According to ancient Ayurvedic medicine as well as modern doctors and psychologists, healthy morning rituals are good for one's brain and body as well as an important key to a happier and less stressful life. In my studies of Ayurvedic Medicine and general wellness mixed with much trial and experimenting in my own life, I have compiled a list of 5 Morning Rituals that I do every day and have immensely helped me.
If you're like me, you usually like to hit the snooze button umpteen times and feel groggy when you finally rise. Then before you know it you're running late for the whole day and didn't even get your second cup of coffee in! While this still happens in my life occasionally, these habits have helped me to cut way down on those days. I also have experienced weight loss, more energy, reduced cravings, higher levels of happiness, better sleep the following night, and being on time for appointments and work.
Here we go...
1. DO NOT HIT YOUR SNOOZE BUTTON.
...Don't even think about it! This is probably the hardest thing on the list but also the most important. When you take a morning nap by hitting that snooze button and dozing off again, your brain gets tricked into thinking it is going into another sleep cycle yet gets awoken again 5-10 minutes later by the following alarm, waking you up in the middle of said cycle. This messes with your internal clock as well as the levels of melatonin in the brain ultimately causing sleep inertia and can affect the sleep you get the following night.
2. Brush your teeth and scrape your tongue as soon as you wake up.
This may sound ridiculous but hear me out... If you do not brush your teeth in the morning, you are literally reinviting all that your mouth and digestive system purged to the surface during your nightly rest. That fuzzy tongue feeling is a result of "ama," or undigested food and can be an irritant to the system throughout the day. Upon rising, I immediately head to the bathroom for a quick brushing and tongue scraping and repeat the brushing ritual after breakfast.
3. Set your intention for the day.
Studies have shown that the first 10 minutes of your waking day set the stage for the rest of the day (another reason why getting up early without "snoozing" is so important). With this in mind, it is important to set your day up positively by setting an intention for your day and repeating it as a mantra or affirmation. Some examples of ones I have personally used are "I am strong," "I am loved," "The universe has my back in all I do," "I accept the best today and I deserve the best today," and my personal favorite, "I am sexy, I am happy, I am healthy, I am strong, I am smart, I am confident." These should be "I am..." statements. This practice enforces that amazingly overused saying but underused technique here in the USA of "fake it 'til you make it" which ultimately is a manifestation trick. This mantra or affirmation should be repeated constantly throughout the first 10 minutes of your day, whether internally or verbally and repeated even more throughout the day - especially when you start feeling any opposite or deterring emotions from your set intention.
4. Rehydrate and flush your system with warm lemon water.
This is the easiest thing we can do to set our digestive systems up for success in the day ahead. While lemon juice is naturally acidic, once consumed it becomes alkaline, which supports a healthy PH in the body. This simple cup of goodness also has been shown to help kick caffeine (though I personally love coffee and admittingly drink it daily), curb cravings (specifically sweets), increase metabolism, boost your immune system, raise energy levels, and help clear your skin. The benefit list continues on this subject but the important rule is to wait 15-30 minutes from ingesting this water to eat. That way, the water has already made it far enough through your system that it has started to absorb into your cells.
Photo by KT Langley Photography
If meditation is your thing - this last ritual is going to be just your cup of tea! The next thing I do every morning is either Pranayama (breathwork) or Meditation... Or both! Start setting aside at least 5 minutes for this practice in order to help calm the CNS (central nervous system). This time to "drop in" also allows the mind/body connection to deepen throughout the day and reduces that feeling of being a sleepwalker until you return to bed in the evening. If you are new to the practice of breathwork and meditation, I recommend an app for meditation such as Insight Timer which has guided meditations as well as a meditation timer for more experienced practitioners who just need a timer. For Pranayama, here is a great and simple article from Yoga Journal that goes over some basic practices. Feel free to reach out for more suggestions here.
While I could have written on this subject forever, these are the most important rituals that I find most helpful and practice every day (with some exceptions). Once again, all of these rituals have come from years of study, trial and error and have helped my productivity, energy levels, sleep cycle, motivation to workout and work, digestive system, and more.
The one I left out that has been a morning ritual for over 10 years is Yoga or Free Movement / Dancing. If you need some inspiration in these areas, check back for my soon coming "Virtual Classes" tab on this site or reach out to me here for private, one-on-one virtual or in person sessions.
Hoping these tips can help you rise and shine and respond to the Earth when it says "Hello!"
Sending this out with light, love, and blessings.
While these are suggestions that may help to increase happiness, reduce stress, and support general wellness, I am not a healthcare professional and can not say that these habits will treat or cure anything.