Lots of people are struggling to feel motivated and productive right now. It’s a stressful time for just about everyone, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, political unrest, and natural disasters affecting people around the globe. Although it’s important to acknowledge how these factors are impacting your mental health, it’s also important to keep yourself moving forward.
If you feel like you’re not living up to your potential, then you’re probably feeling stressed and overwhelmed. You can’t operate at your peak performance if you’re constantly feeling stressed!
That’s where deep breathing comes in. A simple morning routine of deep breathing and relaxation techniques, if used consistently, could help you perform better and unleash your true potential. Here’s how.
Start Your Morning with Deep Breathing
The great thing about deep breathing exercises is that anyone can do them without any special knowledge. All you do is breathe deeply! Repeat the deep breaths, letting them out slowly, for a few minutes. The more you practice deep breathing, the better you’ll feel.
There are also different deep breathing techniques and patterns you can use if you find having guidance or a set technique is helpful for you. It can feel a little strange to create your own deep breathing routine if you’ve never used this technique before, so it doesn’t hurt to look up some options if you’re feeling lost at first.
Combine Your Breathing with 15 Minutes of Yoga
Deep breathing is extremely helpful for relaxation and focus on its own, but it’s even better when paired with gentle, mindful movement, like yoga. Yoga promotes unity between the mind and body and can help you relax and stretch your muscles. Combining deep breathing with yoga and meditation is so effective that it’s even recommended to people struggling with PTSD and other mental health concerns.
Starting the day with physical activity is always a great choice. Pairing your breathing routine with yoga means that you’ll have a morning routine you can use wherever you are. 15 minutes is enough to get you stretched out and ready for the day without taking up too much of your morning.
Establish a No Phone Zone
Regardless of the breathing exercises and other mindfulness techniques you use during your morning routine, it’s a good idea to leave your phone in the other room. Try not to check emails and social media before your deep breathing routine. Establishing a “no phone zone” during your morning mindfulness is key to avoiding interruptions and distractions.
We’re on our phones all day long. But it’s hard to deny that they are extremely distracting and can actually prevent us from achieving our true potential. It’s hard to get anything done when you keep glancing back at your phone!
Start small and teach yourself to use your phone less. Leaving it in another room while you practice your deep breathing is the first step.
Keep Deep Breathing Throughout the Day to Monitor Anxiety
Deep breathing is a great tool to use throughout the day. If you’re prone to anxiety and stress, you can use deep breathing to calm yourself down whenever you need to feel a little more centered. This is a technique that works for anxious kids, too.
Teaching yourself to breathe deeply whenever you feel stressed or anxious has two benefits. First, it helps you to regulate your emotions and feel calmer when you’re anxious, stressed, or upset. Second, it gives you an easy way to monitor your anxiety because you’ll start to notice the moment when you feel stressed.
Music While You Breathe
If you find that you struggle to focus during your deep breathing exercises, then you may need something to help you relax. Music can be the perfect accompaniment to your morning routine, especially if you want to add a little fun into your mindfulness.
Try making a morning playlist of songs you love. Happy, relaxing tunes are the best option. You might also want to build a playlist of quieter songs for your breathing exercises and more upbeat, energetic songs for making breakfast and getting dressed.
Starting your morning off right can really set the tone for the day. If you feel excited, relaxed, and ready to take on the day, you’re more likely to be productive in whatever you do. And when you’re in a good mood and operating at your peak—you’ll start to see that potential really shine!