Zen 10-Minute Routine to Start Your Day on a Positive Note

Start with a positive affirmation.

What is a positive affirmation? It’s basically just a phrase or mantra to repeat in your head. Using them can help you get rid of negative thinking or feelings, and it’s easy to do.

Examples of some positive affirmations include “I’m ready for anything,” “I am safe and protected,” or “My life is full of joy.” When choosing an affirmation, pick something that resonates with you. I also like to choose something that brings me peace—something I can say to myself over and over when I’m feeling stressed about the day ahead. A good personal affirmation could be one that makes you feel empowered (like “I’ve got this!”) or one that helps you feel grounded (like “It will all work out”). If there’s something particular that seems to stress you out on a daily basis, try using an affirmation to alleviate those anxious thoughts.

Keep it simple.

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Relax your body.

Make sure to relax your body with a few techniques that are proven to help you de-stress.

  • Stretching: Not only will this help you warm up for meditation, it also releases tension from the night before as well as improves circulation.
  • Breathing techniques: Deep abdominal breathing helps get more oxygen into the lungs, which can reduce stress and anxiety levels and improve your overall mood.
  • Body scan: This is where you take a moment to focus on each part of your body, from head to toe, to identify and release any tension or soreness present (think of it as stretching but mentally).
  • Mediation: Pick a spot in front of you—it could be an object in the room or even a spot on the wall—and then focus on nothing but that spot for one minute. This will help you calm down, focus your mind and slow down your breathing all at once. In addition to those relaxation techniques, there are other great ways to stay calm throughout the day including yoga, tai chi, guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation. Each of these methods can reduce muscle tension by slowly tensing various muscle groups in the body followed by deep breathing while releasing those muscles back into their natural resting state.

Practice gratitude.

You may not be able to change the circumstances that provoke stress, but you can change how you react to them. Gratitude is a healthy habit to cultivate, and it can go a long way towards improving your overall health and happiness. A simple act of gratitude like counting your blessings or remembering those things for which you are grateful will immediately make you feel better. Appreciating what you have and the people in your life means that even when things are difficult, as they so often are, you’re still able to see the positive side of situations.

This is also a wonderful practice to share with your loved ones. You can experience more connection and love within your family by practicing gratitude together every morning before starting your day.”

Head outside.

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Put on some chill beats.

The next step is to pick some background music. The point here isn’t to drown out your thoughts or tune into a catchy hook; you’re choosing a sound that will enhance the moment and help you relax. If you open Spotify or Apple Music, look for songs with these key features:

  • Nature sounds, like ocean waves and raindrops
  • Guided meditation tracks with occasional instructions, but not much talking
  • Instrumentals of songs you already know well—they’ll evoke a sense of familiarity without distracting lyrics

You can also just sit in silence if it helps you focus—trust me, I understand what that’s like. The main goal is to choose the right soundtrack for your morning experience.

Make it routine.

When you commit to a daily routine, your task will soon become a habit, which is something you can do without thinking about it. A habit is like an automatic function that occurs in the background of your brain. Like brushing your teeth or drinking coffee in the morning, you don’t even need to think about doing it before you’re doing it. You can get there by consistently completing your routine.

One way to make sure you’re always on time for your daily routine is by waking up at the same time every day and doing your routine at the same time every day as well. It’s easier said than done because sometimes life happens, but if you keep consistent enough with this practice, waking up at 6:30 am and starting your routine at 6:45 am will eventually become second nature. I also find keeping a calendar log of my progress helps too because I can see how many days in a row I’ve been consistent with my practice and that motivates me to keep going. Don’t be discouraged if you mess up one day; just start back up again tomorrow!

Plan ahead.

While some people are natural planners, others find it a cumbersome task that they’d rather sidestep. You may think that planning is an anathema to spontaneity, but allow yourself to see the beauty in planning. Believe it or not, it will actually help you be more spontaneous by helping you figure out what your options are and how to achieve them.

Your morning routine doesn’t have to be complicated. It just needs some forethought! Think about your morning routine and make notes about the things you would like to change or try so that you can implement them immediately after waking up.

For example, you can set aside time during the day before work or at night to plan what items you need for the next day, such as food and clothes, in addition to any activities or appointments you have scheduled. If possible, try writing these down on paper (or even on your phone), which will help bring awareness of your plans for tomorrow into your subconscious mind as well.

