The world often seems to be divided into two types of people. There are those that drag themselves out of bed in the morning and can’t speak before their third cup of coffee, and then there are the people that wake up so full of energy they have an hour workout in before 6 AM.
So what is the secret of “morning people”? How can you harness that energy to create happiness in your daily routine?
Here are 8 awesome things to do for your morning routine:
1. Always Make Time for Breakfast
Your mom always told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and she was right!
People that eat breakfast within a half hour of waking stabilize their blood sugar levels and give their bodies the fuel they need to start the day.
It’s also a great way to kickstart your metabolism, according to Megan Moore, RD, LD, CDE in Today’s Dietician:
“Breakfast isn’t a meal to skip when trying to keep your metabolism healthy…Your metabolism slows down as you sleep, so there’s nothing like a healthy breakfast to jumpstart it for the day.”
Furthermore, according to Keren Gilbert, MS, RD, in the same article, people who eat breakfast tend to get more vitamins and nutrients:
“People who eat breakfast regularly get more vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in their diets, because there are wonderful food choices to include in this meal that are nutritionally dense, like fruit, whole grains, and lean proteins.”
2. Take Time Meditate
If you haven’t started meditating yet, then you may want to put it into your daily routine. And making it part of your morning routine will get you into the habit.
Research has shown that regular meditation may help reduce stress.
“In an eight-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress. Another study in nearly 1,300 adults demonstrated that meditation may decrease stress. Notably, this effect was strongest in individuals with the highest levels of stress.”
3. Practice Mindfulness
The key to mindfulness is learning how to be present within the here and now.
Happy people make it a point not to drag the stress from the past or worry about the day ahead into their morning routine.
To focus your mind on the present moment, focus on completing small tasks with all your attention:
According to psychologist Nicole Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC, in an interview with Bustle “one of the best ways to start a morning routine is to start out slowly with one where you add little windows of time and small tasks.”
4. Ignore Technology
Happy people don’t clog up their morning routine with deadlines, strict schedules, and the guilt that comes from not meeting your morning goals.
Keeping your routine simple and basic will start your day off on a stress-free note that will carry you throughout the rest of the day.
One easy way to keep your morning simple is to ignore technology.
According to Jeff Sanders, author of The 5 AM Miracle:
“I highly recommend you don’t watch television, or even check email until you have completed your most important morning habit. Technology is enticing, but it’s also a major distraction that prevents us from doing what we know is best for us.”
5. Remember to Make Time for Daily Exercise
Exercising in the morning does more than tone your body, it relaxes your mind!
By moving your body first thing in the morning, you will trigger endorphins that will improve your mood and enhance your self-confidence.
Harvard Health Blog says that aerobic exercise is key for your head, just as it is for your heart:
“Regular aerobic exercise will bring remarkable changes to your body, your metabolism, your heart, and your spirits. It has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress. It’s a common experience among endurance athletes and has been verified in clinical trials that have successfully used exercise to treat anxiety disorders and clinical depression. If athletes and patients can derive psychological benefits from exercise, so can you.”
6. Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day
Getting up at the same time every day might matter more than you think.
A study followed 61 Harvard students for a month and found that individuals with the most consistent wake-up times performed better than those who opted to mix it up, even though they got the same amount of sleep overall.
Of course, to wake up the same time every day, it might help to consistently go to bed at the same time as well.
Also, authors Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander interviewed 300 successful people and found that the average wake up time was a very specific 6.27 am.
7. Don’t Use an Alarm Clock
While it might seem difficult to become a morning person without an alarm clock, learning not to depend on one might benefit you more than you think.
Because alarm clocks jolt people awake and can cause what experts term “sleep inertia” – a period of cognitive and motor impairment after waking up.
Hitting the snooze button might be even worse.
Sleep expert Neil Robinson told The Independent that “by dozing off for those extra minutes, we’re preparing our bodies for another sleep cycle, which then quickly interrupted – causing us to feel fatigued for the rest of the day that lies ahead.”
So make sure to set your time bedtime about 8 hours from your desired wake up time, and it’ll be easier to learn to forgo the alarm clock.
8. Practice Positive Self-Talk
Start your morning off with daily positive affirmations to break free of negative self-talk and set the day off on a positive note.
Research has suggested that a personal mantra (a phrase you repeat silently to yourself) can benefit your brain in the short-term and long-term.
Published in the Journal of Brain and Behavior, the study found that silently repeating a positive personal mantra “quiets the mind and reduces self-judgment”.
It’s no secret that most of us have a tendency to dwell or ruminate on negative thoughts.
However, this only serves to strengthen those connections in the brain, and the more you dwell on negativity, the more the brain becomes negative.
But repeating a positive mantra to yourself puts a stop to negative thought patterns, and the neurons that fire when you repeat a positive mantra become strengthened.
According to the research study:
“The pattern of neural activity that constitutes your silent thought becomes easier to conjure over time and becomes increasingly effective in countering negative thoughts or feelings.”
Happiness is ultimately a personal choice. Even those who struggle with waking up early can learn from the habits of morning people.
By following in the footsteps of those who rise each day happy to greet the world, it is possible to transform our entire outlook on the day ahead.
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