When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reasons to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. – Tecumseh
The habits that we establish in the morning – positive or negative – often set the tone for the rest of our day. If we create and practice, without exception, good morning habits than the odds of having a good day tilt strongly in our favor. In contrast, negative morning habits often manifest into having a sub-par day. A good night’s sleep is paramount in many ways to the quality of our day, but it is only one part of the equation. Upon awakening, our morning habits are arguably just as important as quality rest. Both quality sleep and good habits are signs of self-care; thus allowing us to put forth our best selves in every endeavor that we undertake.
In this article, we’ll discuss six morning habits that will help ensure positive energy – and numerous other benefits – throughout our waking hours. Let’s get to it!
Here are six ways to improve your “morning hygiene” and get your day kick started:
1. Forget the smartphone for a bit
Instead, create and update a journal containing all of your dreams, goals, and ambitions. Have a sudden breakthrough during sleep or upon awakening? Write them down in your journal.
Keep this journal near your bed and read some of its contents. This is a powerful practice that will fill your mind with positivity, as opposed to the worrisome feelings and rushing around that so many of us are guilty of in the AM. Taking care of tasks and duties will become much easier if we start off in a positive state of mind.
The practice of meditation is demonstrably positive to our mind state. Scientific studies (some undertaken at Harvard Medical School) indicate that meditation molds our brain into becoming more positive, productive and mindful.
Contrary to popular belief, meditative sessions don’t require sitting still for 30 minutes to an hour (though if you can, great!) Mindful breathing, the practice of focusing on one’s deep breathing and other related physical and mental stimuli, can be effective in 5, 10, or 15-minute increments. As one becomes more accustomed to the practice – and realizes its myriad of benefits – meditation will become a “must do” in the morning hours.
3. Practice visualization
Similar to meditative practices, tangible benefits have been seen in individuals that practice visualization. Visualization is simply forming a mental image of something; in this case, how you ideally perceive your day going.
For example, prior to commuting to work, picture the route you’ll take; the interactions you’ll have; the tasks you’ll complete; what you want to feel like throughout the day. This practice is a powerful way to get through the many demands placed upon us by society – and in a relaxed, positive way.
4. Have a warm drink ritual
Number four is a habit which aims to bring feelings of nourishment and focus to the surface. It doesn’t necessarily matter which beverage of choice you consume, though it may be good once in a while to swap coffee for tea or warm lemon water. The latter stimulates your metabolism, cleanses the mouth and throat, and provides a nice energy boost.
As your sip your war, beverage, savor the taste in your mouth and its effect on your body as you swallow. Focus mindfully on any physical changes you experience after each sip.
5. Have good bed posture
Most people dread waking up and facing the day ahead. As such, getting out of bed is often undertaken with mindlessness – a seemingly small deal, but this has implications.
A great, easy ritual is to establish an upright posture when getting out of bed. To do this, roll over on your right side, then push upwards into a sitting position. Slowly rotate your body, place your feet flat on the floor, and slowly stand up with a straight back.
Not only is this the gentlest way to get up, but it also relieves the pressure on your heart and back. A simple habit that will get your day started off right!
6. Eat a quality, well-balanced breakfast
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is an entirely valid axiom that is ignored by many. Breakfast serves as fuel for our entire body and improves our energy, mood, and productiveness.
There are plenty of easy recipes available online that you can use. Or, if you’re in a rush, just microwave up some oatmeal, fry an egg, or eat some whole-grain toast with a bit of jam or butter.
Similar to the warm drink ritual, practice eating your breakfast with mindfulness and gratitude. Take the time to sit comfortably, and notice the flavors on your taste buds as you slowly chew the food.