Start your morning off right, no matter what your day has in store for you. Although everyone experiences worry and anxiety at some point in their lives, it’s possible to ease the side effects and prevent those feelings from having power over our actions. While it may take practice, there are ways we can ease our stress and focus on achieving the right mindset from the minute we wake up, so we’re ready to take on the day. Check out these four methods that will help you start your day feeling relaxed and focused.
Don’t wait until fight-or-flight kicks in before minding the breath. Controlled breathing not only keeps your mind and body functioning at their best, it can also lower blood pressure, promote feelings of calm and relaxation , and help you de-stress. While the effects of breathing techniques on anxiety haven’t been studied at length (at least in a controlled clinical setting), many experts encourage using the breath as a means of increasing awareness, mindfulness, or—for the yogis among us.
Even ten minutes first thing in the morning can help you calm your nerves. In addition to checking out the hundreds of YouTube videos on meditation that will walk you through deep breathing exercises, you can also download an app, find a comfortable space where you can sit upright, with your feet on the floor and allow your thoughts to come and go as you focus on your breathing. Studies have found that meditation can help relieve stress, so choose a video or method that works best for you, and work it into your morning routine.
2. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Counter any signs of stress by practicing gratitude. Write down what you’re grateful for, or recite it to yourself. It can be anything from your support system to your favorite sweatshirt. Reciting or writing down your blessings automatically makes you focus on the positives in life, which will make you feel feel lighter and less anxious.
3. SET ACHIEVABLE GOALS
Begin your day by accomplishing something. Not only will this lessen your anxiety, it’ll encourage you to keep the momentum going throughout your day, and it may even increase your productivity. If to-do lists stress you out, choose one specific goal you can achieve relatively easily and get it out of the way before you arrive at work, class, etc.
4. BE PRESENT
If you find yourself in a rush, slow down and take in your surroundings and focus on your actions any physical sensations. For instance, when eating breakfast, try and savour your bites. If you’re walking to your car, take a moment and feel the fresh air make its way into your lungs. Staying present will help lessen any tension and prompt you to take in the world around you.