Three Morning Routines to Boost Your Resilience

Resilience is a capacity in each of us that makes it possible to respond in a positive way to whatever the day brings. Every morning gives us a brand new opportunity to train our brain for resilience and be ready for the day.

  1. Take a detour.

Every morning I’m drawn to my computer or phone. Did someone call or write while I slept? Social information is compelling and draws us in. If I answer one message, I am compelled to answer another. Do you know it can take your brain 15-25 minutes to refocus after you’ve stopped reading through your email? It’s difficult to prepare for the day when you start out distracted. Not only that, recent research indicates that people who simultaneously check the Web, phone, newspaper, and TV or other media have less gray matter in the part of their brain associated with thought and emotion control.

  1. Take a few quiet moments for yourself.

Try starting the day with a more reflective routine. The day will have plenty of demands and so for now, how about creating a serene space? This is a good time to meditate or practice mindfulness. Research shows that doing so actually changes how your brain works. Practicing mindfulness for instance, is likely to lead to less distraction and better decision-making, especially when faced with fast-changing conditions, which probably describes how many of our days go. Frequently taking quiet time for yourself will actually retrain your brain making it easier to protect yourself from toxic stress. Doing this regularly not only prepares you for the next hour but has lasting effects that persist well into the future.

  1. Focus on your sense of purpose.

This isn’t about your to-do list today or what tasks you’ve set out to complete just for today. Instead, give some thought to what makes your life worth living. In what direction are you heading? Do you have large goals that you want to achieve? Having a sense of purpose is essential to resilience and recent research indicates that people with purpose in life had a 23 percent reduction in death from all causes, a 19 percent reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, and are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.  Having a reason to get up every morning can potentially save your life.

So, as you resist media multitasking, taking some quiet time for yourself and reflecting on what is meaningful in your life, your resilience foundation will grow stronger and you will be prepared for whatever life brings.