The 20 Minute Morning Routine That Helps Relieve Anxiety And Stress

Julian Jagtenberg
Julian Jagtenberg


I call it a brick wall…

I want to enjoy time with my friends and family… Brick wall.

I want to go to work… Brick wall.

I want to go on holiday… Brick wall

I want to enjoy my life… Brick wall

This brick wall gets exhausting and makes things very difficult.

When you suffer with anxiety, everything you used to do that you enjoyed feels impossible.

There’s a great big brick wall in the way, which makes everything feel impossible. This brick wall is built with an overload of stress hormones, crippling symptoms and anxious thoughts.

Now, I could talk all day about the nasty symptoms and how tough it is. But that’s not going to get you anywhere. There’s one question we need to talk about…

What actions can you take to relieve anxiety?

What if I told you, you can make this wall a lot easier to get over? Not through therapy or medication, but with your own specific actions I call ‘Lifestyle Triggers’. Stick with me, I’m going to teach you what these lifestyle triggers are and how they fit into the perfect morning routine that relieves anxiety.

Sounds good, right? Let’s get to it.

The Biological Problem and Lifestyle Triggers

Everyone looks at anxiety as a psychological problem, this is most people’s first mistake.

Sure, anxiety can be triggered by negative thoughts and thought cycles, but the body is designed to be able to endure negative thoughts. The problems and symptoms really start when it turns into a physical, biological problem.

Normally there is a good balance between stress hormones (adrenalin and cortisol) and feel-good neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain), these complement each other. This creates what I call a ‘Hormone Harmony’, as this balance creates serenity throughout the body.

With me so far? Good, let’s keep going…

The uncontrollable symptoms of anxiety start when stress hormone adrenalin and cortisol are too high. Also feel-good neurotransmitters are too low and not receipting properly. So put simply, your symptoms are caused by an imbalanced hormone harmony.

This is good news, believe it or not. Let me explain…

Now you know what the physical problem is you just need to know how to reverse it.

Let’s start with your morning routine. Remember I spoke about lifestyle triggers. So what are these?

These are small daily actions that reverse the damage done to your hormone harmony. Then hey presto, stress hormones and anxiety will start to decrease.

The Morning Routine…

The morning routine consists of 3 of these lifestyle triggers, in this order…

1. 10 minutes of ‘flexible exercise’

I call this flexible exercise because it’s so short it can fit in with any lifestyle. It’s far better to exercise in this way if you’re anxious. Why? Because if your stress hormones are already higher than they should be (due to anxiety) normal exercise will increase them further. It’s very important to remember exercise is a stress itself…

Now, as flexible exercise is so short it allows the body to adapt to the stress of exercise, this has a normalising effect on your stress hormones adrenalin/cortisol and reduces them when you’re at rest. I call this effect creating a ‘Positive Exercise-Stress Axis’. Click here to learn more about flexible exercise, what sort of exercises to do and how to use it to reduce stress hormones.

2) 5 minutes of ‘calm breathing’

After the flexible exercise burst, perform 5 minutes of calm breathing. This is a very simple but crucial lifestyle trigger that when performed daily, trains your body to breathe correctly. This helps to calm your nervous system and ultimately continue to reduce those anxiety causing hormones…

Simply follow these steps:

  • Sit in a quiet place with good posture
  • Head up and shoulders back, so your airway is open
  • Slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth
  • Ensure your stomach extends with each breath, to ensure deep breathing
  • Maintain for 5 minutes

3) Eat a ‘complete meal’

The last lifestyle trigger is to eat a complete meal. This is basically eating breakfast, but in the correct way for anxiety relief.So what is a complete meal? It’s a meal that has the a balance of all 3 of the macronutrients. These are your fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Traditional breakfasts tend to be imbalanced with refined carbohydrates. There’s a big problem here…

An imbalanced breakfast like this creates an up a down effect on sugar levels. This makes your body release even more stress hormones. It does this to try and stabilise your sugar levels.

Eating a complete meal stops this problem and furthermore reduces stress hormones. A good complete meal to try would be: a high protein yoghurt, whole oats, blueberries and almonds.

Motivational Energy…

So there they are. The 3 lifestyle triggers that create the 20 minute morning routine that relieves anxiety. As you can see, they all complement each other and help to rebalance that hormone harmony.

Now, if what I have spoken about makes sense to you, you probably have some motivational energy. This is that little light bulb moment you get when something makes sense and you get a burst of motivation and you’re like…

‘Right! I’m going to do this.’

But the problem is the light bulb isn’t on for long, the odds are you will wake up tomorrow not feeling motivated and you will end up not trying the routine.

So what’s important is what you do right now! Quickly write down your morning routine:

  • Plan a 10 minute flexible exercise workout to do (check out the article linked previously about flexible exercise for ideas)
  • Where are you going to do your calm breathing
  • What complete meal will you have for breakfast

Remember, if you are experiencing symptoms of stress or anxiety, always seek medical advice and talk to a doctor. These things are nothing to be ashamed of. If you found this useful please like and share, as it might help someone else going through the same thing. We can beat things like stress and anxiety together. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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