This is not really news, but life is stressful! On top of juggling career, finances, family and everything in between, we are constantly bombarded with negative messages and feedback from the world around us.
As someone who is highly sensitive to this negativity, I have to work hard to be an optimist living in what seems to be an extremely pessimistic world. Like I spoke of in our previous blog (How to Connect with your Inner Optimist) you have to believe that optimism is a choice.
For me, starting the day off right makes all the difference between having a good day or a bad day. I have a morning routine that I follow to help me remain centered and focused on optimism.
Being un-rushed is vital for me. I do not like rushing; it is a huge stress-or for me. So I make it a priority to get up early enough to do my routine.
The first thing I do when I open my eyes is smile. I sometimes force it if I have too. A smile, forced or not, signals your brain to release all those happy brain chemicals, thus making you happy! The more you smile (even if you have to force it at first) the more natural and true it will become to you.
Meditate on my intention for the day. I focus on an inspirational idea for the day (e.g. happiness, love, respect, gratitude, etc.). This gives me something to focus on, no matter what is going on throughout my day. Taking a few minutes to focus on my breathing (big, belly breaths) along with my intention for the day has worked wonders for me! I am calmer, more focused and not as rattled by surprises. I like to do it in complete silence, but it can be done while listening to ambient music. Just remember to focus on your breathing and your intent for at least 4 minutes.
Just a little bit of stretching to get the blood flowing will go a long way starting your morning off feeling awake and motivated. Exercise is an activity that releases endorphins, thus making me feel better about everything in general. It can be yoga, running on the spot, squats, arm circles, whatever you want for at least 10 min to get your heart pumping! I like to change it up every once in awhile.
Making My Bed
Making my bed in the morning is a small task that makes a big difference. It helps me create some order in the world, as it is something I can easily control and keep in check. Plus after a grueling day of using all my willpower to stay optimistic, having a neat bed to collapse into is a wonderful reward.
Drink a Glass of Warm Water with a Slice of Lemon
Drinking lemon water in the morning is a simple way to give your immune system a boost, balance those ph levels, flush out toxins and keep your skin looking fresh. Just one glass will help keep you healthy and happy.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
You've heard this one before but it is true! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Being optimistic is much easier on a full stomach, as I get surly when I am hungry. Plus having a good breakfast in the morning ensures that I am giving my body the nutrients it needs to function throughout the day.
Again, this is what I do to stay optimistic. Yes, I have to force myself to do it from time to time. But I know that it is worth it to start the day off calm, centred and ready to see my "daily intention" in all that I do.
I know that this routine won’t work for everyone, but the goal here is to just share some ideas on setting up your own routine. Remember that your heart is your greatest asset; nothing is ever 100% perfect. In those times I adopt a "fake it until you make it" attitude which helps to get me back on track.
What is your morning routine?