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The 20-Minute Morning Routine That Relieves Anxiety

The 20-Minute Morning Routine That Relieves Anxiety

Anxiety. I call it a brick wall.

I want to enjoy time with my friends and family… Brick wall.

I want to go to work… Brick wall.

I want to go on holiday… Brick wall.

I want to enjoy my life… Brick wall.

Constantly hitting this brick wall gets exhausting and makes things in life very difficult.

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When you suffer from anxiety, everything you used to do that you once enjoyed feels impossible. There’s a great big brick wall in the way, which makes everything feel out of reach and difficult to obtain. This brick wall is filled with an overload of stress hormones, crippling symptoms, and debilitating thoughts.

Now, I could talk all day about the symptoms and how tough it is, but that’s not going to get me anywhere, or you for that matter. There’s one question we need to talk ask ourselves: What actions can you take to relieve anxiety?

What if I told you that you can make this wall a lot easier to get over? Not through therapy or medication, but with your own specific actions that I call “Lifestyle Triggers”. Stick with me, I’m going to teach you what these lifestyle triggers are and how they fit into the perfect morning routine that truly relieves anxiety.

Sounds good, right? Let’s get to it.

The Biological Problem and Lifestyle Triggers

Everyone looks at anxiety as a psychological problem. This is most people’s first mistake.

Sure, anxiety can be triggered by negative thoughts and thought cycles, but the body is designed to be able to endure negative thoughts. The problems and symptoms really start when it turns into a physical, biological problem.

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Normally, there is a good balance between stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) and feel-good neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain). These complement each other and they create what I call a “Hormone Harmony”, as this balance creates serenity throughout the body.

With me so far? Good, let’s keep going.

The uncontrollable symptoms of anxiety start when the adrenaline and cortisol stress hormones are too high. In combination with that, the feel-good neurotransmitters are too low. To put it simply, your anxiety symptoms are caused by a hormone disharmony.

This is good news, believe it or not. Let me explain.

Now that you know what the physical problem is, you just need to know how to reverse it. Let’s start with your morning routine. Remember earlier when I spoke about lifestyle triggers? What are they exactly?

Lifestyle triggers are small daily actions that can reverse the damage done to your overall hormone harmony. Then, hey presto! Your stress hormones and anxiety will start to decrease.

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The Morning Routine

The morning routine consists of three of these lifestyle triggers that work to help improve your hormone harmony. They are as follows:

1. Ten Minutes Of Flexible Exercise

I call this flexible exercise because it’s so short that it can fit in with any lifestyle. It’s far better to exercise in this way if you’re anxious. Why? Because if your stress hormones are already higher than they should be (due to anxiety), normal exercise will increase them further. It’s very important to remember exercise is a stress to the mind and body itself.[1]

Because flexible exercise is so brief, it allows the body to adapt to the stress of exercise. This has a normalizing effect on your stress hormones adrenaline/cortisol and reduces them when you’re at rest. I call this effect creating a “Positive Exercise-Stress Axis”.

2. Five Minutes Of Calm Breathing

After the flexible exercise burst, perform five minutes of calm breathing. This is a very simple but crucial lifestyle trigger that, when performed daily, trains your body to breathe correctly. This helps to calm your nervous system and ultimately continues to reduce those anxiety-causing hormones.

To practice calm breathing, follow these steps:

  • Sit in a quiet place with good posture
  • Keep your head up and shoulders back, so your airway is open
  • Slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth
  • Ensure your stomach extends with each breath, to ensure deep breathing
  • Repeat these actions for five minutes

3. Eat A Complete Meal

The last lifestyle trigger is to eat a complete meal. In the mornings, this means eating breakfast. To decrease any anxiety, take it a step further to mean a complete meal. So what is a complete meal? A complete meal is a meal that has the a balance of all three of the macronutrients that the body needs. These are your fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.[2]

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Traditional breakfasts tend to be imbalanced with refined carbohydrates. An imbalanced breakfast like this creates an up and down effect on sugar levels. This makes your body release even more stress hormones. It does this to try and stabilize your sugar levels.

