The Life-Changing Morning Routine To Help Clear Your Mind
Who doesn’t love the fresh start feeling of a new day? Do you have a pattern you follow regularly upon waking to start your day off on the right foot? If not, you might want to establish a few morning rituals to begin your day with a clear mind and set yourself up for success.
Each new day is a new opportunity, but if you don’t have intentional routines in place, you may feel a bit of chaos as you struggle through your morning tasks. Making a change may seem daunting, but don’t worry, the ideas to follow are simple and can help you to feel instantly more calm.
You know what they say: a little goes a long way.
Here’s why establishing a morning routine can help you feel energized and clear your mind.
Why Routines are Important:
- Eliminate decision fatigue
- Solidify positive habits
- Keep you moving towards your goals
- Give structure to your day
Routines are helpful because they eliminate decision-making around good habits. The more you repeat a helpful routine or ritual, the easier it will become to perform subconsciously. Research has shown that having routines around desired healthy habits will make them easier to keep.
Instead of trying to change your lifestyle to fit a new desired behavior, try to fit the new behavior into your current lifestyle. For example, if you want to add a gratitude practice to your morning, you can add it during or after something you’re already doing like brushing your teeth, or after a prayer.
6-Step Easy Morning Routine for Your Brain & Body
Your thoughts and patterns first thing in the morning are powerful and can set the tone for your day whether it’s good or bad. Follow this 6-step morning routine that’s designed to help you start your day with a clear mind. The first three can be thought of as your “brain work,” and the last three as your physical “bodywork.”
They are all healthy habits individually. If you choose to add even one into your morning routine you’ll likely feel increased mental clarity and positive effects.
All six combined together are the ultimate recipe for a clear mind to start your day:
The average human takes around 20,000 breaths per day. It’s something we do without even thinking about it. But, if you take a moment to consciously deepen your breathing at the beginning of the day (or anytime), it can reduce stress and anxiety, increase energy, and strengthen your immune system.
It sounds too good to be true, but breathing more deeply is a FREE and EASY way to become a happier, healthier you. It’s Dr. Amen’s number one way to help you feel instantly calmer and begin to unwind your anxious or stressful thoughts.
Try the following breathing exercise upon waking, before you do anything else.
This breathing technique is based on yogi pranayama breathing. It involves silently counting in your head while consciously controlling your breaths.
Find a comfortable position and relax the muscles of your face, resting your tongue behind your teeth. Try to keep your tongue still while breathing. Count to four in your head while inhaling through your nose with closed lips. Next, hold your breath for seven seconds. Finally, release your breath through an exhale from your mouth for the complete eight seconds. Repeat as desired.
Considering the things you’re grateful for is another powerful practice that can improve brain function, self-motivation, optimism, and overall happiness levels. All it takes is a moment.
You can choose to show gratitude by writing down what you’re grateful for, offering a prayer, or simply thinking grateful thoughts. You can be grateful for the simple pleasures like your soft pillow and cozy bed. Or, some days your gratitude might be more profound; the blessing of family or a safe community.
Even when life seems hard, and maybe especially when life is hard, choosing gratitude can help shape your day in an amazing way. Our thoughts are so powerful and when we choose to actively find the things we’re grateful for, even when it’s hard, we’re rewiring our thought patterns to eventually see more of the good.
This technique is all about imagining things going your way. It can be a fun and uplifting exercise. Think about what you need and want to accomplish today, and in your mind’s eye, see yourself succeeding. That tough workout, important work meeting, handling parenting challenges; you rock them all.
The more you visualize something going in your favor, the more you will believe it’s possible for you, creating positive motivation and momentum. With this final piece of brain work, you can confidently move into your day.
Water makes up roughly 80% of your brain. It’s no wonder drinking more water in the morning can clear your mind. If you think about it, you just spent (hopefully) 7+ hours fasting from food and water while your body slept. You may be tempted to reach for the coffee or juice first thing, but your body and mind will thank you if you give it water first.
A helpful tip is to keep a water bottle near you before you go to bed, so it’s the most convenient beverage in the morning. It’s recommended that you drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Starting early can help you to get your ounces in!
Choosing good, whole foods first can really make a difference to the energy you bring to your day. Although delicious, a chocolate croissant isn’t going to provide you with the same health benefits and energy as say, a veggie omelette or green smoothie.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. – Hippocrates
In an ideal world, our brains and bodies would receive all the essential vitamins and minerals from the foods we eat. However, this isn’t always the case. Consider adding a daily vitamin along with your morning meal.
The final step in this morning routine is movement to get your blood flowing and your muscles loosened. Small investments in this area can lead to big returns in the long run. Simple stretches are the most obvious choice for a quick and easy way to wake up your body and clear your mind.
However, choose a movement that you enjoy. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to stick with it!
Morning movement ideas that can be done in a matter of minutes:
- Jumping jacks
- Push ups
- Stationary bike
So wake up and breathe, give gratitude, visualize success, hydrate, choose good nutrition, and move your body. And, you’ll be better prepared to meet what each day has to offer. Even if you can only start with adding one of these steps to your morning routine at a time, you’ll feel a difference in your mood, and energy, and can tackle the day feeling calmer.
Give it a try for yourself. It’s never too early or late to have a healthy morning routine!
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