Did you know, how you start your day has a tremendous impact on our day? So why not feel amazing! Think about this. Doesn’t making love in the morning make the rest of the day better?
What do you do when you first wake up in the morning?
- Do you jump out of bed ready to seize the day?
- Do you reach for your phone to find out what you missed on social media or maybe even your work calendar?
- Do you press the snooze button 3X times…reluctantly getting out of bed?
Let’s be honest, even pre-COVID, waking up positive and ready to seize the day may have been a challenge. Since the pandemic I would argue it has even gotten more challenging; all the additional challenges and uncertainty we face daily.
While there are factors throughout the day that we cannot control, we do have influence over how we start each day.
It wasn’t that long ago I was that person who would wake up in the morning with visions of my “to do” list dancing in my head. Feeling tension in my body before I even got out of bed. Wondering how I would balance all of life’s responsibilities: kids, work, pets, friends, partner. Some mornings I would almost want to scream. Do you ever feel this way? Or maybe you awaken with a headache or upset stomach wondering whether to call in sick.
Honestly, it was almost debilitating for me. Around 7 years ago I discovered a video titled, The 6 Phase Guided Meditation by Vishen Lakhiani. From this practice I began to feel happier and more optimistic; my overall mental health improved. Our mental health and well-being is essential to living our life with purpose and joy.
Since that time, I have continued to explore healthy sustainable habits, that work for me. Maybe I should call them “no excuse” habits since they take very little time and cost nothing.
Below are a few of those habits, and at the bottom of this article I have added supporting research links.
Here are the 3 uber simple, yet powerful no excuse” morning habits that changed my life; I hope they inspire you.
- FEEL GRATITUDE: It literally takes no time but has huge benefits to your day and mindset. I know these are tough times. But starting the day with a feeling of gratitude has a tremendously positive impact on our day. It could be as simply feeling excited about a hot cup of your favorite coffee. The key is feeling grateful for something you want more of. Be thankful for all the people who surround you and love you.
- BREATH (Belly Breathing): Let’s be honest here, we can all have mornings where we wake up already feeling stressed and anxious of the day. That is way conscious breathing is powerful when we wake up. This provides your body with oxygen which is essential for life. Simply start by placing one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest and slowly inhale to a count of 4 and exhale. Repeat for 30 to 60 seconds. ,
- I AM…affirmation: The 2 most powerful words are “I AM” because the words you say after that impacts your emotional state. Positive affirmations are powerful because they release you from negativity, fear, worry, and anxiety. But to work you must also have the EMOTION! What I suggest is that you reflect on your day and determine how you want to feel and think about yourself. While reflecting on it try to feel the associated emotion! Feel CONFIDENT, LOVING, JOYFUL. Negative, disempowering thoughts can not help but create struggle and challenges.
These 3 habits can be practiced separately but I suggest once your are comfortable with each habit to combine them. Personally combining my breath with the I AM affirmation is amazing. While inhaling I think to myself “I Am” and as I exhale I reflect on the answer. Do this with a smile…very powerful.
Do you have any of the above habits? Truth is each has tremendous value throughout the day…both when life is going smoothly and when challenged. Tried of all the zoom meetings…use your breathe to regain focus. Nervous about an upcoming meeting/conversation…practice an empowering affirmation. Someone does something nice for you or maybe you even really enjoy playing with your children, reflect in gratitude.
I challenge you to practice each of these mindset hacks for 1 week…I guarantee that you will feel more energized, focused and optimistic! No more snooze alarm (well maybe 1), no more checking phone and no more stressful thoughts for the first 5 to 10 minutes of your day. Having a healthy mind is essential not just for your health but your LIFE! Starting our day with a positive mindset provides the foundation.
To quote Ralph Smart from Infinite Waters:
“BREATHING IN THAT GOOD ASS PRANA…FEELS SO GOOD TO BE A LIVE, BABY”.
Which of the above morning habits to you already include in your daily routine? If you have any habits you find beneficial and empowering I would love for you to share them.
All feedback is greatly appreciated and encouraged. This is the first in a series of simple, yet effective habits that can help us navigate these challenging times more effectively and with more positivity and joy!
Nancy Rozina is a certified personal trainer and health coach with a mission to empower those she reaches to recognize their inner strength and power, mentally, physically and spiritually so that they can be healthy and joyful!
References for more information related to the above suggestions.
- Lakhiani, Vishen, 6 Phase Meditation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeQfRtiY-ZM.
- Morin, Amy (2015, April 3) 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude You’ll be grateful that you made the change (and you’ll sleep better). https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201504/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude?eml
- Phelame, Salome (2020, Feb. 20) Wake up happy and energised with this 5-minute morning breathing exercise: Learn how to do belly breathing https://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/belly-breathing-wake-up-happy-and-energised-with-this-5-minute-morning-breathing-exercise/555610
- Hampton, Debbie (2019, Dec 22) The Neuroscience of How Affirmations Help Your Mental Health https://thebestbrainpossible.com/affirmations-brain-depression-anxiety/