I used to wake up every morning cranky, annoyed and overwhelmed at the thought of the day ahead. I hated mornings, but that’s no surprise because I hated my life so why would I have been happy to be awake? This no longer occurs since I have incorporated these 5 simple morning habits upon awakening, which has helped to shift my entire perspective on life. And as my life perspective has shifted, so has my actual life (imagine that!).
Don’t get me wrong, I can still occasionally be cranky until I have my morning coffee. I don’t wake up every single morning with rainbows shooting out of my eyeballs and glitter coming out of my mouth, but that’s to be expected since, you know, I’m a human and not a unicorn. The difference is that now it fades quickly with the smell of java, the rays of morning sun and the promise of a new day rather than becoming my identity for the day.
The feeling of wanting to bury my head in the pillow, and to avoid the tasks at hand no longer rules my morning when I practice a few simple habits that help keep my perspective in check. The are quite simple but do call for a little practice and dedication.
I want to share these 5 simple morning habits with you, dear chaos huggers, in hopes I can help someone else who struggles upon awakening:
1. Giving myself time upon awakening.
I find that when I wake up late and rush into the day, I carry all of that rushed stress energy with me all day. Even just 10-minutes to myself drastically changes my morning. I take a moment in bed, and I wake up slowly. I smile, even if I don’t want to. I look for the sunlight. I focus on my breath for at least 5-minutes before doing anything else. These two things alone can give my awakening a 180-degree shift in mood. Then, I hydrate with water. I keep it right by my bed, so I have no excuse. Flushing out our system is critical.
2. I get into gratitude quickly.
For me, I don’t naturally realize my blessings on some days. I have to direct my mind to gratitude before it can run away with the overwhelm of the tasks of my day. So before I even allow my day to start playing out in my head, I say thank you to God. This is just my practice, and it is my way of practicing humility. My day just goes better when I acknowledge that I am not the end all, be all of power here. Gratitude gets me in the right frame of mind, and I then approach the day as a blessing rather than a burden. I also ask for guidance from the powers that be—God, the Universe, Shiva, the saints, Mother, and Father—whomever may be listening. I don’t try to understand, I just ask for help.
3. After I practice gratitude, I meditate.
And by meditate, I mean anything from a deep focused meditation practice to five or ten minutes of breathing. I practice many different forms of meditation. Sometimes my morning just consists of reading from a daily meditation book; slowly soaking in the words. Then sitting and focusing on deep breathing for five minutes. Sometimes my mind wanders, but I gently bring it back to my breath. Sometimes I focus on clearing out my energetic space so that I can approach the day with a clean slate. This is important, because if I am carrying around things that happened yesterday, then I am not truly present in today.
Ahhhhh—just like a cat, stretching feels so good in the morning. Sometimes this step takes place right as I open my eyes, other times it is after meditation. Deep breaths and cat-like stretches with audible, “ahhhhhs,” feel so good. I stretch the sleep out of my body, and I focus on sending breath and energy to my muscles. I wake them up with a big “thank you for all that you do!”. Sometimes I thrash around like a fish stretching, and other times I stand and practice yoga-like folds and twists to stretch out and wake up my body. The point is, there is no right and wrong. Do what feels right for your body.
5. Coffee and yummy breakfast!
Once my body and mind have had a chance to awaken and get present, then I consume my fuel. Food is our fuel. Why would we go through the day on E? My choice of breakfast is coffee and fruit of some type, or maybe some oatmeal or granola. I stick to wholesome, raw breakfast foods because as I’ve cleansed my system, I find the heavy, greasy stuff weighs me down—and I feel it mentally! Sometimes I can’t resist a big dish of grilled veggies and potatoes, but that does not happen every day. I’ve also cut out sugar. I used to load up my coffee with sugar, and then I would crash. The harm sugar does us is a whole different discussion, but I can promise you, cutting it out of breakfast will benefit your overall well-being.
And a critical bonus rule for shifting morning perspective—I never pick up that phone or electronic device until I have practiced these things!
Changing life-long habits is not easy, but if we dedicate to doing it, it is possible. If we can find our inner discipline, we can work at improving upon any habit. We just need patience and dedication. We need to make a choice and then take actions that align with that choice. And that is exactly what these 5 simple morning habits are. Small choices you can make each day that will add up to an entirely different outlook on life.
If we work at it, we will see results and changes. If we drop our expectations of instant results, we can honor and acknowledge the small changes as they occur, and use this as the drive to keep us practicing.
With daily practice and no expectations, before we know what has happened—we have a whole new attitude and outlook at the start of our day. These exercises will become our first instinct, and we no longer need to “make” ourselves do it—we simply want to.
***If you loved this article, and want to learn more practices for empowering your life, come and join our Facebook community here.
Linds @ HYC
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