Start your day with a good morning routine – it will make such a huge difference in your life! Not just for your physical, but also mental health. I love waking up earlier and having some time for myself and today I’m sharing 7 great morning habits for a healthy mind!
The Latin phrase Mens sana in corpore sano (A healthy mind in a healthy body) didn’t appear for no reason. When focusing on how to be healthier, many of us often neglect one of the most important aspects of our whole being – our mind.
I mean, that’s understandable since you don’t really see it and you can’t be constantly reminded of it, but still! Everything you think, feel and do – subconsciously or not – comes entirely from your mind, whether you like it or not.
Your day starts with your mind and it ends with it too. So, you’ve got to make sure you’re keeping it healthy as well, not just your body. Your body can only go so far without a healthy mind.
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of your mind’s well-being, let’s see what we can do about it. Why not start with the basics? Your morning routine.
In my experience, these are some of the best morning habits for a healthy mind and you can easily incorporate them into your everyday morning routine to reap the benefits. So let’s start!
1. Appreciate The Little Things
I wanted to start this list of morning habits for a healthy mind with this one, because it is something we do more and more rarely, which is a shame. It’s such a positive habit to develop in life and definitely a must-do in the morning.
So, look around and just take in whatever you see. It’s best if you do this outside, or at least crack open a window at home to look through it. Take a deep breath, inhale whatever is in the air – the specific cold ‘aroma’ of winter, flowers, or freshly baked bread.
Listen to the sounds surrounding you or enjoy the quiet – it’s my favorite thing about my morning routine. The peace that comes with being still, quiet and present.
Look around and marvel for a bit. Take a good look at the trees, the skies, and even the buildings. See if you can still spot the moon somewhere. Stand in a sunny patch, even if you don’t have sunglasses – squint a bit, but let the rays shine over you.
We’re all in such a rush, looking at screens almost 24/7 and leading such stressful, overstimulated lives.
Therefore this is one of the most important morning habits for a healthy mind! To stop and “smell the roses”. To realize you’re alive right here, right now. It won’t hurt at all to stop for a while and appreciate the real, the good side of life, which sadly, we often forget.
So start your days with this habit, or if you forget – try to do this at least once a day. You’ll notice your mood improve and your mind will thank you for it.
Physical movement is one of the best, and proven countless of times, morning habits to keep your mind active and healthy. (souce)
So, whatever you prefer – walking, jogging, yoga, running, tennis, equine sports, swimming, you name it! Add exercise to your list of morning routine ideas. It causes your heart rate to go up and your muscles to give it their all. And all that is controlled by your brain.
Exercise also causes your body to produce endorphins (source) and they are truly life-changers. Endorphins boost your mood greatly (the so-called ‘after exercise high’), help alleviate menstrual pain, make you have a higher pain tolerance and come with more positive effects.
By working out, you also ‘exercise’ your brain. Over time, your memory can improve, as well as your attentiveness. So grab some comfortable clothes and shoes, head out or even stay at home and start your day with this amazing morning habit for a healthy mind!
3. Keep a journal
Considering how hectic everyday life has become, it’s not a bad idea to keep your thoughts organized. One way you can do it is by keeping a journal. So after you wake up – spend 5-10 minutes writing down everything that’s going through your mind.
Even if it is about the most random things, which someone else might believe are ‘childish’ or ‘useless’, if they’re important to you – write them down. Honestly, they could even be not-so-important things, but funny ones, or just your thoughts and opinions on a certain topic. Don’t let them stay stuck in your mind repeating themselves over and over again.
Make space for new, better thoughts and ideas! That’s why keeping a journal is one of the most amazing morning habits for a healthy mind that you can start. It helps to keep the flow. So as I said, take 5 or 10 minutes in the morning and write whatever you feel like. You’ll see benefits soon enough.
I personally feel so much more clear, more organized, my thoughts flow more smoothly – just because I don’t repeat the same thing in my mind over and over again like a notification I just cannot turn off. Once it’s written down, it seems to magically disappear. Also, let’s be honest, it’s fun to read back entries from years ago.
4. Keeping a Healthy Diet
Sadly, once it’s running, time stops for no one. You age and so does your mind. This can lead to a series of unfortunate illnesses, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
However, you can do something about it!
What exactly? Well – eat healthy food! There I said it. This is your reminder to eat a vegetable or ten today.
Actually, why not start your day this way? Make a green smoothie full of vegetables, fruit and seeds as your first meal for the day. After you do this for 7-8 days, you’ll understand why this is one of the morning habits for a healthy mind that I’m looking forward to every day!
I know it sounds more simple than it is, but if you start off slowly, you’ll surely be keeping a brain-healthy diet in no time.
To do this, try to keep processed foods that are high in fat and sugar as minimal as possible. And instead focus on munching on things that are rich in protein, vitamins and antioxidants. Try to eat as much veggies, fruit and seeds as possible, with some fish and meat a few times during the week.
For example, the Mediterranean diet is notorious for being high in antioxidants and being more anti-inflammatory than Western diets. This in turn can greatly reduce the risk of dementia. (source)
5. Learn something new
Your brain is incredibly powerful, but as it ages, some of that power becomes a bit more, well not so powerful. There is something called ‘brain plasticity’, which basically means the ability to learn and store new information. However, this ability must be trained, in order to keep a sharp mind as you age.(source)
Even when you’re younger – you don’t expect to be able to speak a language fluently if you practice it only twice a month for 10 minutes, right? You’ve got to keep your brain active and constantly revisit information that’s valuable to you. Do tasks/quizzes related to what you want to know, if you want it to keep your brain healthy.
Therefore to keep a healthy mind, add the practice of learning something new to your list of morning habits that you need to start. This can include taking up any sort of musical instrument lessons, playing a game of chess or just learning a language at home (ahem, Duolingo).
All of these things can benefit your mind greatly! You will learn and grow, make your knowledge as concrete as possible, and at the same time grow your brain, feel better and be healthier overall.
6. Wake Up Without An Alarm
Now, when I say morning habits for a healthy mind, waking up early is definitely a great one to start. But you need to make sure to be getting enough sleep before you wake up and start doing all of the other things on the list.
As obvious as it sounds, many people skip sleep in favor of doing other things. While you might feel as if you can function on 4-5 hours of sleep every night for the rest of your life, you’ll find out it’s not a great idea long-term.
So give your body and brain what they need in order to recover properly – rest. If you can, try to incorporate the habit of waking up without an alarm. I started doing this years ago and it makes such a huge difference. I still wake up early, and almost at the same time (varies with the seasons), but I’m actually rested and restored. Because I fall asleep early.
Sleep has different phases – REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM ones – which are both vital for proper neuronal development (source). Lack of sleep leads to an increased probability of mood swings, irritability, making mistakes, clumsiness, etc. So get enough sleep and then wake up.
7. Drink Water
This is another one of those obvious morning habits that you need to start for a healthy mind and body, which, once again, many of us neglect. Why are we like this?
Your body and your brain need a good amount of water every day in order to function properly. The longer you go without it, the more mistakes your brain begins to make. (source)
Dehydration causes stumbles in cognitive activity – you can start misplacing things, become a bit clumsy, your head will start to hurt, you won’t be able to solve math problems as fast as you usually would…Prevent this! After you wake up, drink one or two glasses of water to rehydrate your body after the eight hours of rest – you’ll immediately feel more alert and awake!
More Healthy Morning Routine Ideas
Well, I hope you enjoyed the list of simple morning habits for a healthy mind and start adding them to your daily routine! It truly makes a difference! If you’re looking for more morning routine ideas, take a look at some of these articles:
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