Eating a complete meal stops this problem and reduces stress hormones. A good complete meal to try would be: a high protein yogurt, whole oats, blueberries, and almonds.

So there they are, the three lifestyle triggers that create the 20-minute morning routine that relieves anxiety. As you can see, they all complement each other and help to restore balance of the body’s hormone harmony.

Motivational Energy

Now, if what I have spoken about makes sense to you, you probably have some motivational energy. This is that little light bulb moment you get when something makes sense and you get a burst of motivation and you’re like, Right! I’m going to do this.

But the problem is, the light bulb isn’t on for long and the odds are you will wake up tomorrow not feeling motivated and you will end up not trying the routine.

So what’s important is what you do right now! Allow routine to fuel your motivation, alleviate anxiety, and thereby revitalize your life.

Remember, if you are experiencing symptoms of stress or anxiety, always seek medical advice and talk to a doctor. These things are nothing to be ashamed of. If you found these strategies useful, please like and share, as it might help someone else going through the same thing. We can beat things like stress and anxiety together.

Reference

More by this author

Ben Jones

Fitness Coordinator

We Feel Empty Because Our Bodies Aren’t Evolved to Cope With the Current Lifestyle How Not to Let Negative Thoughts Trump the Positive Vibes The 20-Minute Morning Routine That Relieves Anxiety The 10-Minute Daily “Lifestyle Trigger” That Relieves Anxiety and Depression 2 Major Flaws in Your Diet That Cause Stress and Anxiety

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Last Updated on June 1, 2020

17 Ideas to Get Motivated to Lose Weight Now

17 Ideas to Get Motivated to Lose Weight Now

You made it here – the decision to lose weight! This means that mindfulness is kicking in. This is important for motivation, weight loss, and health. Being healthy and active is necessary!

Our bodies were meant to move, not be sedentary. For weight loss, the success of your journey is based on your ability to stay motivated throughout.

Motivation is easy at first, but holding on to it may breed a little challenge. Please know that this is normal. You will have days where motivation is at its all-time high and other days where motivation is at an all-time low.

In this article, we’ll look into some of the best ideas on how to get motivated to lose weight and why we lose motivation easily along the weight loss journey.

Motivation and Inspiration for Losing Weight

There are varied reasons for wanting to lose weight. The one common factor: everyone needs motivation.

One piece of advice:

Motivation comes a little easier when you determine the reason for wanting to lose weight.

What is/are your motivating factors for losing weight? It is important to understand your “why”, no matter how small.

Losing weight, even just 5% of your weight can help:

  • Improve blood sugar
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Reduce joint pain
  • Reduce the risk of certain cancers

As someone who has been through this journey, I can tell you that it will require constant recharges of motivation.

I did it the old-fashioned way, diet, and exercise. It took me almost 3 years to achieve 85 pounds lost. That may seem like a really long time. However, keep in mind that healthy weight loss averages 1-2 pounds per week.

    Motivation is really strong in the beginning, but it starts to shift when the results aren’t immediate. The results take time, and your motivation is the key to get you there.

    Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

    Common Weight Loss Motivation Struggles

    Lack of motivation is common for many reasons. Motivation can trigger a number of emotions, making it hard to get motivated.

    Some of the common motivation struggles that people face are:

    1. Unsupportive Social Environment

    Your social environment is your physical and social setting (home, family, friends, etc.). Many don’t realize the importance and influence of a social environment.

    If you are trying to get on the right track and hear something like “oh, you don’t need to do that, let’s go out and get ice cream”, your motivation to do the right thing is will likely be impacted.

    2. Lots of Hard Work for Slow Results

    When you work out 5 times a week and carefully count your calories, naturally you want to see more than 2 pounds gone. Please keep in mind that normal and healthy weight loss averages 2 pounds per week – about 3500 calories burned means one pound lost.

