Morning routines and rituals are incredibly popular in the self-development world. There’s no doubting they can be incredibly powerful. Starting the day on the front foot is a great way to move the dial in your favor to help you have a productive day.
However, if you have read more than one article on the subject you have probably come across the same concepts that are repeated over and over again. Go for a run, read a book, start meditating.
Now don’t get me wrong, all of those things can be a great addition to your morning rituals. But, we all know we should be doing those things – it doesn’t really offer anything different.
I have experimented with lots of different morning rituals and I hope the three ideas I am sharing with you today are totally different from anything you have come across before.
With that being said, these ideas don’t just make the list because they are different. They make the list because they are different and can be extremely beneficial.
Try the Wim Hoff Method
Wim Hoff, or the Ice Man as he is better known by his fans, is an athlete from The Netherlands who is renowned for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures.
He holds lots of different Guinness World Records such as swimming under ice and running a barefoot half-marathon on snow.
I know what you’re thinking, that sounds absolutely crazy, but hear me out, I’m not going to suggest you start running barefoot half-marathons as part of your morning ritual.
Over time, Wim Hoff has developed a breathing and cold water routine that anyone can follow which I have tested as part of a morning ritual.
As soon as you wake up, you sit in a meditation pose. Then you do 30 quick power breaths (inhale through your nose or mouth, then exhale through your mouth in quick bursts).
Next, hold your breath until you are gasping for air, then take a really deep breath and hold it for 10 seconds. You repeat this 6 times and then take a cold shower.
Not only does conscious breathing and a cold shower first thing in the morning really wake you up and get the blood pumping around your body, but it can also help with more energy, focus and helps to reduce inflammation all around your body.
Once you have done this in the morning you will feel you can take on anything throughout the day.
Clean your teeth with your week hand
Thankfully, this one doesn’t feel quite as extreme as the Wim Hoff method but it also has many great benefits. Brushing our teeth is something that we all do on autopilot, we really don’t think about it, it just happens, every day (hopefully).
We all know the importance of exercising our body to keep it fit and healthy, however, we often neglect to exercise our brain to keep that fit and healthy too. Arguably, it’s even more important.
Brushing your teeth with your opposite hand is a method used by famous brain trainer Jim Kwik. He has included it as part of his morning routine for many years. If it’s good enough for a brain trainer, it should be good enough for us.
The concept behind it is it helps build new neurological pathways in your brain by doing something that your brain is not used to. When you first start, it is a complete pattern interrupt, your brain is so used to helping you brush your teeth on autopilot that it is forced to adapt and learn something new.
At first, like when we try anything new it will feel strange and you will almost feel like you are cleaning your teeth wrong. However, over time, as your brain builds those new neurological pathways, it will become easier and feel more normal. Maybe that’s when you go back to using your other hand again.
Watch the sun come up
I think I’m not alone in saying that watching the sunrise is an incredible feeling. It’s hard to actually put your finger on why it’s such an incredible feeling, but it just is. Part of your morning routine should be doing something you just really enjoy.
Watching the sun come up can be extremely relaxing but also very motivating at the same time. The beauty of this morning ritual is that it can be done in the comfort of your own home whilst enjoying freshly made coffee.
Or you can venture outside and take a walk to a nice spot where you know you can see the sunrise, take your coffee in a flask to make the moment even more enjoyable.
When we do something we enjoy, it releases serotonin into our bodies (the feel-good, happy hormone). Starting the day this way helps to set you up for a great day.
Hopefully, the three ideas above are totally new to you and something you think could be worthwhile incorporating into your morning routine. They are all quite different so I feel like it covers a lot of bases for your morning routine.
With any morning routine, it’s important that you do something you really enjoy otherwise it will be hard to stick to the new habit. Your motivation may last for a week or so but it will quickly wane.
In order to find something that you really enjoy doing every morning, you need to be quite ruthless about stopping something you don’t like.
As a recommendation, I would say give every new idea at least one week before you decide to try something else. A week seems a reasonable amount of time to say you have given something a go and you still don’t enjoy it.
It’s also important to note that you should not try and do too much too soon. To start with, your morning routine should only consist of about 3 different things you like to do.
As time goes by you can gradually increase this. However, at the start, you don’t want to over-commit as you will wake up feeling overwhelmed every morning and it might mean you stop your morning routine altogether.
Adam Jones writes for The Growth Reactor which is a blog that will help you upgrade your life at start-up speed. The Growth Reactor provides all the latest actionable insights and tips on the most popular self-development trends to help you build the right habits to achieve all of your biggest goals in life.