We all have different ways of starting our day – some of us try to have a very intentional routine while others linger in bed scrolling, and most of us have experienced both. Starting our day with intention has a monumental impact on our productivity, mood, and overall well-being.
I’m sure it comes as no surprise, but the way you start your day is the way your day will go. Our perspective determines how we feel about the day and if we start the day with a feeling of “I’m exhausted and don’t want to do anything” it will surely linger throughout the day slowing us down and making our daily tasks feel like an annoyance. While on the other hand, if we start our day with gratitude and the intention of being happy, our day is much more likely to be full of positivity.
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Creating a morning routine can impact our mood, our productivity, our creativity, and our overall mental health. Not only does the routine itself help relieve stress because you don’t need to make choices each morning and you know what to expect, but the intentional time each morning can have monumental effects on our well being and personal growth.
Researchers have found that routine can have far-reaching psychological benefits, including alleviating bipolar disorder, ADHD, and insomnia.Headspace
What your morning routine consists of will alter its effectiveness. These practices will allow your routine to improve your mental health, overall wellness, and personal growth.
Gratitude has been defined as an emotion or state resulting from awareness and appreciation of that which is valuable and meaningful to oneself.Psychology Today
When you’re focused on the good, it’s a lot harder to be upset when things don’t go the way you hoped. Practicing gratitude can bring us joy by seeing all that is good in our lives.
Gratitude can change your brain and overall emotional state. When you wake up each day and think about what is good in your life, you shift your selective attention. You train your mind to focus on the positive.Psychology Today
If you don’t know where to start or feel silly you can start really simple by just making a list each morning of 5 things you are grateful for. I am grateful for my cozy home, I am grateful for warm coffee, I am grateful for the birds singing outside, I am grateful for nutritious food, and I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect on life. You can also try guided gratitude journals or gratitude cards. Do your best to really feel the gratitude and joy with each statement. The more you do it, the easier it will get!
Meditation is a practice used to train your brain to control your thoughts and focus (usually on your breath). It is often defined as a tool to heighten your state of awareness. Meditation is great way to start your day refreshed and gain control of your thoughts and intentions.
One study found that 8 weeks of mindfulness meditation helped reduce anxiety symptoms in people with generalized anxiety disorder, along with increasing positive self-statements and improving stress reactivity and copingHealthline
There are endless guided meditations you can try. One of my favorites is Breathe People (not an affiliate). These meditations are very helpful for releasing stress, tension, and creating a sense of calm. You can also try just sitting and focusing on your breath. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Journaling is the act of writing in a journal– you can write about your feelings, about a memory, about your day, or about your hopes and dreams.
Research has shown that expressing your thoughts and emotions in your journal can enhance your emotional intelligence.Psychology Today
When we write about our hopes and dreams, it can actually help those dreams happen. You can create a mental rehearsal by writing your dream: a practice of feeling and planning what your dreams will look like and how they will make you feel when they happen.
According to research on mental rehearsal, once we immerse ourselves in that scene, changes begin to take place in our brain. When we are feeling the emotions of our future — whether that’s gratitude, joy, freedom, abundance, enthusiasm, love, and so on — the creative thoughts in your mind can become the experience. As the body receives the chemical signals of these emotions, essentially the body is receiving the signal that the event has already occurred.— Dr. Joe Dispenza
Plan your day! Create a schedule, decide how you’ll feel for the day, and set intentions. Planning and setting intentions can happen while journaling, you can write to do lists, you can choose some affirmations for the day, and organize your thoughts and schedule.
For example, if you are wanting to eat healthier, set the intention that you will nourish your body with healthy foods and plan ahead by preparing healthy meals and snacks.
Do you have a morning routine? What are your favorite parts? What do you want to add to your morning routine?
As I’ve gotten older, time feels like an increasingly rare commodity, so I try to be more mindful of how I use it.Liz Fooslien