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January 20, 2015

What we do and how we feel in the morning can have a significant impact on the rest of our day. Have you ever experienced a "bad day spiral"? When one or two things go wrong in the morning and you become consumed by a rising negative mood, it can completely throw off the rest of your day.

We have the power to control what we do and how we feel in the first hours of each day. Here are 12 ways to be more present and peaceful each morning.

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1. Wake up with a prayer of thanks. I recognize that I have been given a whole new day to experience life, grow, eat, laugh, explore, create and discover what it feels like to be me. I appreciate this amazing gift.

2. Feel the texture and softness of your bedsheets before you get out of bed.

3. Send love to your body as you're standing in the bathroom washing your face and brushing your teeth. Thank your cells for the million and one ways they are keeping you healthy and alive.

4. Greet the sun as you open your blinds or window for the first time. Thank you for rising today, sun.

5. Give thanks for your breakfast, acknowledging it will provide you with energy and nourishment for the day ahead.

6. Make time for meditation — even five minutes. It will strengthen your sense of calmness and inner peace, and you can carry this feeling with you throughout the busy activities of the day.

7. Before you leave the house, play an uplifting tune like "Celebrate" or "Happy" and have a quick dance. It will wake up your body and align you with your joyful, lighthearted inner spirit.

8. If you catch your mind drifting into problem-solving or worrying mode, bring it back to the present moment by asking: Do I have a problem right now in this moment?

9. Notice the way the fresh outside air feels on your cheeks, and take a few deep breaths to soak it in.

10. Resist the urge to spend your morning buried in your phone screen. Look up at the world around you and protect your sense of inner peace from unraveling due to feelings of comparison and the fear of missing out.

12. Acknowledge and pay attention to the presence within others. When you ask someone how they are, listen carefully to their answer.

12. Take a moment to smile whenever you can remember. Smiling can trigger feelings of contentment and well-being throughout your whole body.

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