Your health may not be your first thought in the morning, but the morning is the best time to start healthy habits. How you start your morning sets the tone for your entire day. Here are ten healthy morning habits to try. Start with one or a few and work at them until you’ve mastered them. Then add some others. You will be pleasantly surprised how your whole life can improve simply by changing your morning habits.
1. Meditation - You may think you don't have time to meditate. But before jumping out of bed and rushing into your hectic day feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, take the first few minutes to sit peacefully in silence, breathing deeply and slowly. You will develop a more profound sense of peace that will remain throughout your day, so you won’t be as reactionary when things start to go sideways.
2. Set a daily intention or use affirmations - Take a few minutes to remind yourself of what is really important to you. Bringing your intention into focus will help heighten your motivation throughout the day. Affirmations can also boost your confidence before you go out into the world. Write down your favorite affirmations, or personal goal statements, and look them over every morning to remind yourself how you want to live your life each day.
3. Visualization - This is a great addition to intention because you can take that goal and close your eyes to envision it happening. You can visualize your day going perfectly, enjoying your work, or having a good time with your family or your significant other. Just imagine the entire scene playing out in your mind and feel the joy it brings just thinking about it.
4. Journaling - You may already have a journal, so why not pull it out and utilize it first thing in the morning? Write down three things you are grateful for, what accomplishments you are proud of, anything you are creating right now. When you express gratitude, studies show, it improves mood and reduces anxiety and depression. So, grab a paper and pen and start writing in bed.
5. Reading - Morning is also a great time to grab a good book to get the wheels turning for the day. Read a motivational book or a self-help book, or maybe learn a new business strategy to implement. Discover something new about yourself or get some new ideas. Just make sure to read something with quality content to start your day in a positive state of mind.
6. Exercise - Exercising in the morning is a great way to wake up and get the blood pumping for the day. Believe it or not, you will have more energy throughout the day when you start with movement. It doesn’t have to be a long gym session; a couple of sets of pushups or jumping jacks in place will make a difference.
7. Stretch - We often feel stiff after sleeping for so many hours. A morning stretch routine will help loosen your muscles while increasing blood flow to your muscles. Five to ten minutes of stretching or easy yoga poses will open your mind and body. You’ll feel physically ready for the day ahead.
8. Drink water with lemon - Before your coffee, drink a large glass of warm water with lemon squeezed in it for enormous benefits:
- Lemon water cleanses and stimulates the liver and kidneys.
- The vitamin C in lemons helps protect against colds.
- Drinking lemon water alkalizes the body. When the body is too acidic, it can harm the bones and vital tissues. Not to mention, it is the perfect breeding ground for yeast, fungus, and other harmful microbes.
- The antioxidant properties of lemons combat damage from free radicals, which will keep your skin looking young and healthy.
9. Eat a healthy breakfast - It may be a cliché, but there is some truth to the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast consists of lean protein, fiber, and healthy fats; for example, eggs with avocado and sauteéd spinach, or a smoothie with coconut milk, berries, spring greens, and protein powder. The benefits of eating a healthy breakfast are proven:
You’ll be less hungry throughout the day.
You’ll have more energy.
You’ll have better focus and concentration.
People who skip breakfast are more prone to be overweight.
10. Make your bed - Get up and make your bed. Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project,” says that by taking this small step to create outer order, you create inner calm. “It’s something small and doable which gets your day started off right,” she says. Or take the advice of retired four-star Naval Admiral William McRaven: “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” he told the 2014 graduates of the University of Texas at Austin. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”
There you have it. Ten ways to start your morning, improve your life, and help change the world. Remember to start with one or two habits. Once they’ve become permanent habits, start building on them to create a healthy, productive morning routine.