You know it to be true from your work relationships and your social life—first impressions matter. In my experience, the same concept applies to how we greet the day.
Sure, things can happen during work or at lunch to change a perfectly fine day into a day you just want to forget ever happened. You might get a flat tire on the way to an important interview, or you might be late for your big presentation because of an elevator that’s out of order. But these are things that you have no control over in the first place. When you give yourself a positive mental start in the morning, you will be better equipped to deal with the unforeseen.
Believe it or not, the little things do matter. That’s why when you take the time to be mindful as you prepare for the day, you’ll be better off for it. So, do you want to take back your mornings? Keep reading for four mindfulness tips for stress reduction.
Ask Yourself How You’re Doing
It’s easy to get caught up in the seemingly never-ending to-do list you keep in your mind. To keep yourself from spending your mornings fretting over what you have to do, just check in with yourself. Ask yourself how you’re doing. Focus on how your body feels as you wake up, groom yourself, and get dressed. Are you tense or relaxed? Are your thoughts drifting, or are you able to focus on the task at hand? Once you gauge where you are mentally, physically, and emotionally, then you can work toward finding balance.
Find a Routine, but Be Present
Everyone has a morning routine. The difference between someone who goes to work stress-free and someone who walks out the door worrying is how they go through their routines. Routines are not meant to be gone through without a thought. Instead of using your routine as a crutch to get you up and moving in the morning, use it as a way to focus your mind. You shouldn’t necessarily use your time with your morning coffee to tackle the day’s problems, though. Be present and find a middle ground.
Discover Cues to Reset Your Mind
If you find you are having trouble staying in the moment as you get ready for work, find a way to refocus your thoughts. I’ve found that the moments between tasks—stepping out of the shower, for instance—are great as mental cues. When you start to think about your morning activities this way, you can train your brain to automatically snap to the present as you finish one and start the next.
Locate the Good
Whether about work, relationships, or yourself, your complaints are justified, but it’s not a good idea to dwell on them as you prepare for what’s ahead. Put them aside, and instead focus on what is going right in your life. Intentional gratitude is a strategy that many people use to create a positive mental environment for themselves. When used in the morning, gratitude can sway the course of events you’re about to encounter.
Once you reclaim your mornings from work and stress, then you’ll be able to approach the challenges that each day brings with a healthy outlook. If you need help finding stress reduction strategies that work for you, contact me today. I offer individual and group coaching sessions, including my Live Balanced and Bold program. So, have you had enough of stress in the morning? Call me today.