The way you spend your morning can add a certain flavor to the rest of your day. This includes what you focus on mentally and emotionally, and what you do physically. When things immediately start out feeling stressful or draining, you can experience a "downward spiral" of negative events and stressful responses. Conversely, if you start off your day from a place of feeling centered, you are better able to handle what comes to you throughout the day and enjoy your day to a fuller extent.
When you think about your morning routine, what do you focus on that nourishes you? Are you doing things in the morning that make you feel like the best version of yourself?
Here are some healthy lifestyle habits to consider incorporating into your morning routine that can positiively influence you mentally, emotionally, and physically. Try one or several, and experiment until you find what suits you.
Say Your Affirmations
"I am worthy." "I am enough." "I trust myself." "I am joyful to receive surprise money." These are some of the affirmations I wake up and say to myself, and this definitely points my thoughts in a great direction. I believe in speaking what I want into existence because the universe is always listening!
Also, mindset is everything! Be intentional with your thoughts and you will attract anything your heart desires, but this begins with the way you express yourself. If you complain a lot, you will attract more things in life to complain about. The energy you put out there will come back to you for so many things -- gossiping, criticism, body hate, and the list goes on. Integrity is important, and where attention goes, energy flows. If you want to change your life for the better, check your dialogue.
When you wake up in the morning, what are your first thoughts? Spend your energy wisely and rise above it. This is game-changing when you become aware of how you communicate in your inner dialogue.
Play Music You Love
Music therapy has been shown to reduce stress and have a positive effect on health. But you don't need a therapist to enjoy some of the benefits music has to offer. Listening to music as you get ready and start your day will create positive energy and a soothing sense of peace (or a sense of fun, if you play party music). Music can compliment other healthy lifestyle habits, adding a sense of peace to a yoga workout, putting a spring in your step on a morning walk, or stimulating your mind as you write in your journal.
Relax in the Shower
Many of us shower in the morning, though we often rush through it because we need to get on with our day. Why not take a few extra minutes and get into the right frame of mind? As you let the warm water loosen your muscles, think about the possibilities that lie ahead, think about what you have to be grateful for in life, and remember this serene feeling. When you encounter challenges through the day, just think back to this relaxed feeling, and you may be able to approach your stressors from a more centered place.
Eat a Balanced Breakfast
For those of you who start the day with a coffee and bagel (or some other high carb, processed food) read this! Breakfast is known as ‘the most important meal of the day’ for a very good reason: a healthy meal in the morning can balance your blood sugar levels and give you the sustenance you need to handle physical and mental stress. Without it, you will be less resilient, both physically and mentally. Be sure to have plenty of protein, fiber, and healthy fat, not just caffeine and empty calories!
Drink Matcha Tea
Sipping a warm cup of matcha tea is a soothing activity that will help you prepare for the day ahead and feel nurtured. Matcha is Japanese green tea leaves that have been finely ground into a powder. Its vivid green color comes from chlorophyll, a powerful detoxifier. Sipping matcha delivers a mega-dose of antioxidants — 137x more than regular brewed green tea. One unique antioxidant, EGCg provides potent free-radical fighting properties.
The amino acid L-theanine + caffeine will leave you in a state of relaxed alertness without the jitters. You’ll have an uncanny ability to focus and be productive.
Write in Your Journal
Journaling has many health and stress management benefits, and can also lead to increased self-awareness. Take a few minutes to reflect on what you enjoyed about the day before, focus on what you hope to achieve in the day ahead, or just write about what you are grateful for right now. Writing once a day can help you feel focused, process negative emotions, and solve problems.
Walking has so many health benefits, the stress management benefits are practically just gravy! A morning walk can get you ready for your day, help yousleep better at night, lower your stress level, and reduce your risk of numerous health conditions. And if you bring a dog with you, you’ll be lavished with attention as well!
This is my personal favorite way to find my inner peace and start my day. For a healthy body and peaceful mind, few activities give as much ‘bang for your buck’ as yoga. Combining all the goodness of several stress management techniques, such as diaphragmic breathing, meditation, stretching, and more, yoga provides some of the best stress management and health benefits you can find in a single technique.