I do a lot of research to the point where I probably classify as a learning addict. Most of it is in the wellness sphere and about optimizing our lives to reach our greatest potential as humans. Self-actualization, if you will. Throughout my journey, I soon realized that there is no quick fix to becoming “great” or “successful” (whatever that may mean to you) however, it’s a series of habits you repeat every day that accumulate towards an intention. I believe any solid foundation is built on health, wellbeing and mental clarity to set you up for more great days. Every highly successful person has a morning routine, and here’s why you should too.
Why a morning routine?
The first hour of your day is the most important time to consciously create how the rest of it is going to go. It’s also easier to focus given you’ve just awakened from sleep where thought seized for 8 hours. You’ve been in the delta brainwave state, and it’s easier to focus your attention inward then perhaps midday in the midst of all your to-do lists and planning.
My goals are pretty simple + steady: feel good, look good, contribute in a meaningful way to the world.
To meet these goals, I break them down day by day into actionable steps that I repeat. Assuming your goals look similar, you can use my framework if you wish to apply to your life!
I have created, refined, and re-defined my morning ritual throughout the years and what works for me might not work for everyone. It is so important that we choose the first few hours of our day intentionally as it is the framework for how the rest of our day is going to go. Keep reading to learn about my miracle morning routine for wellbeing, clarity & success!
My morning routine
My “miracle morning ” routine consists of the following practices that I find incredibly grounding:
- 3 rounds of the wim-hof breathing technique
- 15 — 20 minute meditation
- 5-minute journaling (find the book here or download the app) OR just plain ol journaling
- warm lemon water to jump start my digestive system
- 16oz of celery juice
- 30 minutes of exercise
This ritual has helped me in so many ways. It sets me up both mentally and physically for a healthier day. I can honestly say implementing even just the practice of meditation has changed my life drastically in the span of 3 years. My anxiety has lessened tenfold, and I benefit from a happier mindset and a quality of presence I didn’t have before.
1. Wim-hof breathing
For those of you who don’t know who Wim Hof is, he’s the dude that climbed Mt. Everest in his shorts and swam under freezing ice for an hour. He’s crazy in the best way, and breaking science by showing people how to control of their immune systems and heal, by shifting the body into an alkaline state.
By practicing the breathing exercises, you are releasing more energy, influencing your nervous system and changing various physiological responses. You are inducing voluntarily a short stress response which ultimately will lead to more resilience towards everyday stress, mentally and physiology and feeling more in control.
Some of the benefits include stress reduction, better sleep, enhanced creativity, and heightened energy. I decided to try it for myself and can say I have felt a positive shift in these areas. If you want to learn more about him and his method, I highly recommend this interview.
2. 15 minute meditation
I could go on about how meditation has changed my life, but that’s for another post. You’ve probably already heard how effective it is on your mental / emotional wellbeing and endless benefits you can use to create a better life. Without digressing too much, I’ll keep it short. Try it for two weeks at the same time every day and it’ll become a habit, and you’ll feel weird if you don’t do it.
If I don’t create mental space at the beginning of my day, I’ll pay later in little ways. It’s priming my brain to become less reactive, less stressed, and enable me to focus with greater clarity. It literally shrinks the amygdala (the brain’s “fight or flight” center) over time. This is the primal region of the brain associated with fear and emotion, and what controls our body’s response to stress.
As the amygdala shrinks, the pre-frontal cortex – associated with higher order brain functions such as awareness, concentration and decision-making – becomes thicker. You can read more about it here.
To begin a meditation practice, all you need is a comfortable space. Feel free to put on some relaxing music, binaural beats, or try a guided meditation at first. I recommend Insight Timer or the Calm app.
3. Gratitude journaling
I feel like gratitude is becoming a trendy topic. And you know what, I’m okay with it. Because this gratitude biz we talk about is powerful. Gratitude trumps everything, and if you can cultivate it, it’ll change your mindset entirely. Try feeling grateful and fearful at the same time.
