Some people leap from bed ready to rock the day. Others struggle to open one eye at a time and escape the gravity of their bed. Either way, getting into good morning habits will set you on the course for a productive and rewarding day.
And in that aim, here are some things you can stop doing to help you start doing mornings right.
Don’t Hit the Snooze Button
If you are one of the millions of people who think the extra 15 minutes will buy you extra energy, recovery, and brainpower—think again. Research shows that waking up and getting to sleep at the same time each day will improve sleep patterns and energy.
In addition, when you wake up after that “snooze,” you will likely be groggier and more disoriented. Avoid the snooze and kickstart your day by getting right out of bed and into your workout clothes.
Move Your Body, Not Your Thumbs
Don’t exchange actual morning movement for social media surfing. The daily excuse that you don’t have time to exercise needs to end. Studies show that people who exercise in the morning are more likely to stick with their program. Meanwhile, waking up and (in your bed or out) starting your day with a scroll through the latest on your phone can mean not having the time to work out. Working out in the morning fuels you up for better moods, fewer cravings, and less overall consumption of calories.
Hold Off on the Morning Emails
If you’re answering emails first thing in the morning—and checking your device before you even get to work—you’re starting your day with extra pressure. That pressure can compel you to get to work earlier and sacrifice crucial morning time for meditation, exercise, or family. Taking time in the morning and evening to disconnect from your devices will go a long way toward making you happier and healthier.
Pump the Brakes on the Negative Mindset
If you begin your day thinking about your problems and unpleasant tasks, you create a feeling of internal negativity that frames the day ahead. Why do that to yourself? It triggers a stress response that exhausts the nervous system and puts you in a poor emotional state if you focus on things you can’t change. There’s simply no benefit in looking at things in the most negative fashion. Try instead to set a plan of action for the anticipated problems. Then get your attitude in check to tackle them with an outlook energized with optimism.
Halt the Sugar Highjack
Don’t dare fool yourself that the delicious donut, bagel, or mocha in the morning will give you some sort of energy kick. It doesn’t work. That short-lived energy will be followed by an abrupt crash, and cravings that highjack your diet, mental performance, mood, and waistline. Consider instead a high-protein, high-fiber breakfast that will carry you for hours. Another alternative is intermittent fasting and starting breakfast later to keep your energy up and your body burning fat.
A mental performance study in the Journal of Physiology reported that high sugar intake can actually block memory receptors in the brain. Another study in Metabolic Biology on sugar intake found a connection between dementia and high sugar intake, including processed carbohydrates. Imagine needing to perform mentally at work or school and having receptors that would normally allow you to take in new information being disabled. Not a great way to impress your boss.
Counter Monkey Mind With a Quick Meditation
There are major benefits to an easy and simple morning routine in quietness. Here are three of them.
Setting the Day’s Tone
Just 10 minutes of walking, sitting, exercise, or music meditation will help you set the tone for your entire day. If you don’t believe this, just try it both ways.
Just imagine, if you haven’t already experienced it, what it would be like to blow out of your house with a hundred things on your mind and no emotional mindset in order. Seems likely you will be more frazzled, negative, hungrier, and disorganized. Now imagine spending 10 minutes in gratitude, silence, clearing your mind, or listening to lovely music. You can probably anticipate how this will help you maintain internal balance amid the barrage of the outside world and see things more calmly. This then changes what you think, say, and do—not to mention how you perform.
The endorphins released through meditation boost your mental and physical energy. Stress is extremely taxing on the body, triggering a hormonal reaction that is great for running away from a bear, but terrible for bearing the burden of office drama and workload overwhelm. Meditating can preempt this problem and also help eliminate that afternoon wall of exhaustion.
Meditation boosts serotonin and dopamine, which will boost your overall sense of happiness, well-being, and focus. That will help you stay clear and productive on what matters. Please find 10 minutes daily to close your mind, be at peace, and be thankful for what you have. It’s imperative to a long and meaningful life!
Cheers to starting a new morning routine that will have your brain, body, and spirit ready for your day in record time!
Nisha Jackson is a nationally recognized hormone and functional medicine expert, renowned lecturer, motivational speaker, radio host, columnist, author of the bestseller “Brilliant Burnout,” and founder of OnePeak Medical Clinics in Oregon. For 30 years, her approach to medicine has successfully reversed chronic problems such as fatigue, brain fog, depression, insomnia, and lack of stamina.