The way we start our morning is crucial to set the "tempo" for the whole day.
The anxiety of a new day of work, the organization of the tasks to be accomplished, the apprehension of bad news, etc..., all this can make the morning a stressful moment that can be managed by establishing a routine.
So what routine to improve my daily life?
This question is asked to me by many of my patients who are looking for a daily routine that improves their state of mind and physical health.
My 20 years of experience with patients have taught me that they should never be forced to perform an action they are not convinced of, but that it is up to me as a therapist / caregiver to offer them what can be easily integrated into their daily lives.
Finding a routine that you adhere to daily sometimes takes a lot of time. Some are simply not "morning", so offering a morning routine probably does not work. The idea is to establish a few minutes of routine (at any time of the day that best suits each person).
On the other hand, this experience has also shown me that chronic stress is responsible (in whole or in part) for a very large number of physical and mental dysfunctions. Chronic stress affects every organ in our body, it can increase blood pressure, can cause chronic fatigue, can impact the functioning of the digestive tract, aggravate skin problems, cause migraines, so controlling it means sparing these organs...
A beneficial routine is in my opinion one that acts both on the mind, the emotions and the physical side. And I will listen to the spiritual side for those to whom it speaks.
Here are some proposals to integrate into your daily life. It's up to you to choose whether you want to do them in the evening or in the morning. The most important thing is to stick to it for a few days, (I advise at least a week) to really feel the positive effects.
1. Practice some breathing exercises
Taking a few minutes to breathe deeply promotes internalization and calm, helps with concentration, soothes the mind and increases the body's energy.
Breathing is not only about bringing oxygen to all our cells, wherever they are to help them do their job, but also about ridding these cells of their waste products (in the form of CO2) that they pour into the blood.
Breathing is the4th pillar of the philosophy of Yoga after the postures, and its practice is fundamental in accompanying the postures to feel their benefits.
Taking a few minutes a day, to perform simple breathing exercises is fundamental to stay in shape.
To do this, find a quiet place, sit with your back straight, close your eyes and let yourself be carried away by your breath...
The two exercises I most often recommend are:
Alternate breathing (Anulom Vilom) :
This exercise can be practiced by everyone safely. However, I do not advise patients with heart or respiratory problems to practice it without being accompanied by a yoga therapist.
It consists of placing the index and middle fingers between the two eyebrows (point of the third eye).
1. Exhale first.
2. Close the right nostril and inhale slowly through the left nostril.
3. close the left nostril and exhale slowly with the right.
4. Inhale again with the right nostril.
5. Exhale with the left nostril
6. Inhale with the left nostril
This exercise reduces stress and anxiety and improves breathing capacity and concentration.
Coherence cardiac breathing:
Also called cardiac coherence breathing, because it is an exercise that promotes the harmony of the heart rhythm by equalizing the intervals between two heartbeats.
Its impact on lower cortisol levels (stress-related hormone), depressive and anxiety disorders has been the subject of several studies.
It consists of inhaling in 5 seconds and exhaling in 5 seconds without breath retention.
It is advisable to practice it 2 to 3 times / day for 5 minutes.
2 . Move :
It's known... Moving increases BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor), this famous protein that promotes the growth of new neurons and is very involved in long-term memory.
Getting into the habit of dedicating a few minutes a day for simple daily exercises is very important.
It can be a small Yoga sequence of 5-10 minutes (I often recommend simple stretches, or for the more motivated two or four sun salutations).
Or a few minutes’ walk.
3 . Keep a diary:
Dedicating 5 minutes every day to writing in a diary allows us to put words to what we feel, to organize our thoughts, to engage in a conversation with ourselves, and to follow over time the evolution of our personality.
Treat yourself to a beautiful notebook and pen and take a few minutes every day to enrich it.
I always recommend the notebook because it is more intimate than a screen, you can customize it with drawings you make or photos you will paste... In addition, I find the sensory experience of writing on blank sheets of paper very interesting.
It is then up to you to customize your journal, it can be a journal of your goals for the day (if you write in the morning), or a journal of the positive events you experienced during the day (if you write in the evening)... it can be a journal for your ideas, or a travel story, or why not a daily newspaper where you trace in a few lines the most important events of your day.
4. Program your mind... positively.
- Turn off your smartphone when you're sleeping to avoid being constantly solicited by notifications.
-Reduce the frequency of consultation of social networks and media to avoid the "Media Stress Disorder".
- Read a section every day (in the morning or before you fall asleep) of a book you like.
- Repeat positive phrases to yourself and be kind with yourself.
When you adopt a daily routine, you will be more resilient, better prepared to handle the stress of everyday life, you will discover the best of vous-même.et you may see your life differently.
It is a practice within everyone's reach and costs nothing. It allows you to take care of yourself to better give attention to those you love.
Chandla SS, Sood S, Dogra R, Das S, Shukla SK, Gupta S. Effect of short-term practice of pranayamic breathing exercises on cognition, anxiety, general well being and heart rate variability. J Indian Med Assoc. 2013 Oct;111(10):662-5. PMID: 24968492.
Baikie, K., & Wilhelm, K. (2005). Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 11(5), 338-346. doi:10.1192/apt.11.5.338
McCraty, Rollin, and Maria A. Zayas. "Cardiac coherence, self-regulation, autonomic stability, and psychosocial well-being." Frontiers in psychology (2014): 1090.