How you start your day has a huge impact on how the rest of your day will follow. Let’s face it, we know that waking up feeling groggy, reaching for your phone, and spending the next 20 minutes scrolling through social media is not the best way to begin a new day. It is well documented that checking social media triggers high amounts of dopamine (a neurotransmitter most commonly associated with reward), so when we begin our day with this kind of stimulation, we lose out on the opportunity to set our intentions and prepare ourselves for a productive day.
When we awaken, our brains produce alpha waves, meaning that we are alert but still very relaxed. In this state, the subconscious mind is open and receptive to the information it receives. Instead of overloading our brains with lots of information, we can use this opportunity to set the tone for the rest of the day. Here are my top tips for starting your day in the best possible way and making the most of this trance-like state:
Keep your phone away from your bed
I keep my phone on my meditation cushion. This minimises the chances of waking up and beginning scrolling straight away, and motivates me to get out of bed. Another option is to keep your phone on the other side of the bedroom, or in a completely different room altogether if you have a bedside alarm. Of course there will be days where I do end up checking social media first thing, but as a general rule, the further away my phone is from my bed, the less this happens.
I use downtime on Apple to lock all of my apps apart from Insight Timer , Flo Period Tracker , Audible and phone/messages from 10:30 pm until 8:30 am. This means that I do not wake up to lots of notifications and get distracted. We process so much information all day long, so it is very relaxing for the brain to properly switch off. I also find that I am able to tune into my intuition easier when I have switched off from the outside world.
Just 10 minutes of meditation has numerous positive effects, as demonstrated by many studies. I use Insight Timer (the meditation timer is free) and I sit on my meditation cushion in an easy cross-legged position. I usually practice Vipassana for 10-15 minutes, which is a breath-led form of meditation, but there are many different types, including guided and unguided. Sometimes I might focus on a gratitude meditation, or I might use this time to visualise. Meditation is so effective, and also free!
Read positive affirmations
I keep a journal next to my meditation cushion filled with handwritten affirmations. Sometimes, I will write my own for the day, or sometimes I will choose a page at random. For affirmation inspiration, check out my Instagram page @bloomaffirmations. Focusing your mind on empowering statements at the beginning of the day is a great way to boost your mood. I will also then refer to these affirmations throughout the day, which really help to keep my mindset focused and positive.
Proper hydration first thing in the morning is great for firing up your digestive system. My current favourite drink is honey, lemon and ginger tea. Try and avoid highly caffeinated drinks until mid morning to reduce relying on them to wake you up. Lots of water is also great for waking up the mind and body.
Other great tips for starting your day right include some form of movement or stretching, visualisation, and spending time in nature.
How do you spend your mornings? What helps you set the tone for the day?