How often do you wake up later than planned, feeling tired, unmotivated and hungry? I know how you feel… Mornings are wonderful gifts that must be taken care of and can give you an amazing energy boost to kick-start your day. Imagine waking up with a smile, kissing your loved one, jumping out of bed, having a glass of cold fresh orange juice while the warm sunshine caress your body to the sound of bird song. Imagine how happy and healthy you would feel! The secret is that everyone can experience such mornings you just have to find your personal way. Below is a simple list with easy to do activities for a wonderful morning (Take some time to close your eyes and imagine how each activity would brighten your day, don´t forget to smile).
1. Waking up early
So easy to do and the benefits are worth your weight in gold! Wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual and you can dedicate this time to do the below mentioned activities. If you are an habitual snoozer, put your phone or alarm clock on the floor at the other side of the room, that way you have to force yourself to get out of bed. Make sure to set your alarm 5-10 minutes before desired “30 min earlier wake-up time” so that you can stretch a bit before carrying on your morning. If you have window shades or curtains, do not close them fully when going to bed, allow some natural light to flow into your bedroom in the morning. Your body will acknowledge that the sun is shining and a new day is born, this will help you to have a natural wake-up period (Just like when we were sleeping under the sky back in the day). A perfect time to get a boost of vitamin D! If possible make sure that your alarm clock/phone play soft music to start with then it can progress to hardcore tunes if desired, allowing for a smoother wake-up process. Don´t want to wake up screaming in panic, now do we..?
2. Smile, thanks!
This one will give you a sweet boost of happiness. Right after you have awaken start smiling, make a big big smile with your mouth and eyes while thinking about something funny a loved-one said or think about anything that makes you happy. Wait for a little while and feel how smiling will automatically make you feel positive and your body starts to produce serotonin (reduces fear and worry) and activates endorphins (natural pain killers). What a bliss! Bonus, just by smiling 10% more oxygen(cannot live without it) and glucose(used by cells) enters your bloodstream.
While smiling you can keep adding benefits to your mind and soul by being thankful for everything that you have in your life. “The secret” mentions gratitude as a process of being thankful for things, people and events in your life. The gratitude mindset changes the way you see things by you become more loving, tolerant, appreciative and thankful for the good things in your life. This puts you on the path of focusing on the positive side of life and reduces the impact of hardships. While smiling say loudly to yourself, “Thank you for this wonderful new day full off opportunities to live, love and learn” then keep saying thanks for your loved ones, your health, the things you own and for your coming future.
3. Plenty of fluids
65% of your body consists of water (your brain around 90% !!) which needs to be replenished several times a day for your organs and body to functioning properly. Plenty of research and health experts recommend most people to have a daily intake of 8-10 glasses of pure water. Tea, coffee, sodas and alcohol does not count. This amount varies depending on how active the person is and the environment, the more active you are and the hotter it is the more you need to drink. Your body uses water for almost everything that goes on inside and outside. On the top of the list to great health comes proper breathing, on second place and equally important is drinking water. Just by drinking water you benefit the whole body in numerous ways; it helps flushing out waste products and detoxify, transport nutrients and oxygen into cells, regulates body temperature, moisturizes joins, lose weight, relieve fatigue and much more! All this by just drinking water?? The good thing is that most of you have access to cheap and clean drinking water. Why not start using this resource to benefit your health in amazing ways?
Since everyone have unique water requirements it could be necessary to do a quick calculation to estimate how much you need to drink. Caution: Always consult a medical/nutritional expert to understand your personal needs and before drinking excess amounts of water, which actually can be harmful. Check out this website for a quick calculation of your daily water requirements.
I’m going to share a secret with you.. When waking up in the morning slowly drink 2-3 glasses of water before you eat breakfast or having juice, coffee, tea. This will help the body to flush out waste and toxins accumulated during the night and will make you feel refreshed. Take your time and do not drink these glass to fast, take your time, feel the cool water running down your throat working its magic along the way. For an additional energy boost add 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon juice to your water and feel how you literally feel refreshed on the spot. Lemon adds a whole range of health benefits together with the water you are already drinking. It will help you to detox even more, gives you a Vitamin-C boost, clarifies your skin, benefits the liver, relieves constipation and more. Do this every morning and you will certainly make your body happy! Tap that water and squeeze those lemons.
Having problems concentrating? Is your thoughts all over the place? Believe it or not, meditation can help you tackle all these problems and more. Now when you have started waking up earlier in the morning you could dedicate 10 minutes to a simple meditation session. All you need to do is to lie down flat on the floor/bed or sitting on a mat/pillow with you legs crossed (half lotus position). It does not matter which position you choose as long as you do not fall asleep while meditating, decide what is most comfortable for you. Do this meditation session in your garden if you have one, or open up a window (not recommended if you live beside a busy road). Make sure you are sitting in complete silence with no distractions around, if you wake up early in the morning this should be easy. If you have children, find a quiet room or better yet ask them to meditate with you and both will benefit from the session. A perfect bonding moment.
For 10 minutes this is what you need to do. Sit or lie with your back straight, make sure that you can breathe without difficulty. Close your eyes and start breathing deeply through your nose, first fill the lower part of your abdomen with breath, then slowly let it expand upwards. Make sure not to breathe with your chest only since this results in shallow breathing and does not allow maximal intake of oxygen. When your lungs are full with air, let it naturally exhale through your nose and contract your abdomen to push out the last bit of air. Let this process keep going for the 10 minutes. Focus on the inhalation and exhalation of air, feel the expansion and contraction of the abdomen, feel the cool dry air entering the nostrils and the warm moist air on exhalation. Live in this moment, let yourself become one with the universe. Let any thoughts that come to your mind during the sessions to just be, be aware of it but don´t pay attention it. After a while it will disappear and your mind will become peaceful and calm.
