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30 Of The World’s Most Breathtaking Hiking Trails You Must Visit

30 Of The World’s Most Breathtaking Hiking Trails You Must Visit

Hikers brave the harshest climates, the highest peaks and most forbidding terrains to experience the Earth like no others possible could. Whether they are traversing canyons, climbing mountains or crossing moors, hikers know what it is to have adventure.

Below are 30 fantastic hiking trails that will challenge, beguile and enthuse even the most novice hikers!

1. The Narrows, USA

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    Carved throughout millennia by the Virgin River, The Narrows in Zion National Park provide breathtaking scenery throughout it’s 26km (16 miles). More than half of this hike takes place in the river, including some areas in which you may need to swim, but it can be completed in just one day and you can dry off at one of the twelve camping grounds throughout the park.

    How to get there: This hike through the Virgin River actually starts at The Chamberlain Ranch found about 20 miles from Zion National Park’s East Entrance. For detailed directions and maps, download Zion Adventure’s brochure.

    2. Pays Dogon, Mali

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      Without a doubt, Pays Dogon is one of Africa’s most scenic places which is why so many hikers choose to hike through the breathtaking landscape, which can take up to ten days. Known as ‘the land of the Dogon people’ hikers visit ancient cliff dwellings and Dogon villages as they traverse the peeks.

      How to get there: To get anywhere in Dogon Country, it is essential that you hire a driver or a car, which you will then have to drive to the one of the hiking start villages Kani-Kombolé, Djiguibombo, Endé, Dourou or Sanga. For a better idea of Dogon Country, check out this interactive map.

      3. The Haute Route, France & Switzerland

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        Starting in Chamonix, France and ending in Zermatt, Switzerland visitors to The Haute Route will experience the very best areas of The Alps available to hikers. Although there are varying routes between summer and winter, either hike will take around two weeks to complete and is only for the fitter hikers among us.

        How to get there: Book a hotel in or near Chamonix, France and ensure you are booked on a trip with a guide who will lead the hike. Your guide, and possibly your hotel as well, will provide you with all the extra information you will need.

        4. GR20, France

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          Remaining in France, the GR20 trail in Corsica is a legendary hike spanning 168km (104 miles). Built in 1972, this trek will direct you through Calenzana, Balagne and ends in Conca, north of Porto Vecchio. On your way you can expect rickety bridges, mountains, ice, rivers, forests, bogs and an experience like no other.

          How to get there: Calenzana is situated near Calvi, which is easy to travel to from the Saint Catherine airport or local ferries. To travel from Calvi to Calenzana simply take a bus!

          5. Inca Trail, Peru

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            At 33km (20 miles) this trail may seem tame in comparison to those listed above, but you can’t blame to ancient Incas for not meeting our modern day hiking demands. On this trek you will walk through The Sacred Valley of Machu Picchu an ancient wonder of the world like no other on Earth.

            How to get there: Access to the Inca Trail is strictly controlled so it is essential that you book with a tour guide months in advance. When the time comes for you to travel to Peru, fly to Cuzco and then catch a train to either Aguas Calientes, the prime access point to Machu Picchu where many choose to stay overnight or go straight to Ollantaytambo in The Sacred Valley. Your tour guide will most likely be in contact with your throughout your travels and ensure you find the actual trail.

            6. Everest Base Camp, Nepal

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              The first of our intense mountain climbs, Nepal’s Everest Base Camp reaches dizzying heights of 5,545m (18,193ft) at Kala Pattar and takes three weeks to complete. Accompanied by Sherpa people of the Solu Khumbu you will be expected to traverse valleys and mountains in order to bask in the unique and beautiful scenery.

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              How to get there: If you are planning to begin your trek from Nepal, fly from Kathmandu to Lukla Airport which is close to Sagarmatha National Park. If you have booked a guide, they will most likely accompany you from the airport.

              7. Indian Himalayas, India

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                Far less popular than The Alps or Everest, The Indian Himalayas’ trail in Himachal Pradesh is a hike for true adventurers. This remote trek will see you travel for 24 days from Spiti to Ladakh, teetering on cliff edges and reaching dizzying heights.

