Welcome back to reality, summer lovers 💥 💕 Time to get back on the program, right?! Well, it’s not like us to impose any strict lifestyle regimes, but we’ve been feeling really called and curious this September season to go deeper into the idea of ritual. Is it really as important as we think?
It turns out there may be a physiological reason to adopt a more routine-centered lifestyle, not just a psychological one; our brains get physically affected.
We know this on a basic level, that patterns of sleep and eating influence our metabolism, but the same ‘engraining’ effect also occurs with any type of repeated behaviour.
This happens because of myelin – a fatty insulation that coats all the axons that transmit electrical impulses throughout your brain. Every behaviour fires up an electrical connection, and the more it is repeated, the stronger the behaviour becomes due to more myelinated nerve pathways. The denser the myelin becomes, the more permanent your practices become.
So what are you practicing every day?
Your brain is locking in your behaviour, good or bad. (That’s why it’s so hard to break bad habits!)
How can you create new habits and stick to them?
The answer is not willpower. Studies show this is done by laying down a new message for your brain; rewiring it to a new cycle.
The key to lasting change is to make the cycle reward based. Find the positive intrinsic motivation behind a ritual you are trying to create. Whether it’s the idea of a big juicy smoothie after each workout, or simply the high you get after a yoga class – your brain gets anchored in with the reward, which creates a stronger habit loop than simply forcing change upon yourself. Self-love can really become your inclination.
And that’s how rituals can really get us closer to our magic.
So here’s your fresh slate to get out of your own way.
How can you soak up every ounce of opportunity each day to be your best self?
Which rituals will you adopt?
Practice really does make permanent, and sticking to healthier habits can become as effortless as falling into the bad ones.
Need some ideas for a kick-ass morning routine?
Drinking water first thing upon rising is probably one of the most important things you can do for your health. While you sleep, metabolic waste builds up and can clog up your circulation if not removed; water flushes it out, rehydrates the body and fuels your circulation. Hydration is also so necessary for a healthy brain, hormonal system and DNA.
Mornings are the perfect time to journal your gratitude. Making a list of what you’re grateful for will set you up with a positive perception for the day and allow you to attract more of what you love!
Map out what you want to do in the day ahead and set yourself up for success. Write down your goals and intentions so you stay clear on fulfilling your mission as the chaos of the day unravels.
Feed your mind with some morning reading or podcasts. It will stimulate your brain, and who doesn’t love learning something new?!
If your schedule permits, schedule your sweat session for the a.m when cortisol is at it’s peak, around 6-8am: studies show that exercising at this can create more efficient sleep cycles.
Mindfully break-the-fast from the night before, as the first thing you consume will hit your system the hardest! Organic green juice, medicinal mushrooms and healthy fats are all great ways to set your metabolism and body up to feel awesome.
There’s always time for a little practice, whether it be a few minutes of meditation, a yoga/qi gong class or even ten deep, intentional breaths. Cultivating your own energy first thing can help you avoid that mid-afternoon slump: there’s less need to reach for snacks and supplements if your energy is in your own hands!
Short for time? Listen to a podcast as you exercise, drink your morning water as you journal… Be creative with your multi-tasking, and put down social media in these key hours to avoid distraction!
Still, as with all things, flexibility is key. Don’t be afraid to customize your routine when travelling or short for time, while still taking responsibility for your health. Flow. Don’t be stubborn, but have the flexibility to find a way to add in your routine and make it work for you wherever and whenever possible!
We hope you fall in love with the idea of ritual. It’s become our magic tool for creating momentum even on the slowest of days, and it really feels like the ultimate form of self-love in this busy world we live in.
Happy Fall, LG’ers! xoxo