More positive and happy days with tinnitus? – Establish a morning routine!
You are in the need of more positive and happy days? – No problema with a good morning routine!
Getting out of bed in the last minute and just washing my face real quickly before catching the bus and then breathing heavily from running to the bus stop…..that was, what my morning was usually like.
How about yours?
I just always felt like I had to get as much sleep as possible otherwise I wouldn´t get through the day. So I gave myself as little time as possible to get ready in the morning. Being in a constant hurry in the morning made me so stressed that by the time I got to work I was in such a bad mood that the only thing I wanted was for the day to be over.
But that can´t be it, right? When the day starts already wishing for it to be over?!
Due to my work schedule I decided to get up earlier and do some yoga in the morning, otherwise I wouldn´t be able to get my yoga practice in. As I wanted to improve my yoga I decided to sacrifice some sleeping time.
I started doing short yoga sequences in the morning before work and I noticed that it really made a difference. I started my day calmer and actually in a better mood.
Through the courses I took and the things I read little by little I expanded my morning routine. Now I try to get up about an hour or an hour and 15 min. before I need to get ready. I know it is a lot, it means my alarm goes off at 5:20 am in the morning. But it just really affects my whole day! I feel great already in the morning and it lasts throughout the whole day. When I complete my morning routine I feel like as if I´m actually capable of facing the day and I don´t seem to react as impulsive and strong to challenges and things that just come up. It seems like that feeling I build up in the morning stays with me the whole day and makes me stronger mentally. It is almost like a little shield I put on, more focused on myself and not so depended on the outside world and on reactions from the outside. The tinnitus is quieter, no that is not true – I don´t notice it as much and I can cope better.
So what do I do in the morning to reach all that?
I start out by just listening to music and shaking it out. You might have read about this on my instagram account, I have read about this method and I also practiced it at a workshop. It is supposed to help to shake of unwelcomed feelings and emotions, preventing them to settle down in your body. Like animals, you might have seen a dog, after a fight or after an negative and exciting experience they shake their body. They shake the fight literally off and can then continue without those negative feelings. I originally said to do it at the end of the day to shake of the day and not let those feelings and emotions you had throughout the day manifest in your body.
Why you should do it first thing in the morning!
I noticed that I wake up with my head filled with all kinds of worries and my mind is already super active, wondering about things that could happen that might happen and how bad that day could be. Those thoughts were often so loud that I wasn´t able to focuse on what I was doing and there was no way I could meditate like that.
So I just put on some music and lean forward and shake it…until my mind is calmer. Normally I do this for about one minute and then I move around a little bit. Dancing is another form to unwind, to let go and to just feel free and light. And that is how I want to start my day – LIGHT!
I don´t want to get started feeling already the weight of a day that has not even been lived, a weight of things that have not even happened, they are just in my mind.
So once I feel lighter I move on to my second point – I do a short yoga sequence. A lot of times I´m doing like 5 or 6 sun salutations and then like a 10 minute yoga video. It depends on the day what kind of video I do. There are videos to start the day, which I love, but sometimes I need something more demanding. Sometimes I even do a weight loss video as they usually are the most active ones.
I can´t even begin to describe what yoga has brought to my life. It is good for your body, mind and spirit. This couldn´t be any truer. It strengthens the body, gives more flexibility and also calms me down, makes me happy, relaxes me and makes me feel more balanced.
Read more about it here: https://thetinnituslife.com/2017/08/20/yoga-as-tinnitus-relief/
Once I´m done with this short yoga exercise I move on to a 10 min yoga flow for flexibility or just a video to reach a higher level of flexibility. So basically it is a stretching sequence. I did this at first only because I was so eager to be able to do the splits! I still can´t do them, I guess I need to push myself a little more, but then it didn´t really matter to me anymore because I discovered that stretching felt soooooo good! I was also told that stretching helps to develop an optimistic outlook on life, as the muscles usually contract when you are stressed. The tenseness then leads to even more negativity as you feel uneasy and have a bad posture. Stretching the muscles and loosening them up helps to relax, increase the blood flow and to release endorphins. So you are happier! As I already mentioned, it helps to correct the posture and I think we all know how important a good posture is and how much it can influence our lives! As alignment in every area has a positive effect on our body and on our mood. Of course it increases flexibility and it also improves the energy level. It also somehow boosts my self-esteem to be able to stretch more. Another benefit is that I hardly ever feel sore anymore, as I lift weights this is a great benefit. But I guess the most important reason why I love it, it makes me feel good and proud of myself and everything that makes me feel good about myself is worth continuing!
