The way that you start your morning, as soon as you wake up, can set the tone for your entire day. Let’s face it: many of us often wake up groggy, cranky and wishing for nothing more than ten more minutes of shut-eye. Unless we are naturally morning people, getting up on the right side of the bed may be a big challenge.
However, there are several things we can do to give ourselves the best start possible. Starting tomorrow, try to go to bed 30 minutes earlier, set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier in the morning (it will be worth it) and try the following three suggestions.
Take a moment for gratitude
To fight feelings of frustration and discouragement at getting going in the morning, it is highly beneficial to take some time to be grateful for what you have. People who consistently maintain a grateful attitude have been shown to enjoy less stress, higher immune system function, better productivity, and increased quality of health in general.
One way to consciously bring gratitude to the forefront of your mind is to actually make a list. Every morning, grab a pen and paper, and write down five things you are grateful for. It’s ok if you have repeats from one day to another – the point is to actively reflect on them. Once you’ve written it, read your list to yourself. Starting your day seeing things in a positive light, and embracing the great things that your life has brought you, can motivate you and bring you joy throughout your day.
Now that you’ve brought to mind the things that make you feel thankful, take five or ten minutes for the healing power of meditation. Morning is the perfect time to center your mind on the present, as you have just awoken out of rest, and have not yet been bombarded with the challenges of the day.
While meditation can be done in any position, in the morning, it may work best to sit up in your bed, propping yourself up against the wall or headboard if you wish, so as not to accidentally drift back into sleep.
Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and relax your body, focusing on all muscle groups from your toes to your face muscles to make sure you are not holding any tension. Then, just breathe, and observe the movement of your breath, and the movement of your thoughts, not lingering on any one thought, and just letting each one exit your body through your exhale. Even after five minutes, once you open your eyes, you may be surprised at how centered and focused you feel.
Mentally plan your day
Once you have calibrated your mind to the present moment through meditation, it can be very helpful to create a general outline of your day. While surprises and unexpected twists are bound to occur – what would life be without them? – having a rough sketch of where you need to go and what you need to accomplish can diminish a lot of your stress. You can jot your outline down on a piece of paper or in your planner if you wish, or just make mental notes – whatever works best for you.
Once you’ve gone through these three morning steps, it’s time to get up, stretch, smile, and go about your morning routine, making sure to eat a healthy breakfast. If you still have time before you have to head out, and the weather is right, a morning walk can be very uplifting.
When you get your day started with the right mindset, you will be ready to embrace wherever it takes you!
-The Alternative Daily