10 ways to start your mornings more mindfully.

Everyday is an opportunity for you to be a better version of yourself than you were yesterday.

But many of us let this chance pass us by, simply because we roll out of bed and into bad, or rather, mindless habits. And we do this because it’s easy.

It’s easy to hit snooze, dive right into our cell phones, skip breakfast, and do the bare minimum to get through the door with matching socks on.

We tell ourselves we deserve to have an “easy” morning before facing the day.

We label this absent-mindedness “self-care,” even though it does a great disservice to ourselves.

Because how we start our morning sets the tone for our approach to the rest of the day.

So ask yourself, do you want to let the day just happen to you? Or do you want to be in the driver seat?

If you’re ready to grab the wheel and elevate your morning routine with intention and mindfulness follow these 10 tips:

  1. Avoid your cell phone for at least 20 minutes.

I know you’ve heard this before, and it sounded like a great idea — but. But what? It is a great idea and you owe yourself the gift of 20 minutes that belong to you and only you.

When we start the day on our phones, checking social media, reading the news, or responding to emails we start the day in a reactive manner. Responding to everything outside ourselves.

Rather, start the day in a proactive manner. Take time to hone in on your thoughts and feelings and decide what kind of day you want.

Sounds easy, but it’s not, especially at first. You’re going to have to reject the urge to grab your phone. Luckily, you’ve got this list, full of ideas to keep you busy for at least 20 minutes.

2. Journal each morning.

There’s a lot of power in taking the time to write your thoughts down. The simple act of putting pen to paper helps to actualize your thoughts in a more tangible sense.

Take some time each morning to write about where you are emotionally, mentally, or physically and also write about where you’d like to be.

Write out your hopes, your struggles, and your good ideas that you’ll soon forget.

“Your journal becomes a blueprint for the inner workings of your mind.”

3. Set an intention for yourself.

Setting an intention is a phrase you may hear often in terms of yoga, meditation, or a spiritual practice. But simply setting an intention for any and everyday is a beautiful thing.

Often we let the day happen to us. Reacting to whatever may come our way. By setting an intention for yourself, you take back the power of how you move through situations and respond to your surroundings.

An intention is different from a goal. A goal may have more tangible attributes, whereas an intention should concern the triad of body, mind, and spirit. It’s a purpose or focus for the day.

Think of your intention as your north star. You may stray from your plans, but you can always look to your intention for guidance.

4. Start the day with optimism and gratitude

Make it a point each morning to mentally or physically list down at least three things you are grateful for. Take some moments to reflect on these things and even smile about them.

This simple act has a huge impact.

Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. is an expert in the science of positive psychology. Currently, a psychology professor at UC Davis, Emmons is the founding editor of The Journal of Positive Psychology and has over 200 written publications about gratitude.

Emmons research shows that people who consistently practice gratitude benefit from improving their physical, psychological, and social health. According to Emmons being more grateful can actually lower your blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, make you more alert, and help you become more compassionate and outgoing. It also further develops your sense of self-worth and your relationships with others.

What a way to start the day!

5. Make breakfast count

We have a lot of food choices to make throughout the day. Some days we do better than others.

“But if you’re going to choose one meal to be the best, let it be the first.”

The first thing you fuel your body with is going to supply the energy you start the day with. Make sure your breakfast is covering the basics.

According to eatingwell.com your balanced breakfast should include these three things:

  1. Protein
  2. Grains
  3. Fruit or vegetables

These three ingredients will insure you have more mental focus and that you remain full and satisfied for longer.

Check out this article for delicious and healthy breakfast recipes.

6. Meditate

Having time to sit and meditate each morning may seem challenging. And it does require you to prioritize your morning schedule. But the benefits you’ll receive are so worth it.

Meditating helps to ward off negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, and depression. It also helps you to become more self-aware.

When we carry self-awareness through the day our communications and decision making skills are sharpened. We become better listeners and more empathetic of others.

It’s a great way to cultivate a deeper connection with yourself, your surroundings, and others.

7. Make the bed

Making the bed each morning can be the first task you accomplish each day. It instills a sense of pride in you, setting you up for more accomplishments.

Retired U.S. Navy Admiral Seal William H. McCraven says “if you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right, ” when talking about making your bed everyday.

And it’s true. The little things we do and practice each day have such a profound effect on the person we become.

So take time to do the little things, so that you can enjoy the bigger picture.

8. Have a good morning read

In a time full of swiping, clicking, and scrolling, it’s nice to slow down and turn a page or two.

Take a short while to get lost in a book that makes you feel good, inspires, or energizes you.

Reading is a great way to cognitively stimulate your brain so that you may ward off groggy feelings we often experience in the morning. It also aids in memory improvement and sharpened focus.

9. Practice presence

So often we are doing one thing and our mind is in several other places. We get so caught up in mentally planning our day, or thinking about everything ahead or behind us.

Instead try to remain very present in each thing you do in the morning. For example, be there while you brush your teeth. Notice the sensation. Be mindful of each tooth you clean. Focus exactly on the task at hand.

Forming this habit will teach you to be more present in all areas of your life.

10. Be consistent

Whichever techniques best suit you and your well-being, be sure to practice them consistently.

“Consistency is the only true and real way to reap reward.”

Doing something once may give us temporary satisfaction, but it won’t be long until we end up where we began.

Evolving into a more proactive and mindful person takes practice, dedication and nurture, just as many other great things in life.

This is the true act of self-care.

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I write for those who struggle through love, death, relationships and self-worth. My words are a bridge from my soul to yours. IG:nicoleskyler_

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Nicole Skyler Villanueva

Nicole Skyler Villanueva

I write for those who struggle through love, death, relationships and self-worth. My words are a bridge from my soul to yours. IG:nicoleskyler_

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