After having stretched, I can sit down in a cross-legged posture for a longer period of time. Usually I sit down on a block to be more comfortable. There are different pranahama exercises and all are beneficial. Depending on how much time I have I do more or less exercises, but I always start with the alternate nostril breathing, also called Nadi Shodhana. It is said to calm the mind, the body and emotions.
Why do I love it?
Like I have said, my mind is just a wild gibberish….and it is so hard to stop, but when I do the alternate nostril breathing I can finally shut it up. It is a way to find balance and it is also said to settle stress, remove toxins, and rejuvenate the nervous system and to restore balance in the right and left hemisphere of the brain.
How does it work?
First I use my index and middle finger to massage my third eye for a a little bit, then I keep still them on the third eye area and use my thumb to cover the right nostril. While I hold my thumb there I breathe in with my left nostril. Then I cover the left nostril with my little finger and release the thumb from my right nostril. Now I breathe out with my right nostril. Usually I practice a little retention and cover both nostrils for a short moment; however, this is not necessary. Then I release my thumb again and breath in with the right nostril, cover it up with my thumb again and release my little finger to breathe out with the left nostril. After practicing retention for a little while, I let go with my little finger to breath in with my left nostril and just like that I repeat the whole cycle. I try to go for at least 5 minutes. After 5 minutes I usually have let go completely of my thoughts and are ready to meditate.
To finish of my pranayama exercise I usually raise my arms straight over my head and breathe in and out heavily. While breathing in I say SAT and while breathing out I say NAN. This is an exercise from kundalini yoga and means – the true essence. And that is what I want to find, my true essence.
I usually do the four purificatios, read here how it works: https://thetinnituslife.com/2018/05/02/purify-your-body-with-pranayama-pranayama-101/
After finishing the breathing sequence I move on to a meditation. I have tried different ways to meditate over time and one of my favorites is the mantra meditation because that is when my mind is the most focused. Before I start to meditate I choose a mantra I want to work on , I use my meditation beats to repeat the mantra with every beat sliding through my finger. Right now I´m working on balancing my chakras – so I use the chraka mantras. As I´m working on my root chakra at the moment I use the word LAM only. I then sometimes do another round with KRIM, which is a word that is good for all the lower chakras. Only using words makes the meditation really short, so I sometimes add a meditation only focusing on my breathing.
Some days I just don´t feel in the mood to use a mantra and I do one of my guided meditations. I have a few CD´s but I also sometimes use some meditations from the internet. I also follow Gabby Bernstein, Elena Brower, Kristina Neff, Dr. Dan Sigl and some more. I love their meditations and I do a lot of meditations from Louise Hay.
Once I´m done with the meditation I do some affirmations. I usually choose the same affirmations for some time, until my body and mind have assimilated and I truly believe what I´m saying. I choose the words really carefully according to what I want to work on. Right now I´m also using affirmations for the root chakra. But I have used everything, I used affirmations for my body and for self-love, acceptance and so on. You name it and there is someone who has made an affirmation for it. As you probably know I´m using a ton of Louise Hay´s affirmation, but not only. The internet is a great source of information for any kind of affirmation. Plus you can always make up your own affirmations – just telling yourself what you want to be or do, but in the present tense.
What I am doing right now, is using this bracelet from a friend, her business is to sell these chakra bracelets and while you put it on you say the affirmations for your chakra and every time you look at it you get reminded of it and can repeat the affirmations in your head.
Right now I´m using these ones:
I trust the process of life.
I´m calm, centered and at peace.
I let go of all fears and trust that I´m eternally safe.
I´m wealthy and money flows abundantly in my life.
I reapeat them a few times, ideally while I really concentrate on them or while looking at myself in the mirror. Affirmations really support me on my healing journey by taking on a positive outlook on life and by accepting myself and life more.
Read more about affirmations here: https://thetinnituslife.com/2017/09/22/you-can-influence-your-tinnitus-with-your-mind/
So, this is it!
This is my morning routine. Once I´m done I feel so great! I feel ready to conquer the world and nothing can stop me! I´m happy and the day just starts great.
It seems like a lot of things, but I didn´t start all at once. I began with yoga and then just added one at a time. While I´m at it it doesn´t feel like a lot. Every single step makes me happier and feels just so good. It is my time, for me…without worries and without anything else to think about. It is just me and my practice. My time to take care of myself – my time for me.
Every exercise has it´s own sets of benefits, but the one thing they all have in common and the one thing that seems to make it even more effective and seems to be the main source of well-being is the ME-TIME factor.
I´m not saying everybody should take on this routine, take on a routine that fits you. That empowers you and that helps you to start your day right. Take some time for yourself and start our day calmly with a strong body, spirit and mind! Step by step…..