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The way you spend your first hour of waking up will make or break the rest of your day. If you find yourself shuffling about in the morning, rushing to get through breakfast and flying out the door to work, you might want to consider changing things up.

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If you find that you don’t have a lot of time in the morning, try getting up a little earlier and including a healthy morning ritual which can help bring energy, vitality, productivity, and mental and emotional balance to the rest of your day. Below I’ve written 5 morning rituals that I use to help set a positive tone for the rest of the day:

1. Ease Areas of Tension

As soon as you wake up, get out of bed and go to a comfortable chair or couch. Sit upright and notice how your body feels. Focus on areas of your body which are tight, sore, or tender. Don’t fight the discomfort, just notice it. Then direct your breath to one area of pain at a time. Send ten breaths to each area of discomfort.

If you notice that your aren’t in a good mood, focus on your feeling. Notice where you’re feeling the emotion in your body. Is it in your shoulders? Your stomach? Your back? Don’t fight the mood. Just notice it. Then send ten breaths to that area. Once that area feels clear, check in again to see if the mood has passed.

This tension “check in” can be as long or as short as you need it to be.

2. Mindfulness

A simple Google search will turn up hundreds of studies that illustrate just how positively meditation can affect the body and mind. From increased grey matter in the brain to reducing pain, to boosting feelings of wellbeing, meditation seems to have it all. An early morning meditation can assist you with setting the intention and tone for the rest of the day. I’ve included a morning meditation video below that is intended to help you clear the mind, boost productivity, and energize the body.

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3. Sun Salutations

Sun salutations are a series of super simple yoga poses. A yoga teacher once said to me, “Five sun salutations in the morning will change your life.” At the time I thought she was being overly dramatic, but after implementing them in my morning routine I noticed a huge different in the way I felt. I remember going to see my massage therapist after just two weeks of morning sun salutations and (without telling him about my exercise change) he commented on how there was significantly less tension in my back.

4. Qi-Gong

Qi-Gong (pronounced chee-gong) is a Chinese system of physical and breathing exercises. Adding a simple ten minute Qi Gong routine to your morning can help improve bone health and quality of life, lower blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety, and boost cognitive performance. The exercises in the video below are simple and easy to do.

5. What do you want to feel today?

Set your intention for the day by expressing to yourself what feeling you’d like to experience throughout the day. What do you need more of? Happiness? Fulfillment? Love? Fun? Visualize yourself feeling that emotion for a few minutes. You don’t have to know how you will create that feeling. Just visualizing it is enough. Simply notice the shift in your mood after the exercise then go about the rest of your day.

I hope these tools have helped you. If you have any morning rituals that help you feel great for the rest of your day, post them in the comments below!

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