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Each day begins anew…

Somewhere on the ether I read this advice about starting the day correctly.

One would have thought after being alive for 39 years , 6 months and how ever many days – that I would have got it down to a fine art…

Sadly not!

Here are seven easy ways to start your morning for a stress-free, successful day:

1. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than your usual time.

Wake up to meditative music or another gentle sound (it’s a big relief from the screech of an alarm). Think about it literally: A fire alarm clock sound is a much more stressful way to start your day than ocean waves.

Choose your sound wisely: This extra half-hour will allow you to ease into the new day. Next up:

2. Name five things out loud that you’re grateful for.

These could be things that happened the previous day or more general parts of your life. The point is that an attitude of gratitude will automatically shift the way you see, feel, and do everything throughout the day to a better place.

Now, get out of bed and wake up your body with some light stretches and deep breathing.

3. Ignore your devices.

Emails, texts, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest will still be there after you’ve had time to really be with yourself. Social can wait.

4. Meditate.

Learning how to meditate is one of the best investments you can make in yourself; the benefits are astounding, including a sense of inner peace, an enhanced ability to concentrate, a greater capacity for creativity, and an all-around sense of well-being.

There are a number of forms of meditation including Vedic, which I do, and Transcendental Medication. What’s most important is that you find the practice that works best for you.

5. Enjoy a glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice.

This concoction not only delivers hydration and a healthy dose of vitamin C, but it also aids digestion and, because it’s full of pectin, helps keep hunger pangs at bay.

6. Write down a daily intention for yourself.

For example, commit to making one healthy change, whether it’s having a green smoothie or salad, taking a long walk, or cutting back on your caffeine intake. Hold yourself accountable to sticking to your one healthy habit.

If you’d prefer, instead of writing it down, choose to say your intention out loud while looking yourself squarely in the mirror.

7. Prepare for the next morning the night before.

In the evening, select your outfit and shoes for the next day and set them out where you can quickly slip into them. Put a lemon on the counter, ready to slice. Prep your lunch and healthy snacks such as carrots, pepper sticks, or apple slices, so that you can grab and go.

Life is precious. Our bodies are our temples. Make sure you have the best day possible by giving yourself and your body the respect they deserve in the morning.

 

Another article tells me pretty much the same thing…

 

Happy people tend to share many of the following morning habits:

1. They wake up with a sense of gratitude.

Practicing gratitude is associated with a sense of overall gladness. They start the day with love. This means that they’re truly appreciative of their life and all of its little treasures. They practice small acts of gratitude in the morning by expressing thankfulness to their partner each morning before they rise from bed. They may also write about their gratefulness for five minutes each morning in a journal that they keep bedside.

2. They begin anew each and every morning.

They know that it’s a brand-new day to start over and do something different. Yesterday may have been a complete failure for them, but today is a new day for success and adventure. Individuals who aren’t ruined by one bad day are resilient creatures. Resiliency is a telltale sign of having purpose and happiness.

3. They take part in prayer, affirmation, or meditation.

Many of the happiest folks alive are spiritual. Prayer is a way of connecting and giving thanks for our creator. Meditation helps keep our mind focused, calms our nerves and supports inner peace.

Happy people even use affirmations to declare how their day will go. Steve Jobs’ morning routine used to start by looking in the mirror and asking himself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And Benjamin Franklin asked himself each morning, “What good shall I do today?”

4. They read.

Some happy people read a bit of scripture each morning, while others read inspiring stories to get their day started. Either way, they make it a ritual to read self-improvement literature to stretch and grow their insight and knowledge. It’s starts their day off on a positive note with new ideas to guide their day’s journey.

5. They keep things simple and don’t rush out the door.

Complex morning routines are difficult to stick to and set us up for failure. Happy individuals’ routines are simple for them because they prepared the night before. They picked out their work attire, prepared their lunch, set their coffee to brew — all the night before. A simple routine limits any multitasking that most people do in the morning to ensure that they make it to work on time. Multitasking may create stress and anxiety and steal your peace during your first waking hours.

6. They exercise.

Exercise boosts levels of health-promoting brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress and also relieve some symptoms of depression. Exercise is a big enough priority that happy folks tend to do it first thing in the morning so that they don’t have to try to make time later in the day for it. They recognize that willpower is strongest in the morning.

Morning exercise gets the blood flowing and gives them more energy throughout the day. One study published in the Journal of Health Psychology discovered that working out improved how people felt about their physical bodies — even if they didn’t lose weight or gain any noticeable improvements in their physique.

7. They get some fresh air.

Morning walks are beneficial for all creatures. Walking is also proven to stimulate creativity in the brain, which isn’t a bad way to start the day either.

