Have you been feeling sluggish, low-energy, fatigued, less motivated, or burnt out lately? Stressed-out people have the same problem: Feeling exhausted when they go to bed, tired when they wake up in the morning, and depleted during the day. If this is you, consider changing your morning routine a bit.
Give Yourself A Delicious 15 min
Go to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual, and wake up 15 minutes earlier: Give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes to start your day on the right foot.
Your Phone Can Wait
Turn on or start scrolling your phone when your morning routine is done (approximately 10-15 min; don't worry, your phone will still be there, and people who emailed you during the night can wait for another 15 min.) When you wake up, your brain is in the alpha or theta trance-like state. In this state, you can obtain your power of manifestation, sharpen your intuition, and regulate the nervous system for mental balance. When you can prolong the alpha-theta state in the morning, even for a couple of minutes longer, you'd benefit from consciously being in the state. Why would you want to trade this juicy state with checking the likes on social media or an email from your boss? Your wellness comes first in the morning!
Sun Gazing/Sunrise Gazing
Sun Gazing or Sunrise Gazing has tremendous physical and mental health benefits, such as reducing stress, improving the immune system, supplying vitamin D to your body and other nutrients to the brain, boosting the production of Melatonin and Serotonin, and boosting energy levels (of your DNAs). And it's free. You can even sun gazing on cloudy days as the sun's electromagnetic light frequencies still reach the earth regardless of the thickness of the clouds. Never look at the sun directly; the only time you can safely stare at the sun is in the first few minutes of the sun rising or the last few minutes of the sun setting.
If you do not have access to direct sun exposure in the morning, you can still get the benefit of looking at the morning sky or sitting by the window for a few minutes to absorb the light.
Deep morning breathing helps to clear out all staggered qi or energies and gives a quick brain boost to regulate the nervous system better. Breathe through your nose slowly from your abdomen, hold your breath for a few seconds, and breathe out slowly out of your mouth. Repeat 3 times. Then Breathe in and out of your nose 3 more times. You're communicating with your brain, nervous system, and mind, the top 3 players of your stress and anxiety. When you establish communication with them, they are more regulated organically and naturally. By helping your brain and nervous system function better, you're preventing and reducing stress/anxiety response and increasing the ability to cope or manage the stressful situation better next time.
Cold Water Splash
The health benefits of cold therapy, cryotherapy, or ice bath therapy have been studied and practiced among biohackers and neuroscientists in the last two decades. Most studies concluded that cold therapy has various health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, relieving muscle pain, elevating overall energy levels, promoting detoxification from hangovers, and reducing anxiety and stress.
Cold therapy is also known for anti-aging protocol as it can reduce inflammation in the body and optimize the cellular regeneration process. I dunk my whole face with a bowl of ice water at least 3 times a week and either go to whole-body cryotherapy or sit in an ice bath at home once or twice a month, and I am convinced of the claim on the cold therapy benefits. However, taking a cold shower or ice bath daily isn't sustainable. Splashing cold water on my face after the shower every morning gives my brain and nervous system the same benefits as cold therapy. Cold splash on your face also has anti-aging benefits so you can kill 2 birds with one stone.
Feed Your Brain
Instead of what you want to eat in the morning, consider breakfast your brain's feeding time.
Your day about to begin depends on how this smarty organ can do for you throughout the day. More than 60% of our brain is made of fat and needs nutrient-dense food containing Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, to help build memory and learning nerve cells. Other nutrients the brain needs are Clean caffeine that promotes "feel-good" neurotransmitters such as dopamine, anti-inflammatory food that contains zinc, magnesium, B6, B12, folate, amino acid, L-theanine, and antioxidant. My breakfast items often include Japanese Green Tea, Organic Eggs, Blueberries, Raspberries, Pumpkin Seeds, Overnight Oats, Avocado, Microgreens, Chia Seeds, Kiwi, Salmon, and sometimes, Sourdough Bread.
Vagus Nerve is Anxiety Reset Button
The function of the vagus nerve is to control your mood, heart rate, digestion, and immune response. Stimulating your vagus nerve can help to regulate many functions in your body. Some studies indicate that it can stimulate the vagal nerve fibers through breathing. This is why deep breathing exercises are good for reducing heart rate and helping to relax better. Researchers have discovered that slow-paced breathing stimulates vagal tone and helps to improve personal health, according to Frontiers in Psychology, 2017.
So, what is Vagus Nerve? The vagus nerve plays a huge role in regulating the heart and your internal organs to function properly. Poor vagal nerve function (vagal tone) is often associated with digestive disorders, poor sleep health, fatigue, and anxiety. As you can see in the graphic below, the vagal tone is closely connected to your brain function, which is why your vagus nerve affects your mood. The journal Frontiers in Neuroscience reported in 2018 that the poor function of the vagus nerve could lead to mood swings and anxiety disorders. In the journal, stimulating the vagus nerve can improve gut health and also help regulate stress and anxiety.
Gently stretch your neck one side at a time with a long exhale. Then, with a light touch, tap the temples where the optical nerves are running, move down to the lower jaw, down to the side of your neck, down below the collarbone, and move your fingers on the side of rib cages. Repeat if needed.
Mirror, Mirror, Mirror
How often do you see yourself in the mirror and really look at yourself? This is a quick but powerful self-love injection practice at any time of the day. Look at your eyes in the mirror, do not look at your nose, pimples, or wrinkles you don't like about your face; just focus on the pupils of your eyes. Your eyes are the mirror of your heart. Once the eye contact with your eyes (your heart) is established, soften the gaze, and smile at your eyes (of your heart) for a few seconds. And tell your heart, "Thank you, love." or "I love you, thank you."
This simple connection can boost your energy, regulate your mood, and uplift you.
The more you practice this morning routine, the more your brain and nervous system can co-regulate better when you encounter stress triggers, anxiety, or negative thoughts, which means you feel less triggered next time and regain your control over stress and anxiety better over time. If you have been struggling with chronic stress and anxiety for a while, it may take 60-90 days to feel or see a shift physically or mentally; however, the energetic shift can be instant, so be sure to start this routine tomorrow morning!
5-Min. Vagus Nerve Anxiety Relief eBook