Mental & Emotional Health
How to Build a Mindful Morning Routine to Manage Anxiety Naturally
Anxiety can creep in first thing in the morning, whether you're panicking over a work presentation or scrambling to get the kids on the school bus. That's why creating a mindful morning routine to reduce it is crucial to set yourself up for success. The more positive you are from the start, the better your day will be.
In time, you can count on a new morning regimen to become second nature, ensuring better mental health outcomes and fewer worries. Learn to let go of your anxiety and embrace each day with these 10 strategies for a more mindful waking routine.
1. Start Your Day Earlier
How often do you feel rushed in the morning? You could tend to sleep in, or hurry to get your household up and out the door before you leave for work. Mornings may be crunch time, causing you to feel stressed.
Setting your alarm clock 30–60 minutes earlier will give you extra time to do things. An earlier alarm promotes a calm and leisurely morning routine to start your day on the right foot.
2. Stretch Your Body
Relieve overnight stiffness with some calming stretches when you wake up. You may even incorporate a gentle yoga routine to relieve tension and anxiety.
One study shows yoga's efficacy as an alternative anxiety treatment to stress management. About 54.2% of participants showed improved anxiety, compared to 33% in the stress education group. Although yoga is not always a replacement for cognitive therapy, it may be a natural way to relieve morning anxiety.
3. Do Something Calming
Waking up earlier gives you more time to do calming and enjoyable activities — like walking or gardening for a few minutes — before the day's chaos ensues. Research shows you can reduce anxiety by spending only 120 minutes in nature weekly. Reading, journaling, painting, listening to music, or sitting quietly with a cup of coffee or tea are other ways to integrate joyful thoughts and peaceful moments into your morning.
4. Engage in Deep Breathing
Begin your day with slow, deep breathing exercises to regulate your mind and body. Deep breathing sends a message to your nervous system to calm down.
Many people find "box breathing" helpful. Start by inhaling slowly on a count of four, then hold your breath for four seconds and exhale for another four seconds. Repeat the exercise a few times to feel the most significant effects.
Spend a few minutes meditating to focus on the present moment and observe your thoughts. A new study from Georgetown University determined mindfulness strategies were just as effective as the anti-anxiety medication Lexapro.
Meditation is a natural anxiety-reducing activity anyone can do with long-lasting benefits. Begin by sitting in a comfortable position and practicing box breathing. Embrace an internal balance as you grow more aware of your thought patterns.
6. Nourish Your Body
Begin each morning with a nourishing breakfast comprising protein, fiber, and healthy fats to regulate blood sugar and give you energy. Oatmeal, Greek yogurt, eggs or a smoothie are excellent options. You can always add fruit and cinnamon for more flavor and nutrients.
Likewise, nourish your body with anxiety-reducing supplements. For instance, Rhodiola rosea may promote serotonin and dopamine production in the brain, while magnesium can help with upset stomach and muscle tension related to intense stress.
7. Stay Hydrated
Start the day with a glass of water to rehydrate your body and boost your metabolism. A 2018 study revealed how drinking five glasses of water daily reduced depression and anxiety by 73% and 54% in men and women, respectively.
Keep a water bottle near your bed to begin a new morning hydration habit. Otherwise, drink hot lemon water to remove toxins, kickstart your metabolism and boost immunity.
8. Avoid Checking Your Phone
You aren't alone if you check your phone first thing in the morning. People spend an average of two hours and 27 minutes on social media daily, which research indicates is associated with poor mental health outcomes.
Social media can fuel insecurity, create a sense of inadequacy, isolate you from others and trigger the idea of missing out on something. Challenge yourself to take a week-long break from social media to reduce anxiety and depression, and improve your overall well-being.
9. Plan Your Day
Start each morning with a to-do list of things you must accomplish throughout the day. Organize duties based on the highest priority and schedule lower-priority tasks for the end of the day. Whatever you don't complete, do the following day.
Planning your day minimizes anxiety by eliminating surprises. It also reduces the feeling of overwhelm so you can stay focused and productive on what needs to get done.
10. Practice Gratitude
A gratitude practice is one of the best ways to manage morning anxiety naturally. Reflecting on things or people you're grateful for rewires your brain toward positive thinking.
Try saying three nice things about yourself in the mirror when preparing for the day. You can also start writing down one thing you're grateful for in your daily planner. Some people even incorporate gratitude as an intention in their meditation practice.
Start Each Day With Less Stress
Incorporating these natural stress management tools can help reduce morning anxiety. Mindfulness is crucial for diminishing negative thoughts and worries, and embracing whatever the day brings.
When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.