There is no better feeling than waking up looking forward to the possibilities and promises of a new day ahead. But I must take the opportunity to cultivate that first blush of positivity before the realities of the day.
Here’s the good news. Once you learn how to lock in that optimistic feeling for the day, you’ll be able to resist anything that attempts to sabotage your joy.
I prioritize the time for self-love. This might sound like a lot at first but becomes ingrained in your routine after a few weeks of practice.
Five of the methods I most enjoy are these:
I create my reality through words, shaking off negative thoughts and replacing them with positive. Dozens of studies agree–reaffirming your worth is a helpful tool in everybody’s self-care kit.
It is free, easy, and only takes a few minutes. Just take the negative self-talk and replace it with affirmative language.
A common example of negative language is, “I can’t do it.” Through affirmations, I flip the script on the negativity and create a positive statement, “I can and will do it.” I say this several times, carefully reflecting on the words, until I believe it.
Mindful coffee or tea:
Drinking your coffee or tea with an attitude of gratitude and mindfulness is another quick and easy method to infuse your day with positivity. Many hit the button on their coffee maker, pour their favorite hot beverage into a to-go cup and run out the door to face a hectic commute.
Replace the rush with ten minutes of gratitude. As I prepare my drink, I take the time to thank those who harvested the beans or leaves, notice the fragrant aroma, feel the weight of my favorite mug in my hand, and sip intentionally. I notice the flavor, warmth, and aromatics, enjoying every sip.
This morning routine might add five minutes, but the time it takes to nourish my soul is worth every second.
On the busiest days, with the least amount of time available, I enjoy three minutes of deep breathing. This activity is quick and refreshing for the mind and body.
As I take in each breath, I close my eyes and notice how it feels to fill my lungs, holding it in for just a few seconds. When I release the breath, I do so with a giant whoosh, visualizing negative thoughts leaving my body as I expel them into thin air.
As the mother of two young children, I know the challenges of clutter. Not only is it unsightly, but studies note how it can lead to a chaotic feeling not only in the home but also in the emotional center of the brain.
I often set a timer for five minutes, using that time to carefully put away anything that’s out of place. I’m always surprised at how much I accomplish in such a short few moments. Not only do I feel the instant gratification of getting something done now, but I also create more time for family and friends at the end of my workday.
Exercising in the morning works by releasing endorphins, the “feel-good chemicals” from the brain. It literally releases joy, which then radiates throughout your body. It doesn’t matter your fitness level or experience. Focus on what you can do. You might lace up your running shoes for a morning jog, perform yoga poses to greet the morning, or even do gentle arm circles or leg raises from a chair.
Set your alarm a few minutes before your normal time to carve the time out of your schedule and claim this time as yours. You’ll feel joy-filled immediately after your workout. But you’ll also make yourself physically stronger over the long term, a happy result of this positive morning routine. It only takes three or four times a week to experience the physical benefits of exercise.
Of course, these are not the only ways to set a positive intention and lock in your optimism for the day. Incorporating things that you love into your morning routine is what you’ll stick with. That might be drinking water, gardening, writing in a journal, making the bed, or prayer.
You deserve this time, and the love you give yourself.
Creating Your Positive Feedback Loop
I love the positive feedback loop that I create when I intentionally make time in the morning for healthy habits. Seriously, the rest of my day just flows so much better. I feel good about myself. My relationships are more positive. I enjoy my work more. Even household chores like the dishes and every day commitments feel easier to do when you start the day with positive and self care.
Likewise, when I don’t get a chance to take time for my positive routine, I notice a difference. Sometimes it’s not always drastic, other times it is. I feel really “off” or generally feel like I am walking through mud to get through my day.
That’s because a morning routine is everything! It sets the tone for your day. It gives you the opportunity to have a fresh start, a new perspective. Numerous studies have found that the attitude you have in the morning is usually the one that will stick with you throughout the day.
It’s true… positive people have trained their mind to be positive. When you meet someone who glistens with optimism, this was no accident. Habits that they commit to daily have helped them choose to see the good repeatedly until positivity became a natural habit for them over time. Some of the most positive people I have met were not given an easy life. They create strength and happiness from dark places.
“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”– Winston Churchill