When you decide to make the most of your mornings, you’re actively deciding to make the most of your life. These three morning rituals help me wake up on the brighter side of bed and carry over that positive energy into my day. After all, a good life is a collection of good
“Every morning is a new page in the story of your life. You are creating your life at every moment. Think wisely about the day you want to create for yourself.” – Jennifer Young
Rise early or late–I’m not going to preach on behalf of either–there are lots of ways to experience a good morning. Though getting better sleep is associated with having a better morning, this post focuses on three tried-and-true morning rituals that I enjoy. These are things I try to do every morning (though I’m human and some mornings are easier than others) to feel happier, more awake, more alive, and more in tune with myself and what’s important to me.
Every morning, we have a choice to wake up with the sun, to rise up and start fresh with new opportunities on the horizon. In each waking moment, we are blessed with the task of uncovering the treasures, hopes, and joys that this new chance promises. Every morning is a little birth, a little youth.
Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, the following morning rituals apply, as they can be done regardless of what the clock strikes.
3 Healthy, Happy Morning Rituals
1. Be with yourself.
Instead of instinctively reaching for your phone when you open your eyes, try making some space for yourself to be with yourself. Take your time to brush your teeth, make your bed, get out of bed, pour a cup of hot lemon water or tea or coffee, listen to the sounds of the morning, listen to the silence, think a happy thought, write down a positive thought… before diving into social media, emails, news, and updates.
Rise with intention in your heart and purpose in your bones… before attaching yourself to someone else’s opinions, perspectives, and goals. Ask yourself, “What is the meaning of this day? What will I manifest today? What good shall I do today?” Life is much bigger than this one moment, but, somehow, all of life is encapsulated in this moment.
After a long night’s sleep, a gentle stretch can help wake up your muscles and your mind. A light stretch can get the blood moving, relieve tension, improve flexibility, and ease anxious tendencies. A few simple stretches can go a long way when it comes to having a good day.
In fact, a Harvard psychologist advocates the early-morning power of making yourself huge. The reasoning behind this stems from the knowledge that not only does behavior follow emotion, but emotion also follows behavior. In other words, we do certain things because we feel good, and we feel good because we do certain things.
You don’t need to force yourself into stretching for a set time. Even when I’m short on time, I squeeze in one or two arm or leg stretches before I leave the house, and it makes such a positive impact on my mindset. Stretching is a very physical reminder that I can make space within myself to enjoy more, to love more, to feel more, and to give more.
3. Smile at yourself.
This started out being one of the oddest and most difficult morning rituals for me. Smiling at yourself can feel (and look) strange at first, but a good morning smile holds the power to transform everything. It’s an act of self-care, goodwill, courage, and hope. Smiling also makes you attractive, changes your mood, relieves stress, helps you stay young at heart, and nourishes a positive outlook on life.
There’s something hopeful about seeing a happy face reflecting back at you first thing in the morning. A genuine smile–even just the hint of a smile–harnesses your ability to talk to the bigger part of yourself. It’s a morning validation of sorts. You’re checking in with your innermost dreams. Ultimately, you’re supporting this lifelong relationship that you share with yourself, and I think that’s pretty important.
You might be surprised by the positive thoughts this exercise inspires… or maybe you won’t be surprised at all. When you say hello to that deeper part of yourself, you thoroughly enrich your experience here on earth. You infuse your morning–and your day, and so your life–with more gratitude for being alive in your own skin.
Smiling at yourself connects you to this new opportunity to be grateful for another morning, awake and alive. Even if you have to fake it in the beginning, you probably won’t be faking it for long…
Do you practice any of these morning rituals? What’s one thing you can start doing in the morning that could change your entire day?
Share these morning rituals with someone who would enjoy them.
Enjoy this new morning, this fresh moment, like it was a gift from life itself, because that’s exactly what it is.
Free graphic by Lisa Glanz; lettering by Aim Happy.