A little tweak to a morning routine can make all the difference in the days energy and body’s contentment. Most people sluggishly wake up and have a slow, dreary start to the day. Use the refreshing morning hours to the fullest to embrace the morning dew, the length of the body, and the novelty the new day brings. By adding these five simple practices into your morning routine, you will immediately notice a change in your delight for the day. These practices are healthy lifestyle adjustments to practice before breakfasts that take 1 minute each! Try them out and gain a sense of morning accomplishment to the days beginning.
1. Stretch and Smile
Upon hearing your alarm, take 1 minute (or more) to take a full body stretch and smile about waking up. Hug your knees to your chest, roll around from side to side, and gently wake up your body from its deep state of relaxation. Smiling while waking up immediately releases endorphins and serotonin from the brain. Endorphins serve as a natural pain reducer and serotonin acts as an anti-depressant. Forget the aspirin, all we need are more smiles!
2. Gratitude Journal
Start a gratitude journal to count your blessings, and name them one by one before even getting out of bed. Positive psychology research shows that by intentionally writing out things to be grateful for stimulates the release of dopamine in our brain. This is the neurotransmitter that is related to our reward system and makes us feel good. After eating chocolate, dopamine is released in the brain. No wonder we keep craving more and more! Along with the positive effects of this chemical change in our brain, this practice reconfigures the brain to search for the good in everything before the bad. The ultimate goal of life is to be happy and this 1-minute exercise allows us to be present in the moment and truly feel the many blessings we have everyday. Experiment with this exercise by writing 3 things you are grateful for, for 21 days to credit the science of psychology or debunk the research.
3. Set Intentions
While you are already in writing gear, take 1 minute to write out intentions for the day. Set a positive intention for the day and write out to-do lists to be complete. Set positive intentions such as love, gratitude, respect, patience, kindness, and other objectives of peace that you can keep with you throughout the day. Anytime there are moments of imbalance, return to your peace by remembering your intention and breathing into it. Writing out to-do lists gives a physical remembrance of things that need to be done. We are more likely to accomplish tasks when we plan what we have to do, and not to mention do not forget them!
4. BIG Glass of Water
When we go to sleep our stomach enters a deep state of relaxation also. Instead of immediately reaching for the cereal and coffee, drink a big glass of water. Water is a gentle way to break the fast from 8 hours of no food or water. It helps rehydrate our body and the positive effects on the body are numerous. Increasing water intake helps with weight loss, skin health, food digestion, brain function, and overall health benefits to our entire body. To increase detox effects, add lemon to your water. Lemon contains Vitamin C and Potassium that has a whole load of positive health benefits in itself. Drinking lemon water helps balance the pH of the body, clears skin, aids in digestion, and overall boosts your immune system.
5. 1 Minute Meditation
Seriously, meditation will change your life. Sitting in meditation for an hour can seem intimidating, causing people to shy away from the practice all together but it does not have to be like that! 1 minute of practice gives positive benefits of its own. Take 1 minute to accept your peace and stillness and just breathe. It is easy to hold light focus on breath for 1 minute and enjoy the tranquility the morning brings. I like to use my brief morning meditation time to walk outside barefoot and feel the wet grass beneath my feet. By doing this practice outside, it allows for a moment to connect with the body and nature at the same time. I do a grounding exercise where I envision roots extending from my feet into the core of the earth and just breathe into the morning stillness, listen to the birds chirping, and prepare for the day that lies ahead.
5 minutes for these 5 practices is all it takes, transforming your morning into a motivating ritual that inspires positive energy of gratitude and abundance for your whole day. After engaging in these simple practices, continue to eat breakfast in a state of gratitude and contentment. All it takes is a little mental discipline and desire to make a happier and healthier you.
Now go and “Namaslay” the Day!