                How to get there: There are 12 districts in Himachal Pradesh, and you are aiming for Spiti in Lahaul and Spiti. To get there most people enter through Manali, which you can reach via plane from Delhi or train, towards Rohtang Pass using the eastbound rounds that lead to Kaza. There are bus services that start in Manali, or you can drive which will take about eight to ten hours.

                8. Overland Track, Australia

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                  Situated in Tasmania, The Overland Track is 80km (50 miles) long and takes about six days to complete. Whilst trekking between Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair – Australia’s deepest natural freshwater lake – you will see mountains, lakes, moors, forests, waterfalls and Mt Ossa.

                  How to get there: By the far the easiest to get to so far, all you need to do is get to the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre where buses will transport you to the start of the track. Both Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair are within up to four hours travelling distance from many main towns like Davenport, Burnie and Launceston.

                  9. Routeburn Track, New Zealand

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                    On New Zealand’s South Island there is the far less demanding Routeburn Track, which stretches over 32km (20 miles) and takes just three days to complete. Found at foot of The Southern Alps, the most difficult element of this hike will be getting a spot on the team as numbers are extremely limited.

                    How to get there: Many hikers choose to depart from Queenstown and begin the walk from the Routeburn Shelter. Queenstown is accessible via plane, bus and car.

                    10. Baltoro Glacier & K2, Pakistan

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                      You may have heard of the world’s second-highest mountain K2 previously, but did you know you can actually hike along it’s icy foundations and climb it’s peak? This 15 day hike will take you through and over Paiju (6,610m, 21,686ft), Uli Biaho (6,417m, 21,053ft), Great Trango Tower (6,286m, 20,623ft) and finally K2 (8,611m, 28,251ft).

                      How to get there: As with most things in Pakistan, you must begin in Islamabad. It is recommended that hikers stay in Envoy, Shalimar or Royal Inn but of course the ultimate choice is up to you.

                      You will then fly or drive to Skardu, where you will be driven in a Jeep to Askolie, the last village on route, where your trek will finally begin.

                      11. Tongariro Northern Circuit, New Zealand

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                        Also known as ‘The New Zealand Great Walk‘, this trek takes place on the northern island of New Zealand and will take you four days to complete the 49km (31 miles) circuit around Mount Ngauruhoe.

                        How to get there: Many people choose to begin from the village of Whakapapa where the Department of Conservation asks that you leave your vehicle and instead take a $15 shuttle. There is an air field at the base of Whakapapa, which you can fly into from Aukland.

                        12. Fitz Roy Trek, Argentina

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                          Mount Fitz Roy can be concurred using various routes, with the average hike measuring around 64km (40 miles). Each route ensures glorious views of Patagonia that cannot be experienced unless you take this trip on Fitz!

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                          How to get there: There are numerous treks that you can partake in here, so before you set off make sure you’ve decided on a route. You will need to travel to El Chalten, the gateway to Mt. Fitz Roy, which is reachable by bus from either El Calafate or San Carlos de Bariloche.

                          You can reach either of these places by plane, however El Calafate is by far the easiest of the two.

                          13. Cinque Terre, Italy

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                            At just 12km (7.5 miles), this trek is more like taking a walk along the stunning Western Italian Coast. You will traverse this beautiful scenery and travel through five Italian towns, so if you’re looking to experience some extraordinary culture, this is the hike for you.

                            How to get there: You can reach Cinque Terre via plane, train or car but you will have to walk or catch a train to the first village Corniglia to begin your trek.

                            14. Santa Cruz Trek, Peru

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                              Out shined only by the Inca Trail, The Santa Cruz Trek is one of Peru’s most popular walks. Over four days you can expect to see rivers, lakes and mountains that would otherwise go unseen by human eyes.

                              How to get there: It is best to hire a guide for this trek as travelling independently can limit your experience. As this trek begins in Huaraz, which is situated in Cordillera Blanca’s Huascarán National Park, you will need to take a coach from Lima (Movil Tours, Ormeño, Cruz del Sur and CIAL are the most frequently used companies).

