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morning rituals to seize the day

5 morning rituals to seize the day

Is it morning already?

 No. It’s 4 am. It means a few more hours of sleep.

And you close your eyes with a wide smile on your face. But then you wake up at 9, tired and late for work. For the rest of the day, you chase your responsibilities, or the responsibilities chase you. Either way, by evening, the stress and fatigue begin to wear you down. At night, you tuck yourself in, spend some time on YouTube and drift off to sleep.

The day repeats from the next morning.

This is the story of millions around the world, who start and end their day on the same note. Tiredness. But, what if you were told that a simple change in the morning habits can completely change the way your day unfolds?

According to Jacqueline Pirtle, mindfulness and happiness coach and author of 365 Days of Happiness: Because happiness is a piece of cake, “That split second when you wake up counts the most because right then and there you can set the tone of your new day for how you want it to be.”

Each of us has some unconsciously formed habits that are integral to our daily routines. Be it brushing teeth, reading a newspaper, or putting on the left shoe first—all are naturally formed habits that don’t require much thought. But, these routines are different from rituals. A ritual needs the right attitude, followed by taking concrete actions. A 2012 study reveals that it takes more than two months for a habit to turn into a routine—66 days to be exact—depending on the behaviour, the individual, and their circumstances.

When you cultivate the right morning habits, you feel more positive and energised throughout the day. In the words of American national workplace expert and author, Lynn Taylor, “How you begin your morning often sets the tone and your attitude for the day. It can also derail or direct your focus. If you remain committed to good morning work habits, you won’t fall prey to feeling unproductive and distracted at the end of the day or week.”

In this feature, Soulveda shares effective morning habits that are easy to develop and practice.

Make your bed and tidy the room

“From the moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life,” observes Marie Kondo, a well-known Japanese organising consultant. In the morning, if the first thing you do is make your bed and tidy the room, it will be one task checked off of your list. When tidying becomes a part of your ritual, it encourages you to organise your thoughts

Psychologists suggest, a messy room represents a disorganised mental state. So, as you clean, and place everything at its designated place, your mind declutters as well. The sense of accomplishment you get with this morning ritual lifts your mood and sets the tone for the rest of your day.

To see how well this simple ritual works, make your bed every morning for a month and observe the changes in your mood, mindset, and day.

Exercise and stress

Apart from achieving a sense of calm and control, exercise also reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and keeps you fit.

Work out for a good day

A good morning ritual can positively influence your attitude, energy, and productivity. Working out in the morning is one such ritual. Be it performing yoga asanas, running in the park, lifting weights in the gym, or a power-packed dance class, Dr Travis Bradberry writes, “Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a neurotransmitter that makes your brain feel soothed and keeps you in control of your impulses.”

Every form of exercise releases endorphins that positively affect your vitality, hence pave the way for a productive day. Apart from achieving a sense of calm and control, exercise also reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and keeps you fit. Breathing in the fresh morning breeze as you walk in the park relaxes your mind and helps you ease into the day.

Cultivate mindfulness

Vedic traditions term mindfulness as a “remedy” that can heal and cure from within. Mindfulness is the innate human ability to be fully present and aware of thoughts and actions. It opens you up to the perspective that every fleeting moment is a building block of your life. And to make them count is integral.

With the potential to transform your life, meditation techniques are the foundation of practicing mindfulness. Conscious breathing exercises or chanting mantras can help you defeat depression, anxiety, and stress. The idea is to find a quiet, open place away from the distractions where you can meditate peacefully. The more you will practice mindfulness, the more aware and self-disciplined you become.

For people who start their day by checking notifications on their phones, practicing mindfulness can become a challenge. The overflow of information, and the desire to stay updated on every app is not only time consuming, but bad for your health too. So, don’t check your phone when you wake up and find some time to meditate. Even if you meditate for 15 minutes every day, the rewards you reap will last a lifetime.

Follow your heart

“How you start your day is often how you live your life,” says American motivational author, Louise Hay. So, if you want to live a life filled with love and kindness, your morning rituals should be about doing things that make you happy.

Reward yourself with a few minutes of me-time, whether in the form of reading, a warm bath, playing with your pet, or chatting with your family. Just do what brings you joy. After a few months, you will find yourself beaming with newfound energy and positivity. Not just in the mornings, but the entire day.

Daily Success Habits

Putting random thoughts or goals on paper will ‘wake up’ your brain and add perspective to your day.

Pen down your goals

According to a research by University of Rochester Medical Center, writing and journaling have been proven to bring comfort, clarity, motivation, and focus. Writing is a powerful morning ritual that can help you declutter your mind, and focus on what’s important. You can write about anything that crosses your mind. It could be about the previous day—something that made you laugh, inspired, or affected you negatively. It could also be a story or a simple to-do list. Putting random thoughts or goals on paper will ‘wake up’ your brain and add perspective to your day.

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