Emotional well-being arises from how you take care of yourself.
This easy habit will help you to direct your emotions where you want them to go so that you feel more ease and focus in your day. It’s especially helpful if you wake up in the morning and immediately feel anxious or worried.
First, lets look at:
What makes the morning a special time for emotional management
It’s always important to be intentional about what you think and do during your day but when you first wake up is an especially vital time.
This is because your brain is in a state of transition in the morning.
During sleep you typically experience relaxation and an easing of symptoms of stress. You let go of thoughts and beliefs that create angst and your brain produces specific wavelengths associated with this state (either delta or theta waves).
Then, you wake up.
If you have chronic anxiety like I do, your brain might immediately go into high alert and you’ll begin to feel anxious and stressed about whatever hot topics headline your life right now (like a work project, a difficult conversation or your upcoming dentist appointment).
In the blink of an eye, you’ve jumped right from sleep into fight-or-flight brainwaves (high beta).
This happens out of habit.
Your mind simply wants to keep you safe by focusing on problems, which trigger corresponding emotions.
The body grows accustomed to whatever emotional states you feel most and mistakenly adopts them as your baseline, so it will seek to create those fight-or-flight feelings on a daily basis.
Dr. Joe Dispenza calls this being “addicted to your emotions” because this emotional habit can feel like it’s out of your control.
Just like any habit, however, it only continues to exist through repetition.
By interrupting this negative habit with a positive one, you can begin to change it.
A simple habit to cultivate emotional wellbeing in the morning
cultivate love and gratitude as soon as you’re aware you’re awake.
Spend 1-5 minutes each morning on this. Aim to feel a slight shift in emotion, even if for a second.
You can cultivate love and gratitude in any way that feels good to you. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Put one hand on your heart and one on your belly. Feel the warmth of your palms. Breathe into your heart center. Let this gesture feel supportive and loving.
- Focus your attention on your heart and bring up someone or something you love in your mind. Send them love using your imagination.
- Create a mental list of all that you’re grateful for, even if your life sucks right now. The act of looking for things to be grateful for is half of the practice. You can choose anything, like:
- The sun still shines
- You have a body
- A relationship (person, animal, nature, spirit)
- The possibility of growth and change
- Find a short guided meditation on Spotify, Headspace or your favorite meditation source that is about connecting to gratitude and listen to it before you get out of bed.
- Ask yourself “how do I want to show up today?” and imagine yourself feeling and doing those things.
What to expect
You might feel some immediate relief, or you might not.
The full effect of this practice comes when you do it on a daily basis, time and time again.
Even if you continue to feel anxious, cultivating uplifting emotions will help you to create the habit of managing your emotions.
Believe that you WILL see improvement BEFORE you do.
That’s how you cultivate new possibilities for yourself. One small habit at a time.
P.S. When you learn to manage your emotions – instead of letting them just happen to you – you gain a sense of confidence and control in your life. You’re no longer at the whim of what’s going on around you but, instead, centered in your own ability to create and process emotions. It’s a powerful place to be. And I can help you get there. Schedule a free consult to learn more.