Starting your day with positive morning rituals will set the tone for the rest of the day. By starting your day on a positive note you can reap the rewards of having a clear focus for your day and a sense of accomplishment before you even get out the door in the morning. There are literally dozens upon dozens of morning rituals that you can bring into your own morning routine, here are 6 of my favorites and why I practice them.
Starting With Gratitude
If you are just starting out with implementing a morning gratitude practice simply try to start your day by thinking about three things that you are grateful for. This way of practicing gratitude doesn’t have to take a lot of time and can be done while you take on other morning rituals that you love. This can also help you focus on the positive things in your life and put you in a good mood for the rest of the day.
As you evolve your morning gratitude practice you can add various ways of implementing this practice and find the one, or few, that best suits you. For some that can be journaling, having a gratitude jar or even having a conversation where you are giving gratitude to one of your friends or family. When you practice gratitude you can and will positively affect those around you so be sure to share the gratitude you have with the people you have it for.
With this morning ritual take 5-10 minutes to meditate or simply practice deep breathing exercises. This can help calm your mind, reduce stress and improve your focus and productivity for the rest of the day.
If you are new to meditating there is no right or wrong way to do it but you could start out by find a quiet place and getting into a comfortable position of your choice. Once ready set a timer so that you can focus on your breath and thoughts and not how long you have been in your “zone”. Then try to bring in and repeat a positive mantra or affirmation as you again focus on your breath and presence.
When you are ready to end your meditation take a few moments to express gratitude for the day ahead and set an intention for how you want to feel and act throughout the day.
By practicing meditation in the morning, you can set yourself up for a successful day with a clear and focused mind. With regular practice, you will also experience benefits such as reduced stress, increased focus and productivity, and improved overall well-being.
A Morning Stretch
This is one of my favorite morning rituals as I have found as I age (as we all do) that my body just doesn’t do the things I want it to do with ease like it used to. By doing some light stretching or yoga to help wake up your body and get your blood flowing and it can also increase your energy levels as well.
A few of my morning stretches come from both yoga and things that I learned while playing sports. Here are my top 5 that you can give a try for your own morning ritual stretch.
Forward Fold – Stand with your feet hip-width apart, bend forward from the hips, and let your arms hang towards the floor. Hold for 10-20 seconds, feeling the stretch in your hamstrings and lower back.
Cat-Cow Stretch – Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. As you inhale, arch your back and lift your head and tailbone towards the ceiling (cow). As you exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin towards your chest (cat). Repeat 5-10 times.
Downward Dog – Start on your hands and knees, then lift your hips up towards the ceiling, straightening your arms and legs to create an inverted “V” shape with your body. Hold for 10-20 seconds, feeling the stretch in your hamstrings, calves, and shoulders.
Seated Twist – Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the outside of your left thigh. Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee and gently twist to the right. Hold for 10-20 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Shoulder Stretch – Stand with your feet hip-width apart and clasp your hands behind your back. Slowly lift your arms away from your body, feeling the stretch in your shoulders and chest. Hold for 10-20 seconds.
Remember to listen to your body and stretch gently and avoid pushing yourself too far or causing any pain. You will find these stretches getting easier and easier as you do them on a daily basis and you will also find that there are variations that you can try as well that might be better suited for you on certain days. The point is to do your best to do it every day and see how you overall body limberness improves.
I joke often that I get my water intake via my coffee but in reality water is a very important and simple thing that we all need. By drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up it will help rehydrate your body and kickstart your metabolism. This can also help improve your digestion and overall health. There’s no hard and fast rule for how much water you should drink first thing in the morning, as it can vary depending on factors such as your body weight, activity level, and climate. However, drinking water in the morning is a beneficial thing to do to jump start your metabolism.
Remember that water intake is just one aspect of overall hydration, and you can also get water from foods and other beverages. By drinking water in the morning and staying hydrated throughout the day, you can help support your body’s functions and maintain good health.
Read or Listen to Positive Content
Read a few pages of a motivational book or listen to a podcast or audiobook that inspires you. This can help you stay motivated and focused throughout the day. Listening to positive content, such as uplifting music, inspiring podcasts, or motivational speeches, can help set a positive tone for your day and boost your mood and motivation.
I would also suggest avoiding social media and the news, you never know what might creep in that is less than positive there!
Plan Your Day
Sometimes I do this the night before but I always make sure that I take time each morning to look at what my day will bring. By taking a few minutes to plan out your day and prioritize your tasks it will help you feel more in control of your day and reduce stress and anxiety.
By taking a few minutes in the morning to plan out your day, you can identify the most important tasks that need to be completed and prioritize them accordingly. This can help you stay focused on what’s most important and avoid feeling overwhelmed or distracted. And when you have a clear plan for your day, you can work more efficiently and effectively. By knowing what needs to be done and when, you can avoid wasting time on less important tasks and stay on track towards your goals.
Morning Rituals And You
So to wrap it up, incorporating morning rituals into your daily routine will over time have a large range of benefits for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. By starting your day with a positive and intentional mindset, you can set the tone for the rest of your day and improve your overall quality of that specific day. And when you start to string several improved days together that will become your new normal.
Morning rituals such as meditation, gratitude practice, exercise, and planning can help reduce stress, increase productivity, and improve your mood and energy levels throughout the day. These rituals can and will be a powerful tool for personal growth and self-improvement.
By committing to a regular morning routine, you can establish positive habits and reinforce your goals and values. Whether you’re looking to improve your health, reduce stress, or achieve personal or professional goals, incorporating morning rituals into your routine can help you take control of your life and move towards a more fulfilling and purposeful existence.
So why not start your day with intention and create a set of morning rituals that works for you?