Modern life can be overwhelming at times. Most of us—with schedules filled with study, work, kids, or perhaps a side hustle to nurture—will have discovered our daily responsibilities leave us with little time for rest. Many of us live with the idea that busyness is the norm—in fact, we may be embracing it.
“You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” — John C. Maxwell.
Although stress may come as a normal part of everyday life, thriving in it isn’t necessarily a good thing. Studies have found that even minor stress combined with negative emotions can impact our long-term health if ignored. One way we can reduce our daily stress load is starting the day with a morning ritual. Starting the day meaningfully and mindfully has many benefits beyond preventing a stressful morning. Here are some of them.
Increased focus and clarity
Have you ever wondered why successful people follow a morning ritual? For many of them, waking up early and having a morning ritual is key to a successful day. By starting the day early, and slowly, your mornings can become a calming, pleasurable time of the day rather than a time we typically associate with low mood, low energy, rushing, and anxiety.
With so many tasks and decisions to face every day, a morning ritual can shift your focus to yourself and give you clarity on your priorities. Setting aside the first few moments of the day for yourself means you can then focus on your job, family, and other responsibilities. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Scheduling a set of actions to take every morning also reduces the cognitive load of decision-making, and helps switch on and prepare your brain to approach the day with a more focused, productive state of mind.
We’ve all had days where we simply go about our day without a plan. Having days without structure or a plan can be great once in a while, but they can also lead to uncertainty, stress, low productivity, and low mood. Morning rituals help you create a sense of structure, productivity and fulfilment from the time you wake up, which can have a flow on effect for the rest of your day.
Maintaining a positive mindset can be difficult when you have a lot on your plate. However, a morning ritual can be powerful and can transform the tone for the rest of the day, especially if you integrate a mindset of gratitude upon waking. The activities you do as part of your ritual can energise you, nourish your mind, body and spirit, and boost your creativity, which all lead to a positive mindset, high self-esteem and increased productivity. In other words, your positive mindset will help you achieve more in the day.
Examples of morning rituals
Your morning ritual should be personal to you and something you find enjoyable—you won’t need to follow what other people are doing or what’s working for others. Create a routine that aligns with your personal values and motivations. Here are some activities you could try as part of your morning ritual:
- Going for a 30 minute walk with your dog
- Spending 30 minutes to an hour in the gym
- Taking a cold shower
- Brewing a cup of tea
- Making a superfood smoothie
- Meditation or visualisation
- Goal-setting and planning
- Listening to a motivational podcast
Having a morning ritual can set you up for a happier, more fulfilling life. Let us know what your favourite morning ritual is in the comments below.