A morning ritual improves mood – For people who are trying to live creatively with moods, how the day starts can have a powerful impact. And the morning ritual is an effective way of changing that experience.
Researchers have found that organized patterns of behavior (rituals) help our brains cope with uncertainty and reduce anxiety. So if you’re not sure what is going to happen today, and if that’s a source of anxiety, you can give yourself a greater sense of control and calmness by starting the day on a familiar, carefully planned routine. This morning ritual doesn’t have to be long, just a clear, organized pattern that you can follow so you get everything done without having to think about it.
Get out of bed at about the same time each day, work day or weekend. Give yourself enough time to complete everything that needs to be done before leaving the house: dressing, brushing teeth, breakfast, etc. Make your own ordered plan, and follow it every day. Getting up earlier than you do right now may actually help you to feel better, less fatigued, as it reduces your stress level throughout the day.
Many people find that a cup of coffee or tea is a useful way of getting started in the morning (decaf works almost as well). Try to arrange things so that coffee or tea is ready when you get up (how about a coffee maker with a timer).
The next part of the ritual is to incorporate exercise and thinking time. Take a walk, or find a place to sit where there is abundant natural light, preferably even a view (or, if you don’t have such a place, consider using a therapy light). This time is spent either in meditation, yoga practice, or in thinking about the day in a thoughtful, not anxious, way. It may be helpful to read about the concept of mentalization to learn more about this kind of thinking.
Starting the day with a Morning Ritual improves mood and builds a strong foundation for each day’s activities. It takes effort to start, but once started, the effort is much less and the payback begins to be felt almost immediately. The time that you spend developing a pattern that works for you, and the commitment to follow through, will have a strong positive impact on your life.