Previously in this blog I’ve written about the fact that I’m not a natural optimist and that I have to work hard to maintain a positive outlook in life. Well, it so happens that I’m also not much of a morning person. It’s a pretty rare day when I leap out of bed, full of enthusiasm.
So this month I’ve decided to try and change this, by making a resolution to always start my day on a good note. And so far the changes I’ve been making have been making a real difference to my state of mind, leaving me feeling happier and more upbeat. I thought I’d share them with you now.
I’ve put together a playlist of upbeat, uplifting songs that I always play first thing in the morning, on random shuffle. My particular favourite on this list is Nina Simone’s Feeling Good. Whenever I hear this, as I’m getting ready to go about my day, I always feel a bit more positive. I think the lyrics are just as important as the tunes. Why not go through your music collection and set up a special morning playlist full of the tunes that make you feel good?
Having a healthy breakfast
I always make time for breakfast because, as they say, it’s the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast is essential to maintain consistent energy levels and balanced blood sugar levels. Bad breakfast choices can result in problems such as sugar cravings, brain fog and fatigue.
Porridge or low sugar cereals, made with complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, rye, spelt flakes and millet are a healthy choice. Rye or spelt breads are a better choice than refined wheat as they’ll help to keep hunger at bay until lunchtime and provide you with consistent, slow energy release, keeping your blood sugar levels on an even keel.
I’m a big fan of affirmations, which are basically statements we make to ourselves that can be either positive or negative. If you constantly find yourself making negative statements in your mind then it goes without saying that you’re going to go through life feeling pessimistic and always looking for something to go wrong. However, if you can turn these negative statements into something more positive, your mindset will gradually start to change.
I think this practice is crucial to put in place in the morning as it sets the tone of your whole day. Rather than waking up wondering what’s going to go wrong, why not begin by telling yourself that it’s going to be a good day?
You could go one step further and write some statements or affirmations along these lines and place them around your house to remind you to think this way. Perhaps put one on your bathroom mirror or your breakfast cupboard door. Suggestions could include: “Today is a great day!” or “I am looking forward to what today will bring.”
Lastly, try to fit in some exercise at the start of your day. Just 10 minutes will make all the difference, as it will get your blood pumping and will help you to feel alert and ready to go. Yoga is a nice, easy way to start your day.
Sun salutations are a series of postures designed to increase flexibility, tone, and strengthen the muscles. They are also particularly good for helping to energise the mind and body. Start off by doing one set a day and gradually increase the repetitions to about five or 10. You’re sure to feel more alert and refreshed!