In the previous blog post on nailing morning routines, we’ve spoken about why morning routines are one of the keys to building personal success, introduced a new definition of a morning, discussed the importance of balancing your needs, and reviewed the most important physiological needs.
Here we’ll cover the most important needs that usually are completely neglected:
Emotional & mental needs
We often assume that successful and efficient people start running the minute they wake up, but that is not true. Instead, they infuse their mornings with emotional wellbeing practices like gratitude, breathing, reflection, prayer, time outside, meditation, and various other methods.
We know - who has time for that, right?! Emotional intelligence is a trendy thing to do for those who don’t have real problems in life. Except that it isn’t! Until very recently we were just like you and then a short regular emotional wellbeing practice literally transformed everything!
Consider caring for your emotional and mental needs a paramount stepping stone towards your contentment, productivity, and inner peace!
Here are just a few practices that can help you make a leap from a vicious circle of stress and catching up with life to a virtuous circle owning your life on your own terms:
✔️ Spend quality time with your family
Get a piece of paper and a pen and start writing! Whatever you feel like, whatever comes to your mind at that time. You could think that journaling is a new and more sexy form for keeping a diary. However, contrary to a diary, journaling is a way for exploring thoughts and forming ideas instead of recollecting past events. From simple bullet points to drawing or longer-form writing, the main idea of journaling is to put out your thoughts, feelings, concerns, or appreciations on a piece of paper in no particular order or format.
It is now proven that journaling has various benefits - from helping to become better organized, inspire creativity, help to achieve goals, improve self-reflection, boost memory, reduce stress, improve communication skills, boost mood and even improve relationships with others.
Journaling could be a perfect practice in the evenings too! If you get all your worries out on a piece of paper, your mind is clear and ready to fall asleep much faster while boosting sleep quality!
Yes, we all breathe every second of every hour. We’re not here to tell you to breathe so that your life continues. We’re here to talk about breathing as a form of reducing anxiety, increasing energy levels, improving blood flow, digestion, posture, and general wellbeing.
Breathing is directly related to our stress and body functions. In normal conditions, our breath reaches our belly and carries out enough oxygen to feed all our organs. Under stress, our breaths become shorter and more shallow not only depriving our organs of oxygen but also sending signals to our entire body that we are under stress.
Regular breathing practice gives our body resilience while calming and relaxing our mind as a form of meditation.
You can find and try different breathing techniques by searching for “breathing exercise”. There’s really an abundance of different practices to suit everybody’s liking.
Our favorite breathing exercise is deep breathing. It follows these steps:
- Deep inhale while slowly counting to 6. This gives a wide rib and diaphragm expansion and you feel like your rib cage and belly are at least twice larger than normal.
- Hold the breath for 2-3 seconds.
- Slowly breathe out while counting to 6.
- Hold for 2-3 seconds.
- Repeat 3-5 times.
But really, we highly encourage you to search for and try out a couple different techniques.
Breathing practice doesn’t just energize you and clear your mind for a day in the morning. It can also become your go-to practice whenever you feel stressed or moody.
Morning gratitude practice has the power to put a smile on your face for the rest of the day. Like that is not enough, it improves relationships with others, helps to recognize the beauty around you, increases optimism and empathy, self-esteem, and mental strength, it even improves physical health through improved sleep, decreased aggression, and reduced toxic emotions.
So what is it and how to begin?
Gratitude is defined as the state of being grateful. Practicing gratitude is simply recognizing, acknowledging, and appreciating things that you are grateful for. And it doesn’t have to be or actually shouldn’t be something complicated and big. It is best to keep it simple and appreciate even the smallest things like sunshine, singing birds, or a smile on somebody’s face in the street.
It also doesn’t matter if you think about it, write it down or express it in words to somebody you are grateful to. The most important thing is that you give gratitude practice time in your day. 3 minutes will do. Pair it with journaling and the benefits add up!