Many of us are in the habit of reaching for our phones first thing in the morning, but we also know that doing this can hijack or derail our day. The blue light of the phone causes your brain to release cortisol into your system, which means that your day starts off with a stress response. In addition, we are built to wake up gradually, rather than starting at full tilt the moment we open our eyes, and we all know it’s hard not to get sucked into responding to “just that one thing.”
Perhaps there’s a better way. There’s rarely anything on your phone that can’t wait until the workday begins and implementing a morning well-being ritual can set you up for a far more rewarding day. According to the Upward Spiral Theory, which comes from a rich area of research in positive psychology that explores the value of positive emotions, investing time in well-being practices creates an escalating positive feedback loop that continually boosts our mood, motivation and overall emotional health. So starting our mornings with a focus on well-being can help us both meet the day energized and happy, and motivate us to build more well-being boosters into our schedules throughout the day to keep that positive energy going.
Here are a few of wowe’s ideas for morning rituals:
Morning Mindfulness Ritual:
1. Brush your teeth
2. Drink a glass of water
3. Three stretches
4. Sit for 5 minutes of meditation
5. Eat a nourishing breakfast
Morning Energizing Ritual:
1. Brush teeth
2. Drink a glass of water
3. Pull on our workout clothes
4. Hit the gym or running trail
5. Make or buy a protein smoothie for your commute
Morning Self-Reflection Ritual:
1. Sit up in bed and take 10 mindful breaths
2. Set an intention for your day
3. Brush teeth
4. Drink a glass of water
5. Brew a cup of tea or coffee
6. Read a poem or a section of an inspiring book and/or write in your journal
You’ll notice that the first two sample rituals start with the same couple of activities. There are two reasons for this:
1) “Habit stacking” — piggybacking a new habit you want to establish on top of one you already automatically do — is a science-proven method for successfully implementing new habits. Then you can keep adding new habits to your ritual one by one.
2) Hydrating early in the day—before coffee!— is one of the best practices for keeping your body and brain in top form — which is why this is a core wowe habit. The third is an example of how you might adjust a ritual to suit your personal preferences.
Feel free to adjust and experiment with these examples, or even create your own ritual from scratch, based on your own goals and inclinations. Of course, if you’re stumped or you want to refresh your ritual a bit, you’ll find plenty of personalized, curated recommendations from wowe to incorporate into your morning.
Don’t worry about completely overhauling your life with a huge lofty goal or aim for permanent change overnight. Instead, think about the ritual you already have set for yourself and focus on what you’re going to do tomorrow. Alter or add some activities, but start small. Set the intention of trying out your new ritual for just one morning to start with, and when you do, reflect on how you feel. If it doesn’t go as intended, go easy on yourself, because habit change is hard. Instead of condemning yourself and giving up, consider what got in your way, and make a plan for dealing with or overcoming that obstacle the next day.
And if you did practice your ritual, pay attention to how you felt afterwards, and how the rest of your day went as a result. Perhaps then you’ll be inspired to practice it again the next day.
It takes a minimum of 21 days to institute a new habit (or break an old one), but just as breaking down large tasks into smaller chunks makes them more manageable, taking each new habit one day at a time will make it easier. It will be an established habit once it becomes consistent and automatic.
A well-being ritual is a cluster of intentional habits that contribute to living your best life. Remember that developing a ritual is not a chore or a “should,” but a practice intended to support your well-being, reduce stress and create more happiness in your day-to-day life.
You can download wowe here to get access to all the activities to make your mornings better!
mindfulness meditation growthmindset positivehabits well-being