How do you start your morning?
What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? Mornings can be the most inspiring, creative, and productive time of the day. With the stress and uncertainty surrounding the COVID pandemic many find themselves waking up with fear or dread, During this season, it is even more important than ever that to be aware of how you use the first fruit of our day and determine to take back your mornings and master your day. This article shows how.
Morning routines that can take you off course
Time sucking social media feeds
Although it can be tempting to open your phone first thing in the morning and start scrolling through your social media, that is almost guaranteed to be a time suck. statista.com showed the average time on Facebook is 15 hours/month! Besides robbing you of valuable time, social media creates FOMO (fear of missing out) and can often result in feelings of isolation, inadequacy, and depression. Recent studies link the use of social media to feeling lonely and depressed.
Tips: Turn off notifications. Pre-determine how much time you will spend and then use a timer or set an alarm to keep you from getting lost in the scroll. Choose a time to check social media that is NOT your prime time. Be deliberate.
2. Emotion manipulating news
The average American spends 11 hours a day looking at screens. Often our devices are the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we see before retiring at night. With more access to the news online and on social media, it is easy to get sucked into watching the news about current affairs.
One effect of watching the news is known as “negativity bias”. This is where negative events impact our brain more than positive ones affecting our perspective, decisions, actions, and relationships. This can relate to our ability to set and attain goals. Negativity bias causes us to focus more on our fears and what we don’t want than the positive things we do desire.
In addition, recent studies show spending time watching news increases stress, anxiety, depression, and health problems including a greater chance of having a heart attack.
Tips: Like social media choose if and when you will watch the news. Avoid first thing in the morning as it sets the tone for the entire day. Also, choose something inspiring an calming to watch or listen to before sleeping. For better sleep, it is recommended not to look at a screen for at least one hour before going to sleep. The blue light from the screen suppresses melatonin. In addition, looking at the phone activates your mind. Sleep specialist, Dr. Harneet Walia says,
“Even just a quick check can engage your brain and prolong sleep.”
Instead, consider adding the practice of prayer and/or meditation.
Research shows that only ten minutes of daily meditation increases the grey matter of the brain. Gyrification (folding) of the brain associated with memory also increases. Only eight weeks of mindfulness meditation showed decreases in brain cell volume in the amygdala; responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress.
Bottom line…add prayer and meditation to your mornings for better brain function, less stress greater peace of mind!
Exercise the stress and pounds away!
Physical activity increases focus and alertness and is a fantastic remedy for stress. During exercise, your brain makes more endorphins, the “feel-good” neurotransmitters often known as “runners high”. Researchers have found the greatest fat loss occurs when exercise occurs in the morning. In addition, you will eat less and your food choices throughout the day will tend to be healthier when we exercise in the morning.
Tips: Get to bed early and set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual to begin implementing an exercise or meditation routine. Once you are accustomed to the earlier time you can increase by another 30 minutes to give time for both. Set your exercise or meditation gear out the night before. Wake up to your yoga mat, running shoes, water bottle, or favorite meditation program to make getting started simple.
You may also enjoy “Morning Routines Improve Your Health and Success.”
The Power of Morning Habits
Our habits create our life. Whether brushing teeth, the side we sleep on, or what we eat in the morning, most everything we do is done by habit. When we deliberately create habits such as walking in the morning or meditating the actions become a natural and effortless part of our life.
[tweetshare tweet=”Whenever I desire to change a part of my life, I focus on the habit I need to create in order to accomplish the desired result. ” – Brenda Byers username=”@prosperinall”]
At the beginning of the pandemic, I started walking a minimum of one mile a day. As of the time of this writing I am 103 unbroken days of walking. It is now officially a habit and part of my life. I look forward to the cool morning air and feel more alert when I start work.
Take back your morning and see how everything changes. Davis’s prayer in the Psalms says it well.
At each and every sunrise you will hear my voice
as I prepare my sacrifice of prayer to you.
Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar
and wait for your fire to fall upon my heart. – Psalms 5:3 TPT
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