Let’s face it, mornings can be brutal. One of the best ways to ensure that your day is a successful one is to start it off on a positive note. If you use that quiet time to prepare yourself for the day, then you’ll already be in a better position and mood than most people heading off to work. Try starting your day off with one or all of these five activities to ensure that you’re ready to take on work with a positive, balanced state of mind.
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1. Be still and practice deep breathing.
Instead of hitting the snooze button repeatedly and dreading the thought of getting out of bed, try sitting still, calming your mind, and taking deep breaths to easy your mind, body, and soul. “Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange,” which, in turn, “can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure,” reports Harvard Medical School. Therefore take some time first thing in the morning to simply be still and breathe deeply so that you can balance your body and invigorate your mind first.
2. Do some yoga or stretching.
A great way to ease into the day is to do some light yoga or stretching in bed. The point is to gently awaken and loosen your muscles after a long night’s rest – this isn’t a full-blown workout, here – so keep it simple and enjoyable enough so that you actually want to do it every morning. Try these five morning stretches to that will slowly, but surely awaken your senses and encourage you to start the day off right.
3. Practice an attitude of gratitude.
A little bit of gratitude can go a long way when it comes to enhancing your mood and bettering your day. Too often, we can get caught up in the monotony and negativity of the day, and we end up losing sight of the important things in life. We tend to ruminate about what we did wrong throughout the day, and then end up falling asleep and waking up with the same heavy thoughts weighing on our minds. Try to break this cycle by releasing all of the negativity of the day before and, instead, focus on what you are grateful for in life – because you can’t expect to have a positive day when you’re ruminating about the bad stuff.
4. Give yourself a dose of inspiration.
Now that you’re in a more positive mood, thanks to your attitude of gratitude practice, it’s time to feed your mind some inspiration to fuel productivity, boost your confidence, and continue the feel-good momentum happening right now. Try reading some inspiring quotes (like these) to get you pumped about going into work, because half of the battle in the morning is fighting off the negative thoughts about not wanting to go to work. Therefore, change the conversation that happens in the morning by not feeding into the no-good, pessimistic thoughts that seep in, and, instead, feed your mind words of encouragement that will convince you that the cup is half full.
5. Set your intentions for the day.
By now, you should be alert and have a sense of clarity, which makes for a great opportunity to begin setting the intent for the day ahead. All you have to do is meditate/focus intently on what you want to achieve today and how. If you’re having trouble with this step, simply preface it by asking yourself, “If failure wasn’t an option, what would I like to accomplish today?” Refrain from thoughts of self-doubt or criticism, and remember to be realistic and honest with your intents. This is a time for setting goals for the day and mentally preparing yourself for what you will accomplish throughout the day.
Last, but not least, end your morning ritual by looking in the mirror and saying a few positive affirmations to seal the deal. Hopefully these steps will help your mornings be productive, positive, and reinforcing, rather than groggy, defeating, and miserable.
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