The very first moments in which you start your day can clearly determine the path you take. Consider being thoughtful to your “first” thoughts and actions, and you will set the stage for a glorious day to follow. The first two can be done even before you open your eyes, while you are still in your bed, as the first light is coming up.
Five “firsts” that can lead you into a peaceful day:
1. FIRST BREATH – Make your first breath of the day a belly breath full of calm and follow it with 10 more as you visualize positive energy entering your body and negative energy leaving. Place your hand on your belly and slowly take a deep breath in through your nose. Blow the breath out through your mouth. As you repeat this breathing, watch how your belly goes in and out with each breath. To belly breathe, your belly goes out with each inhalation and goes in with every exhalation. Visualize your belly like a balloon that inflates as you take in air and deflates as you exhale. If you do not naturally breathe this way, that’s ok. You can practice and get better at it. We all start off belly breathing as babies. Sometimes breathing patterns change along the way and can foster discomfort. By belly breathing, you will feel calmness throughout your whole entire body.
FIRST THOUGHT – Is your first thought filled with panic, fear or worry? Or is it filled with contentment and feeling in control? When you take your feelings with you to bed, there is a great chance they can affect your sleep and will still be with you when you awake. Taking the time to connect with your inner calm before you sleep can help assure pleasantly waking up in the morning, refreshed and rejuvenated. This way, instead of dragging yourself out of bed thinking, “Ugh! Another day at work!” with dread and anxiety, you will rise thinking, “Yes! Another day at work!” with excitement and joy.
FIRST BITE – Having a sip of warm water with lemon is a gentle way to warm and cleanse yourself on the inside, preparing your body for more healthiness to follow. By committing to making your first bite of the day a healthy one, you consciously and subconsciously tell yourself that in that first moment of your first bite, you will choose healthy without worrying about any other bite to follow. Whether it’s a blueberry, apple or a cooked egg, you can feel good about starting each day off right, By committing to ingesting just one bit of a whole food, at that very moment you have helped yourself avoid sweet breakfast pastries, for instance. You have given yourself a head start to a having a healthy day. You will set your mental and physical body into craving more healthy bites to follow and have feelings of self-nurturing, no matter how small.
FIRST WORD – What does your first interaction with someone else look like? Are you short-tempered or impatient with those around you and chalk it up to “not being a morning person,” or do you embrace the new day with love and acceptance? It’s important to take the time to understand why that is, and ask if there are small changes that you can make that can make a big difference. Do you give yourself enough good sleep each night? Are you holding onto unresolved resentment or anger? There are clear signs when we are lacking nutrients to our spiritual and mental health. And when we see them, we can do the work to make a change. When your first words are words of respect and loving kindness, you show the world you are ready to welcome all interactions with positive energy that keep you serene.
FIRST ACTION – Committing time to do something positive, whether it’s time to stretch, meditate or even journal, can help you nurture your mind, body and soul. Before you can be kind to the world, you must be kind to yourself. In only a few minutes you can make a world of difference in grounding yourself, so you aren’t flailing in negative reactions. Instead of reacting to the slow car in front of you on the way to work, or to your beloved puppy who is deciding to take especially long to do his business that morning, you can live in a state of patience and empathy.
So, take some time to look at your “firsts” of the day to see how you can make them count in your favor. Simple and small changes can help build a beautiful and peaceful foundation to an amazing day filled with kindness, compassion and confidence.
Jo Pessin, CHt. is a certified hypnotherapist, therapeutic imagery facilitator, educator, speaker, and writer. She works with children, teens and adults, both individually and in groups to help support positive personal change. She specializes in thoughtful living, stress management, confidence building, overcoming fears, test anxiety, self love and living with cancer. Learn more about Jo, the important work that she does, and how she might help you or a loved one at www.athoughtfulway.com.