5 Simple Steps To Glow From The Inside Out Mindbodygreen

Does this scenario sound familiar?

You're startled awake by loud, jarring sounds (and then that happens several times over, as you continue to press the snooze button). As soon as you creep into consciousness, you're noticing your phone notifications, and before you're even fully awake, you've been invaded by updates related to other people's lives. You skim the headlines and notice your heart pounding as you react to the news of the day. You rush through your morning essentials to get to work on time and feel like you've run a marathon before you even arrive at your office. You realize that you've forgotten to eat, or you grab something to go and eat on the way to the office. You later realize that you can't even remember what your coffee tasted like.

If you're finding that you're easily stressed or overcome by anxiety during the day, you might want to consider how your mornings might be setting the tone for the day ahead.

For me, the wake-up call (pun intended) came when I first had a baby. Before that, becoming a holistic health coach had helped me sort out my morning routine from one similar to the scenarios described above to one infused with calm and ease. Then, my daughter came and, well, let's just say my sense of sanity and stability went flying out the window. Exhausted from everything to do with becoming a mom (while still running my business, seeing clients, and staying up late to finish everything I didn't have time to do before my daughter's bedtime), I slid into the habit of "sleeping in" until my daughter woke up. For a while, I convinced myself that I was catching up on much-needed sleep. However, it soon became clear that I was thrusting myself into a state of reactivity from the moment I opened my eyes and had to respond to her needs instead of my own. It became harder to feel a sense of centered control over what was happening to me, and I found my stress and anxiety spiking to even higher levels during the day.

Becoming aware of this idea of reactivity—that is, a state in which you're constantly reacting to what's being thrown at you, instead of being able to act without pressure as your own free spirit—was an important step toward fixing this stressful cycle. Situations where we're continually being asked to respond to external factors—especially when the stimuli are as negative as a blaring alarm clock, streams of news alerts, or the looming possibility of failing as a parent—trigger our flight-or-fight mode. This state of mind can lead to elevated cortisol rates, which essentially sends the signal to our body and brain that we are fighting for survival from the get-go.

The need for control over one's life (along with belonging, esteem, and meaningful existence) is considered by social psychologists to be one of the four fundamental human needs. People who perceive a high level of control over their lives report higher life satisfaction and well-being, and they often have lower levels of anxiety and depression. (They even have better immune function and lower risk for cardiovascular disease—bonus!)

As my colleague and social psychologist Dr. Erin Baker explains, there are two ways people can increase their sense of control: deliberately shifting their mindset by looking for evidence of all the ways they have control in their life, or deliberately creating control in their life through routines and healthy habits. Morning routines can create a sense-of-control "buffer" that lessens the negative effects of situations in which one has less control throughout the day. This lays the foundation of strength and calm on which you can build your day.

Today I'm committed to starting the day calmly and in a way that nurtures my mind, body, and spirit. I wake up early, do deep breathing while still in bed, listen to the birds, and center in on a feeling of gratitude. Once I'm up, I leisurely drink my lemon water, take my supplements, do a journaling practice, and prep a smoothie—all before I wake up my daughter. This all takes under an hour, but I notice a huge difference on the days I make time to do this as opposed to the days I wake up at the same time as her.

Source : https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/why-your-mornings-are-stressing-you-out

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