                              15. Torres del Paine Circuit, Chile

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                                Ten days, 83km (52 miles) and immense scenery: that’s what you can expect from Chile’s number one hiking destination. Traverse the Torres del Paine mountain range and experience the real wonder of the South American continent.

                                How to get there: Having flown into El Calafate, you must take a six hour bus journey to the town of Puerto Natales to catch another two hour bus to the Torres Del Paine National Park. There will be many guides available to take you on this hike at the National Park, or you can book in advance.

                                16. Desert Trek to Petra, Jordan

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                                  High up on bucket lists around the globe, The Kingdom of Petra is a destination most of us would like to see. But the real question is: how are you planning to get there? Do you take the boring, air-conditioned coach or the awesome 7 day, 80km (50 miles) hike across the desert? Tough decision.

                                  How to get there: First of all you must fly to Amman,  Jordan where you will catch a bus to Madaba where you will meet your tour group. You will be escorted via coach to Dana where your hike will begin.

                                  17. Kungsleden, Sweden

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                                    Otherwise known as ‘The King’s Trail‘, this hike spans an incredible 434km (270 miles) of untouched European country, and in the winter it becomes a ski trail.

                                    How to get there: To begin this hike you must first reach Abisko, which is about 25 hours from Malmo and 13 hours from Stockholm. There are also daily trains from both Lulea and Gallivare, which are both reachable by air.

                                    18. West Coast Trail, Canada

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                                      Situated on Vancouver Island, this 75km (47 miles) long trail along the southwestern coast was originally carved in 1907 to help locals save shipwreck survivors. Now it’s primary use is allowing hikers to experience the real, coastal wilderness of Canada.

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                                      How to get there: You can begin The West Cost Trail from many starting points, easiest of which is Pacheena Bay Trailhead, which can be reached by plane and ferry.

                                      19. Sarek National Park, Sweden

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                                        Famous for it’s 1,220 square kilometres (760 square miles) of untouched terrain, Sweden’s Sarek National Park is the perfect place to go hiking and exploring at your own pace and using your own route.

                                        How to get there: Situated in the extreme north of Sweden, Sarek National Park actually shares a border with Kungsleden and can be reached using a similar route.

                                        20. Muliwai Trail, Hawaii

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                                          Image Credit: Unreal Hawaii

                                          Regarded as the most rigorous hike in Hawaii, the 28km (18 miles) Muliwai trail will see you pass through the Waipi’o and Waimanu Valleys, as well as a black sand beach.

                                          How to get there: To begin this trek you will need to reach the city of Honoka’a which is relatively close to Hilo International Airport. From the airport you can catch a bus or rent a car to reach Honoka’a, which will take just over one hour.

                                          21. Croagh Patrick, Ireland

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                                            At just 4km (3 miles), this Irish hike is an easy walk for beginners who want to see the beauty of the world that can only be experienced through hiking, but don’t want to die in the process. Croagh Patrick should take you about four and a half hours, and offers incredible views of beautiful Ireland.

                                            How to get there: Croagh Patrick can be found in County Mayo’s Westport, which is very easy to travel to by catching a train from Dublin.

                                            22. Grindelwald, Switzerland

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                                              Although it’s largely considered as a tourist destination, Grindelwald actually offers prime hiking for beginners! There are around 290 km (180 miles) of trails that you can pick and choose from, some lasting a day and others a week, so this is the perfect destination for some light adventure.

                                              How to get there: Many travellers simply catch a train or drive from Interlaken which accessible through numerous main Swiss cities including Zurich and Geneva, although in summer you can even hike there.

                                              23. Appalachian Trail, USA

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                                                Spanning 3540km (2,200 miles) and 14 states, the Appalachian hike will truly test your trekking skills like no other American trail. If you’re looking to up your game significantly then this is the trek for you. The great part though, is that you can brave the entire length of the trail or choose chunks to explore more easily.

