I’m a big fan of the word ritual and to be honest it’s kind of like a fancy word for ‘habit’. What we do on a daily basis reflects our deepest beliefs and so developing strong, positive rituals helps to rewire our behaviour.
One of the most common factors in successful people is the habits and rituals that they implement on a daily basis. What’s more, what we do in the morning when we first wake up will often determine how the rest of our day will pan out.
What’s more, what we do in the morning when we first wake up will often determine how the rest of our day will pan out.
In the last few months I have been doing a little experiment with my morning ritual, or should I say before a few months ago my morning ritual consisted of lying in bed for as long as possible avoiding the day ahead.
Obviously after some time I was finding myself becoming less and less productive and my mornings often became rushed and disorganised and continued to be so for the rest of the day. As glorious as it was to laze in bed I can tell you right now it was not the most optimal way to welcome a productive, focused day ahead.
So I decided to make a change as I was determined to feel a greater sense of well being and love for myself than I was currently feeling. I listened to a great webinar by Robin Sharma where he talked about the 5am club….yikes! 5am!
That was certainly going to be a stretch from my 7.30-8am sleep ins, however I was determined to give this a crack. What happens in Robin Sharma’s 5am club is a series of 20 minute activities that kick start your brain, body and mind in a positive way. Now he calls this the method for superhuman productivity but I like to call it the method for greater sense of wellbeing.
Over time I have added to and adjusted his method to make my own morning ritual and after 40 days of dedicating myself to this ritual I felt a greater sense of happiness, buzzing energy, increased productivity and amazing creativity. In this time I have picked up the paint brush again and completed two paintings, my meditation practice has increased, I am eating healthier and generally taking greater care of my self and my body. So below is my top 5 self love rituals that I personally practice to kickstart my day with a BOOM!
1. Meditation –
Being a hypnotherapist I am a huge advocate of meditation and its benefit. In my eyes the only difference between meditation and hypnosis is the letters in the word. When I have a daily meditation practice I experience a greater sense of clarity and focus throughout my day and my stress levels are reduced significantly. One of my favourite authors Marianne Williamson often talks about the positive influence to your day when you start the day with a meditation practice (even if its 5 minutes). She also comments on the negative impact to your day when you wake up and watch the news and then wonder why you are depressed by the time its midday!
2. Gratitude Practice –
There have been many studies conducted over the years on the effectiveness of a gratitude practice and by regularly writing what it is that we are grateful for can significantly improve our state of well-being. Practicing DELIBERATE gratitude on a daily basis helps to re-wire our brain in a positive way which leads to a greater sense of happiness, feelings of being more alive and kindness and compassion towards yourself and others begins to come naturally.
helps release emotions, and allows space for your mind clutter to be cleared helping you to gain more clarity on your life and what you are wanting. Greater awareness about yourself you helps you to make better choices for yourself, your life and your future.
I was first introduced to journalling through Julie Cameron’s book The Artists Way. It is here that Julie talks about ‘morning pages’ and the idea is to basically dump all the mind chatter on paper the moment you wake up. She suggest to write 3 pages without stopping every morning even if you have nothing to write. The idea is to clear your mind in order for your creativity to flow through. Having journaled for 3 months solidly now I can attest that I have experienced greater clarity of mind and awareness of my thoughts, my feelings and my direction.
4. Exercise/Yoga –
I am a huge believer in the positive benefits of yoga/exercise and if you are not feeling so great about yourself exercise often can be the perfect remedy to feeling better. The benefits of exercise are endless, from as simple as going for a walk in the fresh open air, doing stretches on a yoga matt to doing an extensive workout at the gym, allowing your body to move and to release important chemicals in the brain can lead to greater motivation and and of course happiness.
5. Learning –
I often hear people say that they never have time to read, or to learn something new, but then next minute they are on their phones or laptops, surfing the web, checking out social media and they wonder where all their time has gone.
Challenging the brain to learn new things is so important as learning helps to build new brain cells which in turn strengthens the connection between them. The fastest way to master anything is to model off those that have mastered before you.
There is no limit to acquiring knowledge be it through books, the internet, webinars, podcasts. Setting aside even as much as 10-15 minutes before you start the day over time accumulates to greater knowledge and mastery.
So after months of dedication to my morning ritual that incorporates these 5 habits, I can attest that my energy levels have at least doubled, which is amazing considering I have have cut down on 2-2 1/2 hours of sleep, I am now rising daily between 5 and 5.30am, my mind is clearer and more importantly I experience a greater sense of happiness and well-being and love for myself.
I have learnt to love the sacredness of waking before dawn, embracing the silence and the opportunity to work inwards as it is my internal world that reflects what happens on the outside.
Mastering my internal world by using a disciplined approach to start my day is the pathway to improved self esteem and ultimately self mastery.