The dawning of a new day is a powerful symbol of rebirth and change: a chance to begin again. I personally suggest these three morning rituals to help you wake up on the bright side of bed, with greater intention and less room for stress to move in.
If you approach the new day with the belief that it actually is another chance to start fresh, you place your power at the very beginning of the path, before you take a step. You don’t wait until overwhelm strikes to be peaceful: you prevent it from overly-affecting you in the first place.
Prevention is much easier to work with than reparation.
Morning rituals can infuse your day with so much more intention because you’re starting from the ground up instead of waiting for the day — your schedule, random events, or other people — to tell you how you’re going to feel.
Rituals are focused, purposeful, mindful, nourishing, and personal. What works for me won’t necessarily work for you. If just reading about it resonates with you and sparks your interest, though, it’s probably worth a try.
Let yourself try something new or recover something old.
Whichever ritual practices you incorporate into your morning routine, be sure that you give them a chance. Practice them for a week or two or more. Check in with yourself during and after the practice, and again later in the day, to gauge its effect on you.
I’ve found the following morning rituals to be helpful in stress prevention and productivity. Consider what might help you greet the day — and then live the day — with a calm mind and an open heart.
What you do first thing in the morning, and how you do it, is an energetic appeal to the day that follows.
3 Morning Rituals for Less Stress & More Joy
1. Morning affirmations.
Tell yourself the things you need to hear before anyone else tells you who you are. Speak your truth in the first person, present tense. Like so:
- I am ready to receive every wonderful thing that’s meant for me.
- I’m treating this day like it’s a brand new day, free from yesterday and tomorrow.
- I am capable and teachable and willing to try something new.
These can be short and sweet or a bit longer. You can repeat your declarations of truth out loud, write them down, or read them silently. Starting the day with a helpful set of thoughts trains your brain to water the words that grow flowers (and weed out those that stress you out).
“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.” — Richard Wately
2. Morning meditation/visualization.
Morning is a potent time for setting intentions and clearing the mind. Before you check your email or social media, before you watch the news, and before you engage in any work whatsoever, try meditating for at least a few minutes.
Meditations can include visualization techniques, where you envision in your mind something ideal: a comforting scene, an event unfolding perfectly, how it looks and feels to be living your best life.
Both meditation and visualization (sometimes paired, sometimes separate) are both proven methods of relieving stress, enhancing focus, and cultivating a greater sense of peace over time. Take advantage of the stillness of the morning — even if you only have one minute — to practice inner stillness.
This morning ritual has changed my days and thus my life.
The best time to relieve stress is before it happens.
3. Morning thanks.
Here’s a deceptively simple morning ritual: every time your feet touch the floor or you walk through a doorway (or another trigger moment), repeat “thank you.”
Whenever something specific happens (you walk through a doorway, take a shower, sit down, get in the car, complain) follow it up with a specific phrase.
Thanking life is always appropriate, even when you don’t (yet) know what specifically you’re thankful for.
“The sun is a daily reminder that we too can rise again from the darkness, that we too can shine our own light.” – S. Ajna
. . .
What morning rituals do you swear by for focus, energy, and joy?
Share my morning rituals with a rise-and-shine kind of friend!
I think you’re amazing just for getting up again today.
P.S. My third book, Sleep Rituals is the perfect complement to your morning rituals. When you’re rested, it’s so much easier to wake up with a smile.