Why The Right Morning Routine Helps Beat Addiction
Starting the day right will help you stick to your goals
Addictions aren’t formed overnight, and they usually aren’t resolved overnight, either. Depending upon the duration and degree of the addiction, a varying amount of time and effort will be required to get firmly on a healthy track. One of the foundations for addiction recovery success is creating and maintaining the right morning routine.
While everyone is different and will respond to different activities, there are some positive morning components and activities that could be beneficial to just about everyone. The following are some insights and ideas to help with creating the ideal morning routine and building weeks, months and years into a lifetime of positive habits:
Start the Day with a Tall Glass of Water
Beginning your day with clean, clear water seems like a simple, innocuous step; however, it has a number of benefits on a variety of levels. Each day is a new start, a blank slate to create as you wish. Water cleanses the palette inside and out and helps to refresh your perspective. It has wonderful detoxifying benefits, and staying hydrated is a key to staving off numerous types of cravings.
Meditation has a range of amazing benefits, from stress relief to less anxiety, lowered risk of depression, better focus and an increased sense of well being. Starting your morning with a daily meditation — even just a few minutes — can set the tone for a more balanced, mindful approach to the day. The most basic form of meditation is simply putting your attention on your breath, the inflow and outflow of air. Breathing always takes place in the present moment, and the present moment is free and independent of mind chatter, or the “monkey mind.” Centering yourself with meditation every morning is an excellent habit for addiction recovery and cultivating more control throughout the day (and in life).
Gratitude is one of the most powerful forces and emotions that we can feel, and there are things you can do to cultivate being in this state more and more of the time. Gratitude runs counter to the way society conditions us to feel; we erroneously believe that success and happiness are “out there” or to be found in a product, material item, job, income level, relationship, or some other outside source. The truth is that happiness, fulfillment and gratitude are available now, inside of us as well as in the things that are going well in our lives right now.
Keep a gratitude journal and after your morning meditation, write down three to five things you are grateful for right now. They can be as simple as “it’s sunny today” or “I slept really well.” The point is to generate that feeling of appreciation in your heart and carry it with you into the day. If you are reading this article, then you have a pair of healthy eyes to be grateful for.
While some people prefer to exercise in the afternoon or evening, some physical activity can be a powerful component of your morning routine and addiction recovery. Morning exercises are energizing and do wonderful things to brain and body chemistry; serotonin and dopamine levels are elevated naturally and a sense of well being can be carried with you into the day. At the very least, doing some yoga, tai chi or qigong can get positive energy flowing in your muscles and systems, setting the tone for more well being throughout the day.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but all too many people skip breakfast to their detriment. Not eating in the morning can lead to blood sugar drops and fluctuations, especially after you’ve just exercised. Plan for a healthy breakfast each day after your chosen physical activity. A combination of protein with a bit of fruit and a small amount of whole grain can be the perfect way to fuel up and regulate mood and blood sugar.
Plan Your Day
This can be done over breakfast, but it can also take place the night before. Planning and scheduling each day is an important part of creating a new, healthy routine that lasts. Will you be meeting with friends later today, taking a class, or attending a meeting? Plan and review your schedule so that you know what’s ahead, and embrace the day on the solid foundation of your morning routine.
Forming new habits takes time and dedication, but a solid morning routine can help create the foundation for success. Use these tips and ideas to create your own ideal, uplifting and empowering morning routine.