By doing meditation sessions once or twice daily you will notice an increase in concentration, have more patience, feel relaxed and will be able to have control over your thoughts. Imagine how productive you would be at work in such a mental state! Want to know more about the benefits of yoga? Read this 100 benefits of meditation list.
Now we have arrived at number five, exercise. Don´t let this word scare you off! I am not talking about long, exhausting and tiresome exercise programs. Let´s make it easy for ourselves taking baby steps towards good health. By only doing 10-30 minutes of exercises in the morning you enable the body to circulate the blood better, benefit the respiratory system and get body awareness. You can run in the park during this time followed by stretching, swim in a pool or practicing yoga. Personally I recommend yoga as a great way to exercise your whole body in a balanced and secure way. Dedicate 30 minutes in the morning to a yoga program, there are plenty of DVD´s out there with great short and long yoga exercise programs you can follow. I prefer Ravi Singh and Ana Brett´s yoga DVD´s.
In the morning it is highly suitable to practice kundalini yoga, in short it is a combination of controlled breathing with yoga postures and movements. It will awaken you, quickly oxygenate the blood, freshens your mind and makes your body flexible. Don´t be afraid to try something new, who knows you might find a new method of exercising that you love.
6. Greens and fruits
By now you must be getting hungry if you have chosen to do any of the above mentioned suggestions. Its time to dampen those cravings by consuming healthy greens and fruits containing all the nutrition that you can possibly need. Most of us have a hard time eating a lot of food in the morning and might not have enough time to prepare a healthy meal in a short period of time. This is where a juicer come in handy! Instead of making large salads and fruit plates I recommend you to make fresh juices by yourself in the morning. Do not buy those highly processed and sweetened juices at the store. Purchase a bunch of fruits and vegetables to make your own healthy fresh juice. Max Gerson, a German physicist developed the Gerson therapy to treat all sorts of ailments and diseases. At the heart of this therapy is the consumption of large quantities of fresh vegetable juices. If you have a juicer or mixer at home you can use it to produce the following recipes, if not there are plenty of juicers out there. Find one that suits your juicing needs.
The following three recipes are perfect to get a nutritious start: Make sure you purchase organically grown fruits and vegetables!
Orange/grapefruit: 3-4 oranges and 1-2 grapefruits mixed together will give you a sweet vitamin-C boost. Use a reamer type juicer.
Carrot/apple: 8-12 oz each of carrots and Granny Smith apples mixed together. This one gives you beta-carotene, calcium, minerals and vitamins.
Green leaf juice: This is Gerson´s core juice. High in iron, minerals and oxidizing enzymes. Mix any of the following available ingredients. Greens should be washed, taking care to rinse off sand or soil that is often present at the base of the leaves. Shake of the water or put the greens in a salad spinner to remove excess moisture. Cut off the bottom portion of chard stems or any other fibrous leaves.
Lettuce 3-4 leaves (use iceberg if no others are available)
Kale 1-3 leaves
Red Chard same as above
Endive 1-2 leaves
Red Leaf Lettuce 3-4 leaves
Green Leaf Lettuce 3-4 leaves
Red Cabbage 2-3 leaves
Romaine 2-3 leaves
Beet Tops (young inner leaves) 2-3 leaves
Green Pepper 1/2 medium-sized
Watercress 1-2 sprigs
7. The breakfast
Today, start your day with a hearty healthy breakfast. The first meal of the day is the most important one, make it count! Have a non processed, no sodium, low-fat, raw vegetarian diet (if possible). It will fill you up without making you sluggish or over-full and believe it or not it will keep you satisfied for longer, don´t be surprised if you can go until lunch without feeling hungry. Instead of having you search the web for recipes, below you can find an easy to make breakfast.
Oatmeal porridge – (A healthy comfort food):
2 cups water
1 cup whole oats
2 tbsp raisins or chopped dates
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup soy or rice milk
2-3 tsp raw honey
1 tsp flaxseed oil (optional)
Bring water to boil in covered saucepan over high heat. Stir in rolled oats, raisins and cinnamon. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve garnished with milk, raw honey and flaxseed oil. Serve with freshly cut vegetables or fruit.
8. Quiet time of love
Your extra 30 morning minutes could be spent talking to your loved one, spouse, children or even pet. Put away the morning news paper, turn of the TV, don´t surf the internet or fiddle with your phone. Give yourself a slow loving start on your new day. Talk about their plans for the day, what are they excited about? What are they looking forward to do? How can you hep them to have a great day? Get answers to these questions. Sometimes its just enough to listen to the people around you, let them do the talking. This will nurture your relationship and give you a loving start on your day. Hug them, love them. Experience how you all reap these wonderful benefits!
9. The motivator
Read something that motivates and inspire you for 10 minutes or watch a video on YouTube. There is a large amount of inspirational short videos on YouTube, just give it a quick search. Smile while you read it! Notice how you start feeling more energetic.
10. Reflection and planning
Take 10 minutes to tackle one of the things that you have been putting of for a long time. You might have something popping up in your head already. Take a few moments to think about what you have been putting off and why. Today you are going to do that one thing! No more excuses, no more procrastination. Write down one thing that you will do today that will take you closer to achieving your goals. All you need is one small goal that you are going to achieve today, just do it. When climbing a mountain you can clearly see your goal above you, the top of the mountain. All you need to do is to take small steps towards reaching that goal, only focus on each step you are taking right now to reach the top. There is no need to worry about anything else as long as you are clearly focused on each small step you take. The rest will take care of itself.