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You wake up. Snooze. Once, maybe two times. But you can’t prolong your mind’s routine as it quickly shifts to full-on realization of another day. Of things to do, places to be, someone to become.

The feeling lands in your gut, a malaise that festers as you start to mentally run down the day’s obligations and schedule… and pull the covers up closer to your chin.

This routine 15-minute wakeup seems innocent enough. Doesn’t everyone feel that way about leaving a warm bed into a cold room? Doesn’t everyone dread, just a little bit, the events of the day — even if the schedule includes things they love?

Not everyone does. And you don’t have to, either.

People who have learned how to take back their brains don’t start their days dreading the outcome. These people may be slow to wake up, but their morning routine doesn’t include worries sloshing around while they brush their teeth.

How many mornings have you woken up with an underlying sense that today would be yet another struggle with yourself?

I spent about five years of my life in this pattern — a pattern I didn’t even realize I had until I took back control through mindfulness practices. I thought that everyone felt this way about life, and if someone didn’t, well… were we even living on the same planet?

Because life is inherently a struggle, right? It’s messy and uncomfortable and one time I drove home at 2 a.m. from a former boyfriend’s place while he slept, because I was so anxious about his snoring that I couldn’t sleep.

Like every other human being ever, I know all about avoiding confrontation. Except, I don’t let myself do that anymore.

At some point, you have to draw a line in the proverbial sand and say to yourself, “Enough is enough.” For me, that point came during a period of darkness and struggle. It usually does.

There’s a better way than looking at life through a lens of struggle, and that’s looking at life through a lens of mindfulness. Because here’s the thing:

Worry and anxiety are only part of everyday living in the 21st century if you choose them.

And guess what? You can not choose them.

The way you do this is with practice. Using proven techniques from yoga and meditation, you can bit-by-bit change the way you treat yourself. Once you do that, you’re unstoppable.

Going after a big idea or goal doesn’t happen through blind intention or manifestation. It happens when your whole self, mind-body-spirit, is aligned with your goal. And that only happens when you pay attention to what’s actually here right now in this moment. Not running away from your worried, doubting mind, but learning to trust that these emotions are part of the process of overcoming.

Fifteen-minute doldrum morning routines can do more harm than you realize. Along with other unconscious habits and negative self-talk, they can bubble into a critical mindset that holds us back from the person we strive to be — even holding us back from the intentions and dreams we deep-down strive to pursue.

If you do nothing else today on Valentine’s Day in the United States, a day of celebrating love of all kinds, I invite you to look into a mirror and say, “I love myself exactly as I am right now.”

Repeat it until you believe it.

We need you to love and trust yourself, because when you do we all benefit. And that, of course, means that you are worth your investment.