants and caffeine, as long as you don’t overdo it.
Say a positive affirmation
Science shows that positive affirmations have the power to change your brain’s perception of reality. Taking even a minute each morning to chant or simply speak your chosen affirmation out loud is a productive and effective way to start your day. It sets a tone you can return to throughout the day when things grow hectic or stressful. By placing the affirmation as your signpost, when negative thoughts are triggered, you have a guide to take you back to that positive beginning.
Do a brief meditation
Similar to the benefits of affirmations, meditation can focus your brain on positivity – or clear it of negativity – before beginning your day. Start your morning with five or 10 minutes of deep breathing and relaxing into a more peaceful state. Taking the time to be more mindful about your intentions each day can improve the quality of your life.
To start your mornings off by focusing on the positive, try this “Empowerment Meditation.”
Remember, the first few minutes of your morning are the most important and can set the tone for a positive and productive day.