You can make yourself less stressed in the morning in just ten minutes.

A ten-minute routine will almost certainly help you feel more relaxed and centered at the beginning of your day. The stress-relieving benefits of this practice are well worth the effort it takes to execute, especially if you’re someone who’s prone to getting overwhelmed easily.

There are a few keys to making this work: First and foremost, you need to schedule the time in your morning routine for it. (If possible, keep your phone on silent or put it in another room for these ten minutes.) Then, according to multiple sources, including author Dean Sluyter and psychologist Dr. Susan Albers—who both shared their thoughts with Greatist—the best way to start is by taking a couple of deep breaths before moving into meditation or any other relaxation techniques. Both experts also emphasize that it’s important not to worry about doing things perfectly; mistakes will happen no matter how long you’ve been practicing mindfulness techniques or meditating. Dr. Albers even says that laughter is a valid response sometimes! “The best thing we can do is laugh when [our mind] wanders rather than get upset with ourselves when we get lost in thought.”Sometimes, our morning routines can feel a little… rushed. So today, we’re going to take things nice and slow. Here’s your 10-minute Zen morning routine to help you start your day feeling calm and ready to tackle anything:

1. Wake up slowly

2. Stretch while still in bed

3. Make your bed

4. Brush your teeth

5. Wash your face

6. Take a few deep breaths

7. Do a few neck rolls and shoulder shrugs to loosen up any other tightness in your body

8. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee (if you drink it)

9. Sit quietly with that beverage for a minute or two, enjoying the flavor and the warmth or coolness of the mug in your hands

10. Say “I got this!” aloud—or whatever phrase makes you feel strong and ready to start the day

We all know how easy it can be to get caught up in a negative mindset when you start your morning off on the wrong foot. Maybe you spilled coffee on your new blouse, or maybe there was a long line at the drive-thru and now you’re going to be late for work.

But what if you could start your day off feeling more relaxed, no matter what happens?

Here are some ways you can use your morning routine to boost your mood, set good intentions for the day ahead, and ensure that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever comes your way.

Get up 20 minutes earlier and try this simple routine. You’ll soon see that you feel more alert, energized and ready to face the day.

1. Wake Up Slowly

Set your alarm clock 20 minutes earlier so you can wake up in a more relaxed way. Turn on the light and open the blinds or curtains before getting out of bed. This will signal to your body it’s time to wake up. If you have trouble waking up, get some sunlight as soon as possible after waking.

2. Drink a Glass of Water

The first thing you should do when you get up is drink a glass of water, preferably warm or at room temperature. A glass of water helps hydrate your body, which becomes dehydrated while you sleep. Start drinking water as soon as you wake up to rehydrate your body and replenish any lost fluids. Drinking water also helps improve your mood, energy levels and brain function. When our bodies don’t get enough fluids, we can become irritable and our concentration and memory may not be as sharp as usual either.

3. Shower or Take a Bath

Taking a shower or bath can help “wash off” all the negative energy from yesterday and start fresh

We’re all busy. Between work, family, and everything else we have to do, it can be hard to get everything done. But just because you’re short on time doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in some “you” time.

Here’s a quick morning routine to help you start your day off right. It’ll help you relax and feel a little more at peace before you head into the day ahead:

1. Wake up slowly

I know what you’re thinking: “What is this guy talking about? That’s ridiculous!” Hear me out. When your alarm goes off, don’t immediately jump up and start going through your morning routine. Give yourself five minutes to slowly wake up before you even get out of bed. Just close your eyes and breathe in and out deeply until you feel ready to move on to the next step.

2. Take a deep breath

Once those five minutes are up, take a series of deep breaths before getting out of bed. Again, just focus on breathing in and out slowly for about 30 seconds before getting out of bed for good. This will help center you before the rest of your morning routine begins so you can start your day with a little more clarity and calmness than if you’d jumped straight from

1. Do some stretches.

2. Take a long, deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a moment, and then slowly exhale out of your mouth to release any tension you may be feeling.

3. Brew yourself a cup of tea or coffee and take it outside to drink while you watch the sun rise.

4. Make your bed and enjoy the sense of accomplishment as you look at a clean, put-together space.

5. If you’re looking for a more challenging routine, try doing 50 jumping jacks before breakfast!

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