Truth be told, it’s our everyday rituals that shape our reality. And in a culture that’s so go-go-go, it’s important to carve time out in the morning to set the tone for a positive day. And a positive life.
I started developing this morning ritual about six months ago. And it has made me happier, healthier, more grateful, confident, and ready to take on the day.
4-7-8 BREATHING TECHNIQUE
For whatever reason, I usually get anxiety the moment I wake up. I start worrying and planning—not the best way to start the day. So instead of instinctually reaching for your phone, try this relaxing breathing technique while you’re still in bed.
Based on the ancient yogic technique of pranayama, the 4-7-8 breath is great to do first thing in the morning. It’s also a go-to technique if you’re ever feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Inhale for 4 counts through the nose
2 . Hold the breath for 7 counts
3 . Exhale through the mouth for 8 counts
Do this at least 3 times
LEMON & APPLE CIDER VINEGAR WATER
Start your morning ritual with a cup of warm water with lemon and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. It flushes out toxins, balances the PH levels, kick starts your digestive system, and is a great metabolism booster.
BURN PALO SANTO
Also known as “Holy Wood,” Palo Santo is a tree that grows on the coast of South America. Not only is the scent a form of healing aromatherapy. But it is said that burning the wood brings positive energy.
While you’re sipping on your apple cider vinegar tonic, spend a few minutes writing in your journal. You can write anything you want. You can recap yesterday. Write about a problem you’re having. Tell a story. Anything that’s on your mind. The point is to let your subconscious run free on the page for a few minutes.
At the end of each journal session, I like to jot down 3 things I am grateful for. Big or small.
I like to spent five to ten minutes stretching out any tense parts of the body. Rolling out the neck, shoulder, and ankles. Stretching the backs of the legs and the calves. A deep twist. Whatever feels good for you to get the blood flowing.
Mindfulness meditation has become the most essential part of my daily routine. The list of benefits are so long I’m not going to even try to delve into it, but I personally find it helps combat anxiety, increases my mental clarity, improves my mood, and changes the way I handle situations. Especially tough ones. In a nutshell: meditation has made me more present in life. And has reduced my attachment to negative emotions or situations.
Here’s how I do it:
1 . Sit in a comfortable upright position. Either eyes closed or a soft gaze
2 . Start with a few deep breaths to relax the body
3 . HEAR. Take a few minutes to listen to all the sounds around you. When your mind starts to wander, bring it back to the sounds you are hearing. Pick out each sound for a moment. Listen to it. Then move to the next sound
4 . FEEL. Next, notice all the physical sensations your body is experiencing. The floor under you. The feeling of your clothes touching your body. The temperature of the room. Any aches or pains.
5 . FEEL (INNER). Move the attention the your inner feelings. How is your mood? How are you feeling today? Is there any pressure in your chest? Take note of your emotional feelings. Do not try to do anything about them and do not try to change them. Just take note.
6 . HEAR (INNER). Lastly, just sit in your relaxed state and take note of your mind. Notice any thoughts that come up. Do not try to follow these thoughts. And do not try to get rid of them. Just watch as they come up. And watch as they leave. You can sit like this for as long as you like, or until your timer is up :)
TEA (OR COFFEE) & A PODCAST
The last thing I do: I’ll make a cup of tea and put on a podcast. I like to listen to The Daily by New York Times to get a bit of the news for the day. And I listen to it as I sip my tea and get ready for the day.