morning routine coffee photo

Your morning routine really does have a huge impact on your whole day. If you roll out of bed, crawl to the shower, slam a coffee, and then head to work, that groggy heavy feeling will last your whole day through. On the other hand, if you wake up early and take a mindful look at the day, you’re setting yourself up for a world of enjoyment.

5 Ways Your Morning Routine Can Dramatically Reduce Stress

1. Mindfulness meditation

I start each day with the same morning routine. I roll out of bed, take a morning stretch, and head for my meditation room, spending about 30 minutes per day clearing my thoughts for the day ahead. It’s a simple, yet magically balancing ritual. Find a quiet place, sit up on a pillow so that your knees drop below your hips, set your alarm for your desired time, and close your eyes. The key here is consistency.

2. Find gratitude

Whether it’s writing a list of what you’re thankful for or just listing them in your head, find gratitude each and every morning. The more thankful you are for what serves or does not serve you, the happier you’ll be day to day.

3. Do for others

Charity is another key to happiness. The more we give, the less we need. Start your day by giving in some form or another. Maybe take your dog for an extra long walk, send a friendly text, pack your husband a yummy lunch–it doesn’t matter what you do, just that you do for others.

4. Try oil pulling

I love to start my day with oil pulling. It’s great for a number of reasons. First, it’s fantastic for oral hygiene and second when you’re oil pulling, you can’t talk. For 20 minutes per day I’m focusing on swishing coconut oil back and forth in my mouth and on nothing else.

5. Daily yoga practice

Right after I sit in meditation, I like to carry that mindfulness over into my daily yoga practice. It’s not about overexertion, but rather, about staying mindful in my movements as well. Let your practice be intuitive rather than planned with a few sun salutations, standing poses, hip openers, twists, seated poses, and some inversions etc. Here’s a great home practice.

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Image: Alvaro