Meditation followed by gratitude is powerful. You’re priming your mind to focus on the good feeling thoughts of life, and are literally planting seeds to grow throughout the day, week, year, life. The five-minute journal has been a favorite of mine in my morning routine for taking inventory of what you’re grateful for, then choosing how your day is going to go by answering “what can I do to make today great?“
You then finish the day reflecting on what went well, and what you could have done to make it better. The entire method is based on positive psychology. I appreciate looking back on my day’s in little tidbits, and enjoy using the app while traveling.
4. Lemon water
Now is when I start to think about food. And my body is still in resting mode from sleep. Why lemon water on an empty stomach?
- As a rich source of vitamin C, lemon juice protects the body from immune system deficiencies.
- Drinking lemon juice with warm water every morning helps in maintaining the pH balance of the body.
- With its powerful antibacterial properties, lemon juice helps fight infections + detoxes the body
- Helps kickstart your digestion and maintain digestive health
- Along with vitamin C, lemons are also a rich source of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium etc.
- Lemon water is also a popular remedy for many kinds of skin problems ranging from acne, rashes and wrinkles to dark spots.
- Lemon juice with warm water helps in quick weight loss as it promotes digestion and increases the metabolic rate.
- Lemon juice is also very effective at cleansing the liver as it promotes the liver to flush out toxins
- Lemon juice with warm water helps keep the body hydrated as it provides electrolytes to the body.
List originally published by the Edison Institute of Nutrition here
Need I go on? I also hate the taste of water and adding a lemon makes it slightly more desirable for me to drink. So yeah, I’ll stick with this one.
5. Celery Juice!!
Ok ok if you’re still with me, stay with me here. Celery is a miracle medicine. It truly is healing millions of people from illness, myself included. I’ve drank celery juice in the morning regularly for about a year now. Let the super-passionate herb loving Anthony Williams tell you all about it himself, the benefits are endless.
It’s a miraculous healing remedy and people are noticing the benefits it provides, such as clearer skin, improved digestion, less bloating, sustained energy, better mental clarity, weight loss, and stable moods, just to name a few.
I can personally say without celery juice, my digestion wouldn’t be where it is today. I used to get incredible stomach pain when I ate, and it’s gone when I’m juicing consistently. I also can proudly say I haven’t gotten sick in a year since starting, and boosted my immune system so much that I healed a somewhat serious health issue myself.
How do you celery juice? Straight from the medical medium books..
1. Buy a juicer (I use this Breville)
2. Buy organic celery when possible (one bunch = one 16oz-ish glass)
3. Drink on an empty stomach & wait 30 minutes before eating
That’s it, friends. If only they made a portable juicer because traveling with a juicer is virtually impossible unless your driving. Which sucks to lug around. But it’s worth it.
And this is where you swipe away onto Instagram or conveniently minimize your browser. It’s likely one of your least favorite things to do, but there’s pretty much universal agreement that when you exercise, you feel better. I can only speak for myself, but by implementing a regular workout routine I have more energy, feel better in my body, and want to keep up with healthy habits (ie. gracefully say no thank you to the luscious pastry calling my name)
In January, I went to yoga every day. I felt so good! Not saying you have to go every single day to feel results, but consistency is key. Make it an activity you enjoy doing, maybe it’s running or pilates, or HIIT classes. Most of it you can do online from the comfort of your own home. Some of my favorite workout resources online are Yoga With Adriene, and ALO Moves.
Personally, I prefer a vinyasa yoga class or a 30 minute jog in nature. Or just taking a hike when possible! Whatever you can fit in your morning routine and stick with will help you achieve results.
Hopefully my miracle morning routine for wellbeing, clarity and success has inspired you to create your own routine that best serves you! Figure out what you’re trying to achieve, and revere-engineer from there. The morning is the best time to decide how your day is going to go, and through repeating behaviours that contribute to your goals, you will begin to see progress that changes your life.
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these things, and anything else you do in the morning to jumpstart your day!
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