5 Habits to start your day
- Breath Work
Those who are successful have one thing in common they build persistent habits to achieve the thing they are focused on. Take a professional athlete, as they are the best example, they are dedicated to their practices daily. Without it they are not going to be the best they can be in the sport they love and enjoy so much.
Imagine for a moment if you look at you body as a sport you have to practice becoming the best at, what will you do to accomplish that? I would say you have to love your body to start wanting to be the best – isn’t it?
Most often neglect their body, mind, and soul to take care of things outside of themselves first. They are drained and feel depleted most days. Which reminds me of the old analogy of the the oxygen mask directions on an airplane. – “if the cabin loses pressure, oxygen masks will fall from above. You are to place yours on yourself before trying to help others.” Now ask yourself this question, “How good am I in helping others if I am not able to function at my best?”
Perhaps at this point, your critical mind is kicking in with all the reasons why you can’t put on the proverbial mask first. That’s ok, take a moment and listen to your brain justify all the reasons why, and ask yourself, is it true? How can I allow time for myself? This leads us to the 5 habits you can start creating on a daily basis that will allow you to value your life, your body, your mind and your soul.
I have been meditating for many years now, When I first started out it felt like a chore because at the time, having to take 10-30 minutes of out my day seems too much. I believed then, I don’t have the time for this and asked, “how do people do this every-day!!?” By will power at first, I told myself I can do this! Before I knew it I learned how to adjust my time and my mindset to incorporate daily meditations in my life.
Many believe that they can’t meditate, yet they do it everyday, if/when you sleep you are really in a deep meditative state, now you maybe thinking, “if I do it in my sleep why do I have to do it for another 5-15 minutes?” Sleeping is really an unconscious process, one that our bodies need to repair itself. Perhaps you are saying to yourself, “I can’t quiet my mind and stay focus…I have too many thoughts going through my mind”, or, “I don’t know how to properly meditate…”
I like to call meditation a deliberate conscious practice. I promote and practice active meditation and since I don’t want to make this blog really long I will skip on expanding on what is active mediation.
Thoughts will always occupy your mind, you can never stop thoughts, what you can learn to do is allow thoughts to float by like clouds and not engage your critical factor to analyze them by adding intellectual content to them [thinking]. With practice you will find that you critical factor will slowly stop responding to thoughts and a silence will follow. This is call “slipping into the gap”.
It is best to start your first meditation of the day when you wake up in the morning, because your brain is still in alpha state and meditation is much easier when you are mostly there already – all 5 of these daily practices are done first thing when you wake up. You are worthy to give yourself this first 30 minutes of your day, everyday of your life. You must have a burning desire to want to do this, it is not something that you want to just “try”, it is a commitment to start valuing yourself.
To start your mediation set a timer, anywhere from 5-15 minutes, if you choose longer that’s even better. Simply sit up, take a few deep breaths in, and slowly exhale, close your eyes. Allow your mind/thoughts to be as it is… if you feel you are starting to think of when the clock timer will go off, or what you need to start doing to get your day started, simply breathe into that moment, listen to your inhale and exhale. Remember, allowing your thoughts to flow. Keep it simple. Make the time for it.
Breath work is a powerful way to activate every cell in your body, as well as you present state/emotion. It helps to reduce stress levels and anxiety, cool down when you feel yourself getting really angry, and sharpen your concentration skills.
John Grinder, co-founder of NLP, created a process call the Grinder Model, which is, performance is based on your state (emotional state), your state is based on your physiology (emotions follows motion) and your physiology is based on your Breathing.
Many wake up in the morning feeling tired and turn to coffee or other caffeine to get some kind of energy boost. The best way to get your body ready for the day is doing conscious breath work. Sometimes just taking a few rapid inhales and exhales will work for a quick boost of energy. You can find many breath work videos on YouTube. Pick one that you love and learn it. Make it your own!
Wake up your body! A study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, University of Utah researchers found that even brief episodes of physical activity that exceed a certain level of intensity can have as positive an effect on weight as does the current recommendation of 10 or more minutes at a time.
Just 5 minutes of exercise at a time can be beneficial to your health in many ways. Add breath work in to your exercise routines and you can doing two of these on the list above!! A quick way to boost your energy and get your day started.
I am fortunate enough to have a spin bike. I use that to crank up my energy in the morning. Do a few stretches and I am wide awake and ready to go. Another thing I do is I would do a quick 2Km run. That’s all I need in the morning.
Exercising doesn’t have to be what I do, or suggest, you can do what is best for you. Some do yoga, some do martial arts. The idea is get your body moving. Wake up every cell!
I had a good friend of mine many years ago, looked me in the eyes and told me how ungrateful I was. I was shocked. I looked at her and asked her how could she say something like that. You see, I had a hard time accepting things from others. I felt I didn’t deserve it. I would always say, “you don’t have to…”, thinking, “I don’t deserve it..”, “I can’t accept this…”, yes, I would say thank you, yet I would do it without much positive emotion or excitement. – this equates to not having appreciation. I only learn this several years later what she meant. Today, I accept everything with so much joy. I show it and truly feel it, I appreciate everything in my life, I appreciate everything family and friends do for me, or gives me.
Gratitude is not just saying “Thank You”, gratitude is truly in our feeling of appreciation of what we have or what is given to us; even for the things we don’t have yet.
Take a few minutes to sit quietly and write 5 to 10 things you are truly grateful for in your life. Feel it in, and express joy for those things. Be present as you write it down. Writing is a powerful way of letting the universe know you have made the words magic – every word written with feeling and intention is a sigil of magic – it expands everything your feel grateful for.
Reading is amazing for our brain. Morning reading stimulates our brain! 5-15 minutes of reading every morning will create a sense of presence to your day. One of my favourite things to read is what I have written about my life and what I want to create. It reminds me on where are am I and where I am going. It invigorates me to keep going. I will also read a favourite paragraph from books I find that creates massive changes in my life.
This a great little article from medium.com on 4 Reasons Why You Should Read Every Single Morning
These are not things you try, these are things you want to commit to if you want to create changes in your life. It’s not only physical change, also mental changes. The question is, “Do you value yourself enough to commit to create lasting changes in your life, 30 minutes a day doing those 5 habits above? Better yet, do you have 5 of your own habits that you use to start your day?