What’s your first thought when you wake up in the morning?
This is a question that a yoga teacher asked in a class I took a few years ago.
And at that time in my life, waking up was definitely not my favorite part of the day. My mornings often started out stressful as I forced my tired body out of bed and then rushed to get ready for work.
I’d anxiously keep track of the time that always ran out too quickly while I showered, dressed, ate breakfast, and drove to the office. And the stress that began almost as soon as I opened my eyes always followed me into work. It took a few hours for my nervous system to fully calm down before I could settle into the rest of the day.
Up until that morning in yoga class, I never thought much about the impact that the beginning of my day really had on the rest of it.
As much as I hated rushing through the morning, I didn’t realize how much of the day passed by before I had a single relaxing thought or feeling.
Since that fateful yoga class, I’m happy to share that my mornings have drastically improved. They still involve some moments of stress and rushing, but I’ve also added in a few practices that help me start the day off feeling really great.
Over these past few years, my morning routine has grown into something I never would’ve imagined back then. I hardly had time to shower, let alone journal or exercise before heading off to work. But it all started with a couple of simple habit tweaks and a bit of mindfulness.
Habits so simple that you can easily start doing them, too!
Do you want to fall in love with your mornings?
Here are four quick and easy practices you can do to automatically start your day off well:
When was the last time you woke up and smiled? This particular habit will instantly uplift your mood. Even if that smile doesn’t feel real first thing in the morning, it’s okay. Your brain doesn’t actually know the difference between a real or fake smile—it’ll spread those endorphins anyway! And it’ll set the tone for how you approach the rest of the morning.
2. Say “Thank you.”
A quick moment of gratitude is another mood lifter. Taking time to appreciate this chance for a brand-new day is a grounding practice that’ll help you start it off with a positive outlook. And there are plenty of other reasons to be grateful, too.
When we make the effort to pay attention to all the goodness in our life, we’ll find ourselves that much more happy and excited for it.
3. Take five deep breaths.
You’re always breathing, but how often are you conscious of it? Focusing on your breath for a minute is a great way to calm and relax your body before jumping into the rest of your day. Making it a point to breathe in and out deeply can also help you stay connected with your body throughout the day.
4. Set an intention for how you want to feel today.
We often make plans for what we want to accomplish during the day. But do you ever think about how you want to feel as you’re doing it all? It’s a factor worth considering when planning out the day.
Setting an intention for how we want to feel can help us focus our time, energy, and attention on the details that matter most to us throughout the day.
These four morning habits literally transformed my whole day—and they can do the same for you.
So are you ready to fall in love with your mornings? All you have to do is pick one habit and get going!