                                                How to get there: The majority of visitors arrive via car as there are numerous, cast parking lots. If you wish to trek from North to South you’ll want to head for Baxter State Park.

                                                24. Zillertal Alps, Austria

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                                                  As you may imagine, the Austrian Alps offer numerous hiking trails for everyone and at varying levels of expertise. Arguably the most popular of the Austrian Alp walks is the Berliner Höhenweg, which should take you about seven days to complete.

                                                  How to get there: If you are planning to traverse the Berliner Höhenweg, you will need to get to Innsburg which is easy to get to via train, plane or car.

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                                                  25. North Drakensberg Traverse, South Africa

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                                                    Regarded by many enthusiastic hikers, explorers and survivalists as one of the best hiking trails on Earth, this  64km (40 miles) walk sits between The Kingdom of Lesotho and South Africa, offering unique views of the African landscape.

                                                    How to get there: Most people begin their trek at The Sentinel and work their way south because this is the easiest place to get to. You can travel by car along the N3 highway, fly into Durban Airport and catch the Baz Bus.

                                                    26. Cape Wrath Trail, Scotland

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                                                      Perhaps the hardest trek the United Kingdom has to offer, the hiking trail across Cape Wrath will take even an experienced hiker twenty days to complete as it spans 321km (200 miles).

                                                      How to get there: Beginning at Fort William, this trail is quite easy to get to using coach services or trains available from numerous cities including Glasgow and Edinburgh.

                                                      27. Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

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                                                        Filled with more hiking paths than roads, The Simien Mountains National Park has a vast array of hiking trails available for all levels of hikers.

                                                        How to get there: Located in the Semien (North) Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, The Semien Mountains are accessible via air or their a vast number of bus routes from all over Ethiopia,  including Addis Ababa or Bahir Dar.

                                                        28. Polar Route, Greenland

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                                                          Otherwise referred to as The Arctic Circle Trail, this 160km (100 miles) long hike will take you from Kangerlussuaq to one of the most remote places of Earth Sisimiut via the world’s second largest glacier.

                                                          How to get there: As you may imagine, The Polar Route is a little tricky to reach. However, Kangerlussuaq Airport can be reached by planes scheduled by Air Greenland, which usually depart from New York.

                                                          29. Kalalau Trail, Hawaii

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                                                            Although it is only 35km (22 miles) long, this trail along the Na Pali Coast in Kaua’i has been known to be as dangerous as it is spectacular. So, book with care!

                                                            How to get there: The island of Kaua’i can be reached via plane and the starting point Ke’e Beach is easily reached on foot, using public transport or by taxi.

                                                            30. Cordillera Apolobamba, Bolivia

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                                                              Rarely braved and barely conquered, the Cordillera Apolobamba is 104km (65 miles) long and takes around five days to complete. Situated close to the Peruvian border, this Bolivian masterpiece offers spectacular views and a unique experience.

                                                              How to get there: Bolivia’s capital city La Paz is accessible through many airports, from here you can arrange transport to Pelechuco which is situated right in the centre of the Cordillera Apolobamba mountain range.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Beamer Trail via flickr.com

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                                                              Siobhan Harmer

                                                              Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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                                                              Last Updated on September 10, 2019

                                                              7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                                              7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                                              Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                                                              Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                                                              This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                                                              One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                                                              Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                                                              Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                                                              1. Gratitude

                                                              Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                                                              The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                                                              Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                                                              So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

                                                              Gratitude-Quotes

                                                                2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                                                                This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                                                                For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                                                                What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                                                                Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                                                                3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                                                                This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                                                                Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                                                                An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                                                                Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

                                                                write down goals

                                                                  4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                                                                  According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                                                                  There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                                                                  5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                                                                  Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                                                                  Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                                                                  6. Rise Earlier

                                                                  The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                                                                  For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                                                                  So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                                                                  Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                                                                  7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                                                                  Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                                                                  Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                                                                  It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                                                                  Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                                                                  More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                                                                  Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                                                                  Reference

                                                                  [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                                                                  [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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