SKIP the morning Joe and get your zen on.
With the beginning of school right around the corner, waking your children and getting things started on a positive note can be a challenge. Here are five things that, when implemented, will increase the cohesiveness of the family unit and help everyone start the day with a smile.
1. Morning meditation
Every morning I like to meditate to start my day off and clear the cobwebs. This could be walking, sitting, standing or simply breathing. There are so many different ways to meditate. You don’t need to be sitting cross-legged in the lotus position. I like to listen to music while walking my dog before the sun rises. I enjoy watching the animals and day come to life and set an intention for the day. This will help you get centered.
2. Do something for yourself
Whether it's making a special kind of tea, going on Instagram or a morning jog — do something that makes you feel good. I have 2 reading rituals I do most mornings. Both take less than five minutes. One is a daily reflection from a book of positive quotes, the other is a deck of cards by Eckhart Tolle. This deck helps me keep the concepts of The New Earth relevant in my life. It makes me feel good and reminds me to focus on what’s important.
3. Eat a nutritious breakfast.
I used to eat whatever I wanted and have a strong cup of coffee. It definitely got me going but I would crash if I didn’t keep drinking. Recently, I switched to juicing vegetables and fruits in the morning. My mind is clearer and I don’t have that afternoon crash. Other healthy options include yogurt, eggs or a healthy cereal. It’s ok to indulge in coffee every so often. I still do, I just didn’t want to be dependent on it.
For as long as I can remember I had a negative tape playing in my head, telling me I wasn’t good enough. After reading Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life, I started reading affirmations every morning or during the day when I was getting down on myself. It's amazing how my internal script changed. I was a non-believer and cynic at first. I thought affirmations were corny and hokey but guess what? They work!
5. Learning to focus on your breathing
I'd never paid much attention to my breathing, until I started to work at an agency that mandated 45 minutes of breathing every Friday. I realized that I was a shallow breather and would become even more so when excited or fearful. I learned to breathe from my diaphragm. I can say that breathing is a tool that I use daily. It helps me regulate my thoughts and emotions. Its one of the most valuable tools you can give yourself to help with anxiety and panic.
Learning to start your day with a positive routine gives you the power to take on even the most trying times. These are great things to do as a family and can be a positive way to bond. If we miss a day it doesn’t mean we need to miss a week. Giving up on your goal because of a set back is like slashing your other three tires because you got a flat. Change that tire and get back on the road.
Brent Berman has a holistic psychotherapy practice in Jupiter, Fl. He believes in changing the world one smile at a time. For more information click here.