I used to wake up with some form of panic and anxiety of some sort on most mornings. Whether I've slept badly or not, my mind immediately races to all the things I have to do and the problematic scenarios I might encounter throughout the day.
Sometimes, when I'm making the bed, I catch myself replaying conversations, scenarios and even arguments that I've had in the past and going through what I maybe should've said or done instead.
I honestly don't know why I used to do this to myself. The constant negative inner dialogue was just toxic and it's definitely not a good nor a pleasant way to start the day!
Regardless, of how early or late I wake up, I've always touched the ground running as if time was slipping away from me at the speed of light. My son tells me it's just me and how I've trained myself over the years.
Well, I decided I no longer wanted to wake up in a panic anymore and I refuse to start my day thinking about problems that didn't even exist or even mattered. So, I've slowly started to retrain myself and what I've found is that with a switch in your mindset and a lot of self-awareness, your day can definitely start on the right foot! But I must say that it has taken a bit of an effort especially when my brain has been wired differently for so long!
I admire those who wake up at 3 or 4.00 am or even 5.00 am to start their day and I firmly believe that they do get a lot done. I can only imagine how therapeutic it is to have that quiet time that early in the morning all to yourself. I've read about lengthy early morning routines involving exercise, reading, meditation, and journaling - and I think, these people sure sound as if they have their s**t together and it's totally something I should be doing too!
Unfortunately, I'm not in that category of people. Especially now that I'm post-menopausal and sleep is something I struggle with. I either sleep only a few hours before my alarm shocks the whole house, or I've slept a few hours more but have woken up too many times in the night to ever had a restful sleep anyway. So every minute I get in bed is very precious to me and truth be told, I love my sleep!
Instead of implementing a lengthy morning routine or getting up an hour early in an effort to make myself a better person, I have found ways that don't take much time or effort to inject positivity into my mornings that transcends into a happier me, which can definitely affect how the rest of my day goes.
Ultimately, we can only control what we can control and we CAN control how we feel and how we react to situations.
Yes...to yourself! I found that smiling upon waking immediately shifts my mindset and makes me happier. Research shows that smiling releases serotonin and dopamine, our feel-good and stress-reliever hormones, making us happier.
02. Practice Gratitude
Along with that smile, count your blessings. If it was a fake smile, to begin with, thinking of all that you have and being grateful for them, will instantly change that smile into a genuine one.
I'm always grateful for my son, our health, my family, the bed I'm in, the ray of sun and blue skies I can see from my window, the fact that I get to wake up for another day, and my job - there is plenty to be grateful for.
We always overlook the smallest things in our lives because we take them for granted, but taking a few minutes each day to take stock of what you're grateful for truly puts you in a better frame of mind.
03. Mind the Self-Talk
We like to spend time talking to ourselves, in our heads, and for me, this is especially in the morning whilst I'm making my bed through to getting out of my room to make my coffee. I've come to notice that most of the time I'm knocking myself down. It's always negative conversations.
If you experience the same thing each morning, take a moment and notice what goes through your mind and intentionally change them. You can change them to positive affirmations to uplift your mood or change them to all the positive things that you have planned for in your day ahead instead of being stressed about what's to come.
The key here is to be aware of how you talk to yourself and change it as soon as you notice negativity. We're our own worst critics and we are often harder on ourselves than we should, so be kind to yourself.
04. Lastly, Be Present
Do you ever feel like you run on auto-pilot every single morning before rushing out the door? Only to realise later in the day that you can't exactly remember what happened in the morning - I used to, and it made me feel absolutely horrible, especially the times I thought back and could barely recall the conversation I had with my son!
Being present when all you want to do is get the moment over and done with so you can move forward to the next thing on your list, is difficult, but absolutely necessary for sound peace of mind.
There is a genuine sense of contentment with being present in the moment. It truly allows you to connect to what's really important, even in something so menial like tidying your bed or putting your kid's shoes on for them, or that conversation you're having with them on the way to school.
We give so much to everyone and everything around us that we sometimes neglect ourselves without even realising it. If it means taking a few moments in the morning to centre and ground yourself then why not?
Your morning routine should be personal to you, and most importantly you should practice what works for you and your lifestyle so you can commit to it and reap its benefits.
I hope you find yours!
Do you have any secrets that you have to put you in a better frame of mind? Share them with me!