If they have a dog, they walk it. Walking the dog a mile or two in the morning is a form of much needed exercise for humans and dogs alike. When happy individuals walk their dog outside, they breath in the crisp morning air, which promotes a sense of vitality.

8. They savor the beauty of their surroundings and practice being present in the moment.

Whether they go on a morning walk with their dog or sit in their favorite chair by the window, taking the time to appreciate their environment can be invigorating and gets folks excited about their day. Being present connects and grounds them to what is really important in the moment. There is a certain kind of wisdom that comes with being a witness to your own life.

 

 

Here are 5 recommended rituals to start the day.

 

1. Capture your dreams.
Upon waking, I pick up my journal — which I keep on my nightstand as a reminder — and jot down dreams I had or any ideas floating in my head. This is a very powerful practice, as it helps you access your consciousness in its purest form, before worries, tasks, and masks start to fill your mind.

2. Set your intention.
Rather than letting your first thought be, “What am I going to wear?” savor those sweet moments between sleep and waking life. Recall any dreams you may have had (they could hold important subconscious messages for you!), and ask yourself one question: How would I like to feel today? Powerful? Productive? Loved, appreciated, strong?

3. Visualize how you want your day to go.
Close your eyes for a few moments and take five deep breaths, letting your lungs come out of the sleep mode and expand. Now, it’s time not just to think but to really let your body experience the way you want to feel.

Be specific: Play the images of your commute, interactions you’ll have, the meals you’ll enjoy, and the errands you’ll run. Let your day unfold in the most joyful, natural way that lets your authentic, best self shine.

Allowing every cell in your body to feel the way you want to feel is how you become a powerful manifestor. Open your eyes, and go live it!

4. Indulge in a tea ritual.
Tea is not just a drink. It’s also a way to nourish your body and connect with Mother Earth. My favorite morning teas are earthy and grounding, like Traditional Medicinals’ Roasted Dandelion Root Tea. It has a roasted, sweet, earthy flavor that reminds me of coffee (without any caffeine).

I usually have it with a splash of almond milk and honey, spicing things up on colder days with some cinnamon and cayenne pepper. It aids digestion and supports your body’s natural detox process, getting the juices flowing for a healthful day.

5. Energize with a superfood breakfast.
When your body is fueled the right way, your energy levels and performance improve — in life, in work, in everything — helping you be the best version of yourself.

Even though my breakfasts sometimes look more like art than food, I swear they don’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes to prepare. Preparing a wholesome meal will leave you feeling energized and happy.

Think about something joyful while preparing the meal, and then take the time to sit down, be grateful, and indulge. If you need more inspiration, here are some simple smoothie bowl, oatmeal, and toast recipes.

 

All well and good – how am I going to incorporate this into my own life?

 

I’ll tell you what happens now.

 

I fall into bed in the hour before or after midnight (it depends on what type of day I have had). My alarm clock on my phone is set for 6 am. I, however wake at between 4 and 5 in mild panic and I am unable to get back to sleep. Instead I doze for 15 – 30 minute periods of time and stare the clock each time I ‘wake up’ – 0435, 0510, 0530, 0550. Then I pick up my phone and shut the alarm off before it sounds. I am not sure why this is. As I am typing this – I wonder if it is because I have this fear of waking up my fiancé with the sound of my alarm. He goes to bed much later than me and wakes much later. He says that he finds it difficult to fall asleep again once he has been woken up so for a number of years now I have tried not to wake him in the mornings. However – I also remember that this waking up and not being able to fall back to sleep has been ‘me’ for a number years – basically since I started work. I think I get through one sleep cycle a night and that’s it for me.

Anyway once, I have dragged myself out bed (and yes, dragged is the correct description – I have zero enthusiasm for getting out of bed in the morning!). I go to the kitchen and make a bowl of porridge – with honey and cinnamon. I will eat with while watching BBC Breakfast News but I find the presenters annoying at that time in the morning – they look bright and sparky and I feel the complete opposite. I might check my e-mails on my phone and take a brief foray onto Facebook . I then put down my empty bowl and curl up on the sofa for 10 minutes – with my phone in my hand – looking every few minutes at the time. At 0630 I am in the bathroom completing my ablutions. While in the shower I start planning my day – what I am going to wear, what I will make or buy for lunch, what time I might finish work and what jobs I need to do after work, what we are going to have of dinner. Then the 30 – 45 minutes is dressing, packing my bag, finding some food for lunch.

 

Then I am out the door – as silently as possible.

 

I suppose it is not chaotic or unorganized- it just is what it is. However, I do not feel rested in the morning neither is there a sense of peace about me when I leave my home. I am not quite sure why this is but I am assuming that I ought to incorporate all the recommendations that I have copied and pasted above. Yoga? Meditation? A journal of gratitude? Putting my clothes out the night before? Making my lunch the night before?

I’ll give myself a month to make this better.

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