If you’re like 70% of working folks living in the U.S., waking up brings feelings of dread and anxiousness. The sound of the alarm jars you awake whether you like it or not. As you groggily think about the day ahead, you probably want to throw the alarm out the window and burrow back under the covers.
Unsurprisingly, this anxiety will dog you throughout your day and affect every single relationship in your life. It’ll color how you see yourself in the mirror and how available you are for your family and partner. You’ll choose what to eat and drink as a reaction to it. The amount of energy and interest you’ll have in your work will be a direct reflection of it.
While a daily morning practice may sound daunting, it offers significant relief from this sunrise to sunset angst. You might be imagining something that takes a lot of time and requires intense focus. It even may sound like just one more obligation which you don’t need because you already feel overloaded. In fact, you get to choose which form works best for you. The key is to spend quality time making the choice and be 100% committed to including it every day.
Key Benefits of A Daily Morning Practice
There are clear and tangible benefits to having a daily morning practice in your life. It will create positive effects on your health, your relationships, and your success. Each time you show up for your daily morning practice you receive all of these and more.
- Clear your mind in order to be fresh for the day
- Nourish your mind with centeredness and calm.
- Grow a sense of trust in yourself because you’re demonstrating self-love on a daily basis.
- Generate neurochemicals that improve your mood, perspective, and ability to come up with solutions to challenges.
- Enhance your intuition and inner wisdom.
Common Morning Practices
Meditation: If you’re new to meditation, start with something simple like my guided 2 Minute Body Sense Meditation. Bringing your mind to the various places in your body allows you to experience centeredness without worrying about being distracted. It offers a very familiar focus for your meditation so you can easily return to your center. It’s helpful to remember that thoughts during any meditation are completely normal. It’s how you respond to them that makes the difference.
Journaling: This can be as easy as writing down 2 pages of whatever springs to mind. Maybe you remember some of your dreams or have a question you’d like to have answered during the day. Let your writing be what’s called ‘stream of consciousness,’ which means to allow the flow of your thoughts to go in whatever direction arises naturally. The key here is to have no judgment.
Conscious Breathing: This can feel similar to meditation in that you’re checking in with your body via your breath. It’s valuable because focusing on your breathing and choosing to consciously breathe with a calmer, restorative rhythm focuses your mind and calms your body.
Gratitude Awareness: You may be aware of all of the things in your life you know you should be grateful for but which ones inspire that inner warmth? When you take a few moments to sink into the warm energy that fills your body as you bring into your consciousness the people, pets, places, and experiences you’re happy to be connected to, that’s when you’re truly in gratitude awareness. Gratitude is never about ‘have to’ and always about ‘want to.’
Setting an Intention: Spend a few moments each morning intending how you want to feel each day. Let yourself see where you want to be and the actions you want to take. Envision others behaving toward you as you would like them to. See your desires becoming reality. As you hold these visions, leave space for all of the sensory experiences that go along with them.
It’s All About You
Try out different morning practices and see what fits you. Don’t be afraid to experiment and remember that this isn’t a pass/fail situation. It’s more like a taste test so you can find a dish you enjoy the most. The most important thing is that you choose a practice that creates a positive mental and emotional state at the beginning of your day.
Either way, taking small steps toward nurturing your relationship to yourself and your highest source of energy will ease those early morning feelings of dread and anxiety. And, when they do arise, you’ll have something to balance them, and yourself, with.