    3. Injuries

    Many suffer from injuries that reduce their ability to exercise. However, you should also consider low impact exercises and exercise modifications.

    Additionally, discussing approved workouts with your doctor is helpful. Exercise can still happen with an injury, but don’t lose motivation!

    4. Cravings

    You will have cravings, and that’s ok! Even the healthiest people have cravings. When cravings strike, be mindful of the craving and the portion.

    Craving cookies? Bake them at home so that you can modify and control the recipe for your goal.

    5. Healthy Food Is Expensive

    There is a bit of truth and a bit of a lie here. Healthy food can be a bit expensive. However, if you eat more of a plant-based diet (fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.), the costs won’t skyrocket.

    6. Lack of Time for Working Out

    If losing weight is really what you are set out to accomplish, then you have to find some time. You have to schedule and coordinate your day to day to include working out.

    For days that you simply can’t, make choices that force a little more movement. Park at the back of the parking lot and take the longer path to the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, do squats while cooking, and/or do sit-ups during commercial breaks.

    The Importance of Mindfulness for Motivation and Weight Loss

    Be honest with yourself, how many times have you eaten something without actually thinking about what you were feeding yourself?

    Mindfulness plays an important role in our everyday decisions, especially the decisions regarding our health. There are many mindfulness considerations that will help motivate you to lose weight.

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    In the past, we were taught what to eat and what not to eat. However, there was no guidance on how to select and consume, which ultimately contributed to weight issues.

    In general, people have a strong misconception about food and its purpose in our lives and health. This creates unhealthy habits that contribute to weight gain.

    The importance of mindfulness in this journey is crucial to your weight loss success. That’s why mindfulness is essential in knowing how to get motivated to lose weight.

    Take a look at this article to learn more about mindful eating: The Best Benefits of Mindful Eating for Weight Loss and How to Start Now.

    17 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Lose Weight

    1. Love and Appreciation

    Love inspires motivation and motivation feeds appreciation.

    Loving yourself motivates you to appreciate our body and all the things that it can do. Appreciation for the body improves body image and appreciation for body image leads to weight loss motivation.

    2. Mindfulness

    As discussed above, mindfulness is the key to success. Being mindful ensures that you are aware of your “why”, the reason for starting your weight loss journey, and are dedicated to making good choices that support your ultimate goal.

    Mindfulness also keeps you aware throughout the process: food choices, social settings, and process/progress.

    3. Be Committed

    Your motivation for weight loss will suffer if you are not committed. Making a public commitment will help hold you accountable and enhance motivation.

    4. Get a Mentor or Accountability Partner

    Having a mentor and/or an accountability partner will help with maintaining your motivation. Having someone that inspires you and believes in you will also boost your motivation.

    5. Animals Help Motivate

    Getting a dog will increase movement because dogs have to go outside and play. A dog can be an accountability partner too! Not only will they make you move, but they are also awesome support beings.

    6. Goal Setting

    You know your “why” and now you’re ready to get started. What are your goals? Are they realistic?

    As discussed above, an average of 2 pounds a week is normal and healthy weight loss. Setting goals like “I plan on losing 15 pounds in a week” will result in a lack of motivation at the end of the week.

    7. Pace Yourself

    The weight loss journey is a lifestyle transformation journey. This doesn’t happen within a few days.

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    Habits take time to break. Don’t lose hope!

    8. Perfection Doesn’t Exist and Setbacks Will Happen

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Be patient and love yourself through this process. This isn’t an easy journey, so expect a few setbacks as you transition and get into the groove.

    9. Don’t Set Your Eyes on the End, Set Them on Each Day

    What I mean is, focus on the journey, not the end goal.

    If you are trying to lose 50 pounds, focusing on that number will motivate you initially, but it will cause a lack of motivation later due to being overwhelmed about the length of time.

    Instead, focus on your daily goals.

