Many times, how we start our day is how our day will go. It is very important that we develop an early morning ritual that puts us in a positive state of mind. A morning ritual that is always looking for the joy and good throughout your day.
Below is an abbreviated form of my “Start Your Day In A Positive Way” morning ritual. I go into more detail in my book “DeStress The Mess – Minimizing The Impact of Stress In Your Life, Maximizing the Joy”.
Morning Madness: 5 Ways To Beat Stress
Every morning like clockwork, I go into prayer with my prayer line. There are 12 of us and we pray every morning at 4:50am, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.
There are some mornings that I can barely keep my eyes open, or I zone out because perhaps I dozed off, but most mornings I get out of bed go to my prayer room and start my prayers.
We each take turns requesting prayer and then one person prays on behalf of everyone. I have to say it gives me something to look forward to each day.
Many times it has jump started me and I have gotten over that overwhelmed feeling that I sometimes wake up with. I can tell the difference when I miss that call (I try not to let that happen).
Starting your day with gratitude is such a healthy way to beat stress. I take the time to write a gratitude letter everyday to my CSO (Chief Spiritual Officer – God). In this letter I tell him how grateful I am for his wisdom, grace and forgiveness and unconditional love.
I also tell him what I am grateful for now and what I am declaring prophetically what I am grateful for. I find taking the time to enter into gratitude each day makes a huge difference on how I let stress impact my day and my life.
3. AM Exercise
After prayer I do a few stretches to get the blood circulating and to gently awaken my body to a new day. This does not come without a lot of “I don’t feel like it” type of comments but it is amazing what stretching will do.
Just standing and stretching your arms to the side, then doing some deep breathing to stable yourself and give you a sense of physical peace.
Sometimes I take a short walk, or get on the elliptical if I really feel like moving. But the whole focus is really on getting your body moving, getting the circulation going, getting your brain activated and in tuned with your body so you can start your day on an “upswing”.
Cliche but true – a nice 8 oz glass of water with lemon or mint is a wonderful energizer after praying and exercising. It rejuvenates your body and you can feel it spreading throughout your body. I do it every day and it makes me feel like tackling the rest of my day.
5. List Out The Top Five
After drinking my water and waiting for my toast and my coffee (yes, my one vice) I start on my list. To avoid the reaction of feeling overwhelmed I start with my top five priorities that I must accomplish for that day.
I realize that there are enough things that I need to do that I can spend the rest of the day “listing ” things and there I go stressing out again.
So, I keep it to the Top Five. Noted things can get in the way of the Top Five but I really try to stick to Top Five because I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I complete those five things on the list.
Funny thing is that the Top Five might end up actually being 7 or 8 things I accomplished but it all starts for me with the Top Five.
This morning ritual has focused me and kept me striving to meet my goals. I don’t always succeed in doing my early morning ritual everyday, but whenever I skip it I can feel it.
There are many things you can do in the morning that fortifies your spirit and keeps you uplifted and de-stressed. Of course, you can add to these suggestions, whatever works for you!