How we spend our waking moments sets us up for the type of day we’re going to have. If you suffer from a lack of confidence or general self-doubts and anxieties, you know how easy it is for negative thoughts to start manifesting first thing in the morning. Establishing positive morning habits can help you process and overcome negative emotions that may drag you down during the day.
You might be thinking: Michelle, mornings suck! I am not a morning person. Quit talking about mornings!
I hear you. Sure, you might not be a morning person. But, like everyone else, you do have to face waking up and getting out of bed every day. Don’t you want that process to be more pleasant?
Whether you’re a morning person or you despise everything about the a.m., there are things you can do within any kind of time frame you’re working with to set yourself up for a more positive, confident day.
My Morning Habits for Counteracting Negative Thoughts and Emotions
I’ve always been a morning person. My husband and I get up every day at 4 a.m….by choice! I love having extra time to internalize, reflect and pray in the morning before starting my work. Unfortunately, many negative thoughts manifest before I’m even out of bed, and my morning habits have helped me process these doubts and turn them around.
You certainly don’t need to wake up at 4 a.m. to have an awesome morning. But consider waking up even 10 minutes earlier than usual to have some solid “me” time. If you rush through your morning without stopping to think for a minute, those anxieties get bottled up inside of you. They might take over your mind later in the day when you really need to focus, or mess with your ability to make a decision.
Taking time to completely feel and acknowledge these emotions is necessary before you can come out on the other side. Try implementing these morning habits into your routine to go about your day with more confidence and positivity:
1. Drink Water
You’re likely fatigued when you wake up because you’re mildly dehydrated after so many hours of sleep. Replenish and jump start the body with some good ol’ H2O. This will help awaken the body, allowing you to feel more alive, alert and ready to take on the day.
I fill a glass with cold water and add a slice of lemon and a drop of Lemon essential oil. Plain water is fine – the important thing is to drink it, so make it however you like. I choose lemon water in hopes of setting up a good day for my digestive system.
2. Stretch and Move
Not everyone has time or energy for a whole workout in the morning, and no one should force themselves to work out then if they find it more enjoyable at another time of day. But moving your body in some way for just a few minutes will significantly help you to wake up and feel good.
Earlier this year, I made a goal to be able to do the splits, (I get really excited when I watch musicals and see how flexible those dancers are!). I’ve been doing the same leg stretches every single morning to improve my flexibility. I do a round of 4 stretches, which takes about 10 minutes.
When I first started doing this, I immediately noticed that I was much more energetic and excited to start the day just after a few minutes of stretching. I felt more limber and alert, wanting to sit upright at my desk rather than slumping on the cozy couch while I worked.
There are plenty of ways you can squeeze in some movement without getting sweaty or busting into full workout mode. These are some of my favorite morning exercises.
3. Consume an Inspiring Message
Listen to a short motivational podcast. Read a quick daily devotional or a small passage from a book. Take in something that will give you a new perspective on the negative thoughts you may be having.
I like listening to Brendon Burchard’s podcast The Charged Life while I do my splits stretches – they’re quick episodes that run about the length of my stretching time. Then I read a daily devotional – right now it’s The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Daily Inspirations. It’s eery how often the messages I take in line up exactly with the problem I’m facing.
4. Find Your Form of Meditation
Silence can help reduce stress and improve cognitive performance. No, you don’t have to meditate for an hour. If you only have 1 or 2 minutes, fine. The key is to do nothing and let your mind relax.
Meditation is whatever it means to you. Sit still. Be in silence. Reflect.
This is the meat of your morning, where the magic happens. Now that some negative thoughts have surfaced and you’ve consumed a little inspiration, it’s time to let those two extremes balance each other out.
My morning silence is my prayer time. I make a giant cup of hot tea and sit down for my morning “Tea with God,” I call it. I say my usual prayers, but I also take this time to contemplate any negative thoughts I’m having. I think about how I can implement the inspiration I read into my day.
Don’t get discouraged if you suck at this. Sitting in silence is not easy. I do it every day, and I still find that my mind wanders to the most random thoughts or worse, I fall asleep. Hey, it happens! You don’t need to be perfect at it. Just set aside a couple minutes to sit still, and try your darndest to quiet your mind.
Are those thoughts still weighing on you? Write them down. Write a sentence, a paragraph or a page, whatever you feel like. Just write what’s on your mind.
Get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper, where they’ll lie closed up in a journal while you’re free to go about your day.
Journaling especially helps me process my thoughts and work out any doubts I’m experiencing. The process of physically writing out what’s on my mind helps me to reflect on it and see new perspectives. Many “aha” moments come to me when I’m journaling, which is why I love doing this first thing in the morning. I can shake out anything that’s plaguing me and get my mind right before I tackle my work.
Aim to do your morning habits consistently, whether you’re having negative thoughts or not. Consistency helps your brain automate its response to negativity.
Some days start off better than others. I like to think that most mornings I write about happy, fluffy thoughts of doing awesome things, but other mornings I definitely have to be more intentional about each habit to get these negative thoughts out of my mind.
Give these habits a try in whatever way they may fit in your schedule. You owe it to yourself to try and have the best day possible.
Do you practice any of these habits? What’s your favorite way to start your day off right? Share your morning habits in the Comments section!