    10. Incorporate a Plan That Fits Your Daily Life

    Everyone has different responsibilities and different reasons for losing weight. One plan doesn’t work for everyone.

    Build your own plan – one that you can fit into your everyday life.

    Mindfulness is key here and helps keep you motivated. Being mindful of your day and incorporating a weight loss plan is important.

    A few suggestions:

    • Reduce the number of calories you eat. Keep a food journal and track everything.
    • Make smaller plates with smaller portions. Portion control is important.
    • Reduce your unhealthy snack and sugar intake. Sugar can breed disaster.
    • Stay away from deep-fried/fried foods.
    • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.

    11. Don’t Weigh Yourself Everyday

    This is a huge NO. Weighing in once a week and keeping track of progress is what you need. Weighing yourself once a day is one of the fastest ways to lose motivation.

    Remember, healthy weight loss averages 2 pounds per week.

    12. Don’t Focus 100% on the Scale

    The scale is just one way to track progression and even in that, special considerations must be given. You may have gotten on the scale 2 weeks ago and have lost 15 pounds, but this week you may gain 5 pounds.

    If you turned fat into muscle, this will happen, so don’t lose motivation! This is a good thing. It means that you are burning fat and building muscle, and building muscle means toning up.

    13. Celebrate and Reward Yourself

    When you reach a goal, celebrate! Share your success with your social environment.

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    Being happy and celebrating your achievement enhances motivation.

    14. Hire a Trainer

    It is okay to hire a professional trainer to help motivate and coach you toward your weight loss goal. The trainer doesn’t have to be a workout trainer. You can consider a dietician or therapist.

    15. Use Music

    Music is a motivation booster for sure! Music will help you move and groove, taking the focus off of the act and allowing happy to kick in and motivate you.

    Research conducted by the North American Association for the Study of Obesity found that those who listened to music while exercising were more likely to stick with it than those who didn’t.

    16. Keep Those Jeans

    You may have a pair of jeans that you want to get back into. Keep them! Let them motivate you.

    17. Take Pictures and Document Your Progress

    Your body will change as your eating habits and exercise habits change. Take a picture at the start and consider a photo every 30 to 60 days. Seeing your progress will help keep you motivated.

    How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight When Motivation is Lost

    You may find yourself 100% motivated in the beginning and less motivated after a few weeks of trying.

    Keep in mind that habits generally take 21 days to break. If you find yourself with 0 motivation after having been 100% motivated before, try these:

    • Go back to your why. Why did you start? What was the purpose?
    • Try resetting your goal. Maybe your initial goal was a little too aggressive. It’s okay to adjust and do what works for you.
    • Talk to a coach or trainer. It is a good idea to discuss with struggles with professionals. Many will offer free insight and advice for getting started and staying on track.
    • Reconsider an accountability partner and/or group. Being around like-minded people on your journey can help so much with motivation.
    • Find out if working out is the problem. Working out alone can be a bit boring. Have you considered a group fitness class? This goes back to being around like-minded people who are sharing your journey.
    • Get more motivational messages. Words and phrases of affirmation are so important. Loving yourself and being patient with yourself is at the core of success for this journey. How about waking up each day to a motivational message that you wrote for yourself?
    • Stop comparing yourself to others. Weight loss reasons, weight loss motivation, and weight loss journeys are different for everyone. Focusing on the journey of others takes you away from your goals and accomplishments. Don’t compare your progress with anyone else’s. This is your journey and you’ll do great!

    The Bottom Line

    It took me almost 3 years to lose 85 pounds. I have kept my current weight for over 5 years and counting. This guide on how to get motivated to lose weight is only here to help you. It’s still up to you whether you will follow them or not.

    Mindfulness and lifestyle transformations really are key for keeping it off. Your journey will make you strong, educate you, and transform you.

    Your motivation is within. Find your “why”, hang on to it, be patient, love yourself, and you will find success at the end of the journey.

    More Tips on How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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