90 Second Primer for Well-Being to Start the Day
Ben Gaibel, LCSW
You are asleep early in the morning and suddenly, that intrusive alarm from your smart phone wakes you up to start the day. After subtle feelings of frustration, you turn off the alarm and think of all the things you have to do for the day along with the worries, and feel a sense of panic in your torso. To avoid feeling those uncomfortable feelings, you start mindlessly checking emails, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, and the scroll through the news. In response to what appears on the screen, more anxiety settles in. Time to roll out of bed and rush to get ready for the day.
If this sounds remotely familiar, you are not alone. The good news is that there is a much more conscious and healthy way to wake up in the morning. It just takes about 90 seconds from the moment you wake up, and you can keep the bedcovers on you while you practice it. It is a daily practice I learned from listening to an interview with Michael Gervais, world renowned sports psychologist. He described a practice he does every day the moment he wakes up in the morning to get in the right mindset – a “primer” for the day. I have begun practicing it for the past couple of months, and have found that the practice has profoundly shifted my waking up experience to an experience of health and well-being, setting the tone for the rest of the day.
The practice involves 4 quick steps that can be done lying in bed upon waking up for the day:
Step 1: Take one fully conscious deep breath while fully committing to feeling the inhalation and exhalation.
Step 2: Bring to mind one thought of gratitude no matter how big or small. Completely experience feeling what you are grateful for.
Step 3: Bring to mind one intention you have for the day. For an example, you can bring to mind the intention to stay focused in order to get work done for the day, or to be as kind as possible to those around you.
Step 4: Put your feet on the ground and feel the sensations of standing to ground yourself.
You can practice this every morning as an experiment and see what happens. It could lead to a much more enjoyable start to your day. You might find yourself feeling more alive and awake, with greater confidence to meet the challenges ahead.