What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
If you’re like most people, you either:
1) Go back to sleep.
2) Play with your phone in bed.
3) Or go to the toilet.
But according to Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy, there’s something much more fruitful you could be doing.
What is it?
Read the below quote from the famed psychologist to find out:
“The people who wake up like this [in a V shape] are super happy, like annoyingly happy.”
Yep, Amy Cuddy says that stretching out is a kind of “power pose” which can boost confidence and therefore our mood.
Check out her TED talk on the benefits of power poses here:
What’s the theory behind Amy Cuddy’s idea?
According to Amy Cuddy, body posture can influence our emotions.
She says you can actually feel more powerful by striking a power pose.
Cuddy says that “your body actions and your feelings are “obviously bi-directional…But the people who wake up like this (stretching out their arms in a V) are super happy.”
She also has said that people who “sleep in a fetal ball…we have some preliminary evidence that people who wake up like that wake up more stressed out.”
Shockingly, research suggests that approximately 40% of people sleep in a fetal position.
Of course, it isn’t just Amy Cuddy that proposes stretching your body when you wake up.
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Research suggests that it’s excellent for muscle flexibility and joint flexibility. Furthermore, it can also encourage stress relief as stretching helps relieve tension.
What about a gratitude journal?
There are incredible benefits associated with gratitude journals, so you might want to also consider adding that to your morning routine as well.
The benefits include:
1) Lower stress levels.
2) Gaining a great perspective on life.
3) Clarity about what you want in life.
4) Help you focus on what really matters.
To do so, list 3 things you’re grateful for each morning. Eventually you’ll train your brain to be more optimistic and positive.
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Here's what you'll learn:
• How and why to be mindful: There are many simple exercises you can do to bring a mindful attitude to quotidian activities such as eating breakfast, walking the dog, or sitting on the floor to stretch.
• How to meditate: Many beginning meditators have a lot of questions: How should I sit? How long should I meditate? What if it feels awkward or uncomfortable or my foot falls asleep? Am I doing it wrong? In this book, you’ll find simple steps and explanations to answer these questions and demystify meditation. (And no, you’re not doing it wrong).
• How to approach relationships: This section offers tips for interacting with friends and enemies alike and walks you through a loving kindness meditation.
• How to minimize harm: There is a lot of suffering in the world; it’s best for everyone if we try not to add to it. Here you’ll read about the idea of ahimsa (non-harming) and how you might apply it to your actions.
• How to let things go: As Buddhism teaches, excessive attachment (whether we’re clinging to something or actively resisting it) all too often leads to suffering. Practitioners of mindfulness meditation find peace in letting go and accepting things as they are in the moment.
Check it out here.