Little did most of us realise that how we make ourselves feel when we wake up and the first things we do in the morning could make all the difference in how we face and accomplish our tasks for the rest of the day. When we wake up grumpy and anxious, we tend to drag on with this mood for the entire day – and most of the time, we don’t even notice it.
As soon as we open our eyes, we have this tendency to immediately flood our minds with every single possible thing that could happen during the day. You might already be in that 9 AM office meeting before you’ve even stepped out of your bedroom. Or maybe you’re already starting on that report (out of the long list of tasks) while you’re still in the shower.
It seems that pausing for a few minutes in the morning to give ourselves some time is almost impossible. But the busyness that awaits us is exactly the reason why morning rituals are beneficial if you want to have a fulfilling and happier day. Simply put, morning rituals help you start the day right.
- Let go of the snooze
If only the ability to locate and reach for that clock with eyes closed and being able to hit the snooze button one second after the alarm goes off can count as a special power, then the majority of us can claim that, in fact, we do have special powers. However, repeatedly hitting the snooze button is just another way of retreating from the day before it even begins. And that’s not exactly the kind of attitude that you’d want to have if you’re aiming for a productive day.
Most of us can’t even take the time to greet ourselves good morning because as soon as we hear the alarm, something in our head screams “OH. I have to get up. AGAIN”.
Practising to let go of that snooze button and developing a positive attitude toward waking up every morning seems to be more challenging than trying skydiving for the first time. But when you begin to ease into it, you will learn that being able to get up without smashing your alarm clock helps develop self-control and self-discipline – two traits that are important if you want a day with less stress and worries.
What better way to energise and wake your muscles and nerves than doing some stretching after you wake up? As soon as you get out of bed, get moving! Stretching and doing yoga for a few minutes can improve blood circulation; it pumps up your energy, making you more ready for the day ahead.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be a vigorous workout – you just need to flex those muscles to set your body in tune for a fantastic day.
Most of us have a really hard time feeling great in the morning because our minds are too preoccupied with cluttered thoughts. It would help that we clear out our thoughts and give our minds a break from any worries of what had happened yesterday and what can happen today.
Think of every morning as a new, blank page, which means your mind must also have a free space for another beginning. It will relieve you of any unnecessary thoughts and worries that are taking you away from the moment that you are in.
When you’re just starting, meditation can be a tad challenging. What you can do is find a place or a little corner (whether indoor or outdoor) where you can be away from distractions. Gradually, when you get used to these meditation and mindfulness techniques, you’ll get to improve your focus.
- Write a Journal
Do you have anything that you want to share? Any thoughts and ideas you want to keep track of? Memories and experiences that you want to talk about, but not with anyone in particular? Then a journal can be your best friend. Expressing ourselves to others is not something that comes easy for many of us, which is why being able to write it down can be a great way to ‘talk it out’.
Writing down your emotions and thoughts is a way to unload yourself of your concerns and allows you to appreciate the great things and wonderful people in your life. Not only will this clear your mind; you’ll also have the opportunity to weigh which things really make you happy and which ones really matter to you.
- Set Your Top 3 Goals for the Day
One of the reasons we get too stressed out just thinking about the day ahead is that we feel we have too many things to do with too little time. To overcome this, think about and write down the 3 most important things you want to achieve for the day. Do not burden yourself by making a long list – just limit it to three milestones for that day.
By doing this, you acknowledge that you can’t do everything at once and you won’t be spreading yourself too thin. Instead, you get to figure out your priorities and perform at your best in achieving these three goals. Sticking to this list leads to more focus and less disappointments.
Have a go at getting up a bit earlier each day to do one or all of the 5 morning power habits above to see what impact it has on the quality of your day. You’ll be amazed at how setting the tone for the day in advance can give you the energetic lift you may have been looking for.
Michael is a best-selling meditation and personal development author of Master Your Mindspace, which is a revolutionary fitness book for the mind. His books, seminars and online courses have touched the hearts and changed the lives of thousands of people seeking more happiness, health and fulfilment. Recently, he launched Mindspace.Club home to his Meditation Made Simple Program, where you can change your life in just 5-minutes a day. Find out more: Mindspace Club or check out Michael’s website