A 15-Minute Morning Ritual To Dramatically Reduce Stress

Written by Megan Roop

Your mornings set the tone for the rest of the day. We all know this. If you get off to a crummy start, chances are the rest of your day will look the same. Rolling out of bed with your smartphone in hand, scanning the latest Facebook posts and checking your email may not be the best start if you’re already super stressed.

More and more people are finding a meaningful morning practice to be the solution. By adding this practice in between waking up and starting the day, you’re sure to move through the world more grounded and connected, things we’re all craving more of in today’s busy world. Often the morning practice includes some combination of writing, movement and stillness. I’ve seen in my own life and in the lives of my clients how incredibly effective a morning practice like this can be.

But what about the mornings when you wake up with racing thoughts and to-do’s first thing? Or the mornings where the thought of sitting on a meditation cushion sounds like torture?

These are the days you skip your morning practice altogether, leaving you rushing through the day like you’re on a treadmill without an off switch. The days when 3pm rolls around and you’re eating a bag of chocolate chips mindlessly out of your desk drawer, worried a binge is just around the corner.

For many people, dealing with stress through food is an everyday struggle. Skipping a morning practice only makes this struggle more difficult. In order to step into your day with more mindfulness, you have to begin to be intentional from the moment you open our eyes.

So, the next time you want to bail on your morning practice or if you’ve been wanting to get started with one and don’t know how, I invite you to try the below. I created a simple practice to help you move through the day without stress calling the shots.

1. Place 1 to 2 drops of grapefruit or wild orange essential oil in the palm of your hands.

Rub your hands together, moving them back and forth 10 times. Cup your hands over your nose and mouth and breathe in deeply for five rounds of breath. There’s no need to force a certain type of breath; allow your natural rhythm to flow in and out.

2. Grab a piece of paper, a pen and make a dump list.

Write out every single thing that’s weighing you down, stressing you out or taking up an unusual amount of space in your head. Get it out and let it go. Don’t worry about this being in your to-do list notebook or electronic calendar. If it’s important enough, it will find it’s way to your master system later.

3. Move your body for five minutes.

It really doesn’t matter what you do here; just move out of your head and into your body. Dance to your favorite song, roll around on the floor, jump on a mini trampoline, do some head rolls or shoulder shrugs, move in a way that feels good to your body and your natural rhythm.

By giving your body the chance to practice dealing with stress in a different a way you’re creating a new positive pathway. This simple morning practice can be done in 15 minutes or less from anywhere in your home (or even your office).

Try it and notice how it sets you up to move through your day more mindfully and intentionally, with less stress. If you don’t have 15 minutes, choose one of the three and start there. The most effective practices are the ones that find a place in your daily routine. They aren’t the ones you think you “should” do.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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