Create a Morning Ritual to Calm Anxiety
Wednesday, May 31 2017 Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
It's possible to calm the anxiety you experience during the day simply by creating a morning ritual. Whether anxiety obnoxiously wakes you before your alarm sounds or greets you loudly the moment you're awake, beginning the day with anxious thoughts, troubled emotions, and agitated bodily sensations is exhausting and discouraging. Yet if you create a morning ritual to calm anxiety, it doesn't have to ruin your day before it even begins.
The Nature of Anxiety-Calming Morning Rituals
Ritual has been integral to human wellbeing, for individuals as well as groups small and large, through time and across cultures. Having rituals is soothing to the psyche because they’re imbued with meaning. Further, they’re done regularly and predictably so they become comfortingly rhythmic. Rituals impact our inner world, which is why having an anti-anxiety ritual in the morning is so effective in reducing anxiety and positively influencing your day.
To be most effective in reducing anxiety in the morning, your ritual should take place as close to the same time each day as possible. This will establish a routine that your brain will come to recognize and rely on. Further, your brain will in time make a strong association between the time of day, place of the ritual, activities done, and reduced anxiety. In other words, simply seeing or being otherwise reminded of the ritual will come to induce calm.
Another essential element of ritual is the space you create. Pick a comfortable, pleasant place for your morning anti-anxiety ritual so that it’s physically enjoyable for you. In the video at the end of this post, I discuss this idea further, and I invite you to tune in for more information.
Examples of Morning Rituals for Calming Anxiety
The why, what, and where of an anxiety-reducing ritual are all important, but they don’t provide the entire picture. It’s helpful to also know the how: how are rituals done to counteract anxiety right away in the morning?
One of the beautiful things about having a regular activity to manage anxiety is that you get to create what best suits you, your personality, and your unique anxiety. The main idea is to have an activity, something you do each morning at a set time and in a set place, to induce peace and calm and reduce anxiety. It’s often most helpful if your activity is simple and something you enjoy doing. Some examples of activities for morning rituals:
These are just a few examples of activities you can do for your morning ritual to calm anxiety. Whatever you do, do what brings you joy, peace, and a sense of calm (Reduce Morning Anxiety With These 5 Useful Tips).