Our habits define how we live our lives. So if you are not satisfied with your life right now, take some time and re-assess your daily habits. Most importantly your morning habits, because how you start your day, determines how well you live it. And the more productive and well lived your days are, the faster you are on your way to making those positive life changes.
It is important that we become aware of our daily habits and try to slowly discard ones that are not serving us and replace them with new ones.
Here are 12 powerful rituals you can add to your morning routine that will not only help supercharge your days but also pave the way for other positive changes in your life:
#1.) Meditate to attain (restorative) deep sleep states
A deep sleep is restorative – it heals and rejuvenates your mind, body and spirit.
A noisy mind is not conducive to deep sleep states. Calm your mind down using meditation before you sleep and your mornings will never be the same.
I used to have bad quality sleep that included at-least one nightmarish dream. My mornings were generally jaded and I pretty much hated waking up to the sound of the alarm. I would only wake up after about 5 snoozes and the worst part was this nagging headache that used to accompany me every morning. It felt mild but was constant and dulling.
All of this changed once I started meditating before going to bed. And all I did was some simple breath meditation for about 5 to 10 minutes.
If you are facing similar issues and would like to try out my approach, here’s what you can do:
When it is time to sleep, simply sit in your bed, resting against the pillow and focus all your attention to your breathing. Undoubtedly, thoughts will come and drag your attention back. But don’t worry if that happens, simply bring back your attention to your breath.
A few nights in, the thoughts will not bother you as much and you will be able to focus for longer periods.
Remember not to strain yourself and to keep relaxing during this practice.
If you are not in mood for meditation, do this instead:
Lie down in your bed and feel your body from within. Start from the soles of your feet and move your way upwards towards the tip of your skull. Feel all your body parts and consciously relax parts that feel tensed. Pay special attention to the back of your neck, shoulders and muscles around the base of your skull. These are the areas that feel the most tensed because of constant thinking.
Either of these practices will clear your mind and bring your body into parasympathetic mode which in turn will aid deeper sleep states.
The result – you will wake up feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
#2.) Don’t wait for the alarm to wake you up!
An alarm clock is a crude way of waking yourself up.
If you think about it, the moment you hear the alarm, it triggers a negative emotion in you. Even the word ‘alarm’ in itself means ‘disturbed’ or ‘in danger’. And in a way it does live up to its name!
So what’s the alternative?
The alternative is to wake up without an alarm clock!
This came as a surprise to me, but you can actually program your body (your subconscious mind) to wake up at a certain hour. As long as your body feels rested, you should be able to pull this off.
Here’s what you need to do:
As you finish meditating and are ready to sleep, focus your attention towards the center of your forehead (area between the eyes) and tell yourself a few times (around 10 times) when you want to wake up.
For example, ‘I am going to wake up at 7 a.m.’
Will this work? It has worked for me many times over and I am sure it will work for you too. Your body has an internal alarm clock and it can wake up on its own as long as it has gotten enough rest, which is around 7 hours of quality sleep.
Don’t worry if you don’t succeed the first time. Keep trying and re-adjusting your sleep schedule and you should be able to do it a few nights in.
As a precaution, make sure to set the alarm a few minutes late, as a back-up measure.
#3.) Visualize your day to attract synchronicity
Just like before going to bed, spend a few minutes to meditate once you wake up. Even one minute of meditation can do wonders for you.
Once your mind is calm and clear, take a few minutes to ponder over the things that you are thankful for. Think of all the progress you are making in your life. This could be the smallest of things. Remember, it is the small things that add up.
You can also spend a few minutes to visualize your day. Make a rough blueprint in your mind of all the things you want to accomplish today and how you will go about completing them. Doing this will set your thoughts in the right direction. This is also a great way to attract synchronicity into your life.
At this point, you can also think of your mentor or any person who inspires you. This way you wake up thinking of a positive image.
#4.) Refuel your body with water first thing after waking up
Drinking water in the morning helps your body flush out toxins. Also, the body gets dehydrated after 7 to 8 hours and hence it is important to hydrate it.
Just so you don’t forget, keep a liter of water next to your bed before going to sleep. You can drink as much as you feel comfortable with.
To make this even more beneficial, consider squeezing half a lemon in your water. Lemons are filled with Vitamin C among other minerals that boosts your immune system and helps burn excess fat in addition to kick-starting your metabolism.
#5.) Recharge yourself with the sun’s energy
The sun is the source of all energy on earth. Without the sun, life wouldn’t exist.
So how do you tap into this energy? Using these two ancient techniques – sun gazing and sun bathing.
Sun Gazing: If you have the habit of waking up early (before 7 a.m), then consider ‘sun gazing’. Sun gazing is a sacred ancient practice that simply involves staring at the sun.
The UV rays are at their lowest during the 1st hour of sun rise so it’s safe to stare during this time period.
Experts are known to stare at the sun for one hour or more. But if you have never done this before, it is best to stare for less than 10 seconds for the first few days. You can increase the duration as your eyes get more accustomed to the sun. Stare for 30 seconds after the 1st week and up to one minute after the 2nd week.
Sun gazing has been linked with many amazing health benefits – it increases your energy levels, is good for your eyes, raises your vibration and can even heal your body. It has also been known to activate the pineal gland which has been equated to intuition and the third eye.
You can even use sun gazing as your meditation practice. Instead of your breath, use the sun as your focal point and divert all your attention on it for a few seconds to a minute.
Sun Bathing: If you wake up after 7 a.m. consider soaking in the morning rays. Expose your skin to the sun rays for around 5 to 10 minutes. Avoid applying sunscreen, to get the maximum benefits.
