Everyone is looking for ways to increase their productivity, feel more confident and just feel a greater sense of happiness on an everyday basis. One of the real secrets and one of my favorites to making this all happen for you is by establishing a morning ritual. The saying is by winning the morning, you will win the day.
The first moments after you wake up can determine how your whole day will go. If you tend to wake up with feelings of stress, negativity or just plain tired, then chances are you won’t be enjoying the rest of your day. If you believe this to be how you start most of your days, you’re not alone. It is hard to believe but most people tend to start their day feeling negative. They will start their day trying to react to everything they feel they haven’t accomplished. Or that to do list is running through your head first thing! Or your first thoughts might be what you forgot to do the day before. You can feel sluggish until you get that caffeine boost from one or two (or more) cups of coffee. In order to feel a change, you need to make a decision. It is good to take a few moments when you first wake up and think positive thoughts like – What do I get to do today for the sheer joy of it? What do I have to be truly grateful for? Or what is the best thing that happened yesterday? I thought I would share with you seven simple rituals that we all can do and will help give you that energy you need for every day.
Make Time for Gratitude: I recently blogged about showing gratitude and asking yourself on a regular basis “what are you grateful for?” This one question can leave a great impression on your entire day and the earlier you ask the question, the better your day will be. Taking the time to write down and think about the things that you are grateful for can provide you with that positive attitude to help you tackle your day. How we choose to view things sets the tone. You could keep a gratitude journal on your nightstand and whether you take a moment at the end of the night or first thing in the morning to write down what you are grateful for – either way, you will feel lighter for it!
Drink Water: Keeping yourself hydrated goes a long way to taking care of your body. When you wake up, your body is dehydrated and needs water. During that first hour of waking up, try to drink good old fashioned water! Drinking water will help your body wake up and you will feel more invigorated. Who knows? You may not even need to rely on coffee anymore or not as much.
Get Up, Get Moving: Nothing will start to get the blood flowing like physical activity. Emotions are connected to how we use our bodies which makes it even more important that we use it to prepare for the day every morning. Do some stretching or yoga or go for a walk first thing in the morning to wake your body up and provide you with the energy for a more productive day. All of those types of exercise have the added benefit of being meditative too.
Feed Your Mind: What do most people read in the morning? The newspaper. Unfortunately, most of the news that we read or watch on television is negative and this can affect your mood. I often take news fast. It is embarrassing sometimes because I may not know to the minute the biggest and latest news, but I feel more grounded and happier for it. Instead of the news or the newspaper, try to read something full of positivity or encouraging. Read pages from a book you enjoy, watch videos that can help give you the inspiration you need. This positivity that you can do in just a few minutes can carry on throughout your day.
Feed Your Body: Feeding your mind is part of it, but you can’t forget about feeding your body. Make sure to give your body what it needs. Everyday, we are shown ads with messages about healthy breakfasts but most of us are opting to choose “healthy” versions of foods that are bad for us instead of selecting healthy options that are actually good for us. What we put into our bodies helps determine what we get out of them. Instead of a doughnut or frozen waffles, why not go for a vegetarian omelet or a vitamin packed protein shake?
Plan Your Day: The majority of us will start each day without a plan or even a sense of direction that our day will take so we spend it reacting to things that come up. Instead, plan and write out, what you’re looking to accomplish for the day. Not a laundry list of to-do’s but the top 3 or 4 things you want to get done that day. Writing it down will help your brain focus on the tasks for the day and increase the chance that you’ll be able to cross them all off your list. If you will just take a few minutes to plan out your day, you will see an increase in productivity – which makes us more content too.
Smile: Last, but certainly not least, this is just as simple it sounds. Smiling every morning can have a great impact on your mood because smiling will help send signals to your brain and release chemicals that will give you the feeling of happiness. Smiling helps you appreciate each day and helps get your day off on the right foot. My husband knows the value of this – he smiles all the time! He has serious smile lines that he says he has worked hard to get. Just about everyone loves to be greeted with a smile.
Hope you start to use even just a few of these. Or maybe you already do most of these but there is one or two you want to add. The benefits to your day are tremendous. By using just a few, you will notice an increase in your energy, your productivity and just feel happier! People around you will also notice a change. You’ll start to feel less stressed and more relaxed. Here’s to better mornings and more fun throughout the day because of a great start to the day!