How you start your day will affect you levels of happiness and your impact on others. Learn how to craft a morning ritual that will start your day off on the right foot!
by Grace Edmunds
The way you start your day has a significant impact on how the rest of your day will go. You know the saying, “I woke up on the wrong side of the bed”? Creating a morning ritual helps you to start your day with clarity and peace, even if you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed. We can’t fully predict or control how our day will unfold. However, creating a morning ritual can help prepare you mentally to navigate the challenges of the day with ease. It will also help you to appreciate the positive moments with gratitude. Your morning ritual is for you only. It will help you cultivate the strength and resilience to face the world as you go through your day.
First Things First
What is the first thing that you do upon waking up? Do you roll over to turn the alarm off, and then scoop your phone into bed with you so you can check emails or scroll on social media? Though this may be the most tempting thing to do in the morning, it’s not the healthiest option. There is a lot on social media that damages our self-esteem and diminishes our ability to stay positive. If the first thing we do when we awake is start comparing ourselves to others, we will continue our day feeling insignificant and unhappy. Also, if you’re checking emails and you get an unpleasant email from your boss, this can trigger your internal alert system that boosts cortisol and increases stress. Though this may get you right out of bed, it won’t start your day in the positive way. Don’t let other influences dictate how you begin your day. If you can, stay away from going online until you’ve fully woken up and done your morning practices. This doesn’t have to mean a whole hour, it could simply be 5 minutes and it will make a difference!
Move Your Body
If you wake up feeling a bit groggy, like you could easily crawl back into bed, try a few minutes of movement. This can be anywhere from 5 – 45 minutes of a mild movement practice like yoga or it could be a full on HIIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout. See what works for your body the best. Moving your body first thing in the morning will also put you in a better mood by releasing serotonin and dopamine.
Spend Time in Silence
Once you’ve woken up your body and your mind feels alert, try out a meditation. There are many traditions and styles of meditation, but one of my favorites is mindfulness meditation. I enjoy this practice because it is secular with a science-based approach. Mindfulness has been the chosen practice for most of the research studies about meditation. It’s also very simple and a great place to begin would be a breath meditation. You can try using a guided meditation app like Simple Habit. There you can search for a practice and a qualified teacher will guide you through it. It will also log your time so that you can see your progress. Mindfulness meditation in the morning has a multitude of benefits. They include calming your mind, relaxing your nervous system, building resilience, and improving your mood and sense of wellbeing. Sounds pretty good, right?
Write it Out
If you’re a fan of journaling, this can be nice to incorporate in your morning ritual before you engage with the world. This practice can be done before or after meditation, or on its own! There are many different ways to approach a morning journaling. You can try a ‘brain dump’ where you write out everything that is on your mind to clear it before you sit for meditation. Or, perhaps having a prompt would be helpful. Try a different prompt each day and practice ‘stream of consciousness’ journaling. This is where you keep the pen moving on the paper. Even if you run out of things to say you can write, “I have run out of things to say, la la la…” until you think of something else. This style of journaling helps to unlock your subconscious mind and you may even see something appear in your writing that surprises you. Journaling is a helpful practice in self-awareness. It puts your thoughts and inner experience on paper so you can reflect on what is there.
If you want to put your mind into a certain state of being, affirmations are key. Say you ‘woke up on the wrong side of the bed’, if you practice a few affirmations it can help you get out of the funk and get into a more positive way of thinking. You can start by thinking of what quality you would like to bring into your day. If you’d like to be more positive, you could use an affirmation such as, “Today I am radiating positivity and joy.” Or, if you’d like to be more grateful, it could be, “I am grateful for the abundance that surrounds me in every moment.” You can say the affirmations out loud while looking in a mirror, or repeat them internally. Add them to the end of your meditation to supercharge your practice.
Make it Yours
Choose one or all of these suggestions, do it for 5 minutes or if you have the time, make it an hour! Even if you only have a few minutes, spending them intentionally can have a powerful impact on your day. Creating a morning ritual should also be personal, try these suggestions, and change them, add to them, and make them yours. Remember that if you start your day with yourself, cultivating connection and a positive mindset, you can accomplish great things!
Share your Affirmation with the Till Community and help someone else with their morning ritual!