Soaking in the sun helps your body produce Vitamin D which is crucial for healthy bones and teeth and helps prevent a whole range of autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D is also known to strengthen the immune system. It also aids relaxation. In addition to this, sunlight also energizes every cell in your body.
Burning your negative thoughts: The sun also has the power to burn negative thoughts. So if you have a lot of negative thoughts nagging you, simply stare at the sun for a few seconds, let these negative thoughts come up and feel the powerful rays of the sun burning away your negative thoughts. Do this and you will be amazed how light you feel.
#6.) Energize your body with conscious breathing
You are surrounded by this powerful life energy called ‘air’. It’s all around you and it’s absolutely free. So why not take in all you want?
Deep breathing helps increase the oxygen levels in your bloodstream thereby aiding clear thinking which makes you feel energetic and rejuvenated. It also helps purify your blood and the respiratory system.
Here is a simple deep breathing exercise that you can do:
- Inhale deeply filling up your lungs with air. While doing this, think to yourself that you are inhaling pure positive energy.
- Hold for a few seconds (preferably 10 seconds).
- Consciously relax your mind and body as you hold your breath.
- When you exhale feel all the stress, anxiety and negative energy in your body going out.
- Do around 5 to 10 repetitions.
If you are feeling enthusiastic, you can also perform a yogic breathing exercise known as Pranayama or Alternate nostril breathing. This involves breathing in deeply through your left nostril (while blocking the right nostril) and then exhaling through the right nostril (while blocking the left nostril). Now repeat the entire routine by breathing through your right nostril and exhaling through the left nostril and so on.
Here’s a video demonstrating the technique:
The benefits of Pranayama are really huge, it has been known to reduce stress and anxiety, increase vitality and immunity. Pranayama is also regarded as the most powerful breathing exercise in yogic tradition.
#7.) Clear negative energy blocks by moving your body
The term ‘exercise’ has gotten a bad rep. So bad that it can evoke feelings of boredom and lethargy. A better, more enthusiastic term is to ‘move your body’.
Every morning remind yourself that you need to move your body.
You need not follow any specific regime when it comes to moving your body. Feel free to do what you like as long as your body is moving.
What I find extremely rejuvenating is a simple technique known as ‘Qigong shaking’. I have talked about this a lot in many of my articles because I simply cannot get enough of it.
Here’s how this works:
Stand in at-ease position with your legs a little apart and with your knee slightly bent. Now allow your body to shake/bounce. You can vary your pace based on your comfort. Just make sure to consciously keep loosening your body so every single organ in your body is moving.
Do this for around a minute to five minutes or even more if you feel comfortable.
Here is a good video explaining how to do this:
Shaking exercises like Qigong shaking has been associated with massive benefits. Some of them include the following:
- Massively improves circulation.
- Clears all negative energy blocks.
- Releases anxiety and stress and produces a state of calm.
- Aids in the release of feel good hormones like endorphins in the body.
- Strengthens your immunity.
- Makes you feel fresh and energetic.
#8.) Add to your energy levels with a cold shower
Cold showers are the craze these days and for a good reason. They have amazing health benefits.
For starters, cold water does not necessarily mean ice cold. It just means, bearable cold. Also you need to work your way up to the cold water. Do not directly start showering in cold water. You muscles will not be able to cope with this sudden temperature change and you might end up getting cramps.
The way to do this is to follow a gradual change from lukewarm to cold. With cold water, let the water hit your feet, then your thighs before making your way up. Do not start from the head.
Cold showers have a range of health benefits that include improved circulation and immunity, burn excess fat, relaxation and stress reduction. For me, I found that it helped me feel fresh and energetic as opposed to hot showers.
This is definitely not for everyone but you can give it a try and see if it works for you.
#9.) Get into a positive frame of mind by reading something positive
Even if you don’t have time to read an entire chapter, even reading a few lines of positive literature can influence your vibration. Anything written with a positive intent will have a positive influence on you.
You can also read from your own journal if you maintain one.
#10.) Further this by writing something positive
After reading, take out a notebook and write down versus that you found inspirational. It doesn’t matter if you write it down on a piece of paper or a journal/notebook.
When you write down something, it gets etched deeper into your subconscious mind.
#11.) Attract positivity by altering your self talk
Whatever you say, your subconscious mind is listening. If you say negative, discouraging things all the time, that is how your subconscious mind is going to perceive your reality.
Take a moment to become aware of what thoughts are running in your mind – especially your ‘self talk’.
Check to see if your self talk is predominantly negative. If you catch yourself with a negative self talk, consciously change it to positive.
Here’s an example:
Darn it! I have so much work to do today! (negative self talk)
I am feeling full of energy and I will get all that work done easily today. (positive self talk)
The words ‘I am’ is very powerful. Whatever you become after it starts shaping your reality.
In addition to changing negative self talk into positive, you can also use auto suggestions. For instance, tell yourself that you are going to have a great day or that you are going to meet great people today.
You can even listen to affirmations or uplifting audio books while you are doing otherwise mundane activities like getting ready for the day, cooking food or while commuting.
If you are in the habit of listening to music in the morning, check to make sure it has positive, uplifting lyrics.
#12.) Give your system a major boost by drinking a green smoothie
Consider starting off your day with a green smoothie or a green salad. You can make a green smoothie using any of these veggies:
To add taste to your smoothie consider adding ginger, lemon, tomatoes, bananas or even coconut water.
Green smoothies carry tons of nutrients that are great for your mind and body. Plus they are low on calories and are easy to digest. They supply you with a blast of instant revitalizing energy are you are ready to start off your day.