Let’s be honest. Habits are not the easiest things to make — especially the tiny ones. Why?
Maybe subconsciously we don’t think they are important enough.
Maybe we keep sacrificing them for bigger, more important tasks and they never get to be formed.
Or maybe we just don’t think we have the headspace.
Whatever the reason is, one thing is for certain: If we don’t build these habits, we don’t reap their benefits.
And I speak as a performer and a former medical student, whose life has been drastically changed for the better by these 4 habits below:
A Full Glass of Water Upon Getting Up
This is the first thing I do every morning. A full glass of room temperature water. Coffee can wait. Breakfast can wait. Journaling and meditation and yoga can wait. Not water.
Because a well-hydrated body sets the tone for everything else.
And after a night’s sleep, we are all naturally dehydrated. Our bodies are calling us to hydrate, so this delicate machine can start functioning well.
Research shows that drinking water in the morning will improve your gut health, balance your body fluids, fuel your brain, remove your body’s natural waste, support your immune system, keep your skin healthy, keep yourself regular, and boost your metabolism.
That’s 8 benefits in one tiny thing: A full glass of water, first thing in the morning. Do you need more reason to do it?
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch Some More
There is an old Chinese saying that goes: “Elongated tendons give you ten more years of life.” There is some truth in it.
Stretching may sound painful to those who are not used to it, but if you look at animals, that’s the first thing they do when they get up.
A stretched body is a mobilized body. And a mobilized body can move through tasks with relative ease.
Stretching has obvious benefits such as increasing your flexibility, range of motion, and blood flow to your muscles.
For those who are still on the fence about stretching, I have this one question: “ If you don’t stretch your body, how do you expect yourself to stretch your mind and expand your life?”
Warm-up Your Voice
Albert Mehrabian’s 7–38–55 Rule of Personal Communication states that words, tone of voice, and body language respectively account for 7%, 38%, and 55% of personal communication.
So many people are looking to improve their public speaking, but they don’t know it all starts with your body and your voice.
A 10-minute vocal warm-up is part of my daily routine, and I do it right after my yoga/stretching.
Releasing physical tension by stretching is the prerequisite for a good vocal warm-up because you’re less likely to hurt your voice.
The end result is a healthier vocal cord and better communication.
Just google “vocal warmup” and you’ll find everything you need. Choose the ones that you feel best about and stick with them. You’ll see results right away!
Read Something Out Aloud
Do you only read stories out aloud to your kids? If so, you might want to consider doing that for yourself, especially after your vocal warmup.
- Sharpens your focus
2. Increases your vocabulary
3. Results in greater reading comprehension
4. Gives you an opportunity to play
5. Exercises your body
6. Challenges your use of intonation
7. Improves listening and reading skills
Not to mention this activity itself is entertaining and creates great bonding opportunities.
We all used to read out loud when we were kids. We stopped because we wanted to save time, to be more efficient.
But words are meant to be heard. If you expect your voices to be heard, start incorporating this habit back into your life.
These four habits have tremendously helped me feel better and function better. Give them a try if you’re new to them — and see how they add value to your life.
Previously Published on yiqingzhao.blog
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