4 Morning Rituals to Help Relieve Anxiety by Jen Porcelli

1. Practice Gratitude

When you’re feeling a sense of worry about something in your life or just suffer from generalized anxiety, it can be hard to focus on the positive. The first thing I do when I wake up is say one thing I’m grateful for. It can range from being grateful for my family to being grateful for the comfy socks I have on. Anything that gives me a momentary sense of gratitude. Doing this makes me recognize something good in my life and ultimately fills my mind and spirit with positivity.

2. Take a Breath

All it takes is a minute of focused breathing to help slow down your brain and calm your nerves. There are lots of resources on different types of breathing techniques out there and benefits each one can have on anxiety. When my mornings are hectic or I’m already feeling the weight of the day in my chest, I prefer to practice this really focused (and superquick) breathing technique. All I do is take a deep breath through my nose for a count of 10 seconds, then exhale deeply from my mouth for 10 seconds. If I feel I need to, I’ll repeat this a couple of times. The results are immediate — I feel calmer and more centered and also get a quick mental break because I’m focused solely on my breath. The best part is I can do this exercise anywhere and at any time.

3. Exercise

I know, I know — exercise may not always be easy to do first thing in the morning. Sometimes I would much rather hit the snooze button and stay in my warm, comfy blanket cocoon than get physical. But even just the smallest amount of exercise (think a short walk or jog, some jumping jacks, yoga) can have exponential positive benefits when it comes to tackling anxiety. When I drive to the gym in the morning, feeling exhausted and anxious about the day, I always leave feeling more accomplished and centered.

4. Pick a Goal, Any Goal

A huge source of my anxiety stems from wanting to take it all on at once. I used to write a to-do list for myself a mile long and then get anxious just staring at it. So anxious and overwhelmed, in fact, that I didn’t even know where to begin, so I just stared blankly, accomplishing nothing and feeling like a failure. Now, in the morning, I set one main goal for myself. I tell myself if I achieve this one thing, then I’ve mastered the day and immediately feel less anxious. The bonus: if I finish that goal and accomplish something else, I feel like I’m totally winning at life.

These four rituals may not work for everyone, but I can tell you they’ve significantly changed my life. For anyone who suffers from anxiety, or would just like to find a little more peace in their own lives, I highly encourage you to make your own list. You may surprise yourself and ultimately find a way to create a little more bliss every single day.

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