Getting a good start in the morning is the difference between a good day and a terrible day. Unfortunately, starting your day off the right way isn’t as easy as it sounds. If it was, we’d all be doing it well. Research shows that the how you spend first two hours after getting up in the morning has a lot to do with how you feel the whole day. As the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius rightly said, “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Actually, the morning starts with the previous night. Many of us wake up in the morning feeling tired and drained out. The main reason for this is the lack of sound sleep. Watching TV serials which are full of conspiracy, hatred, vulgarity, fear or sensational news channels just before going to sleep fills our mind with disturbing thoughts. Go to bed early and read or hear something inspirational before you drift off. I can say from personal experience, I thank God for taking care of me and keeping me safe throughout the day, as a result of which I get sound sleep, and wake up fresh in the morning.
Waking up with an alarm
More often than not, when the alarm bell rings to wake you up, your hand subconsciously puts off the snooze.You think you will get up after 5 minutes but one hour passes before you wake up. If you need to put an alarm to wake you up, just keep the mobile/clock out of your reach so that you have to get up to put it off. This will prevent you from falling asleep again.
The old adage “early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” is more relevant today, than any other time. Successful people start their day very early. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple wakes up at 4.30 am every morning, Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico wakes up at 4 am, and Disney CEO, Bob Iger wakes up at 4.30 am. Robin Sharma, the motivational speaker urges everyone to join the 5 am Club, wherein you get up at 5 am every day to lead your day towards super-productivity.
Develop an attitude of gratitude. So, before you even get out of bed, give sincere thanks for waking up to a new day. So many people are not fortunate enough to see this day. Let me share my experience: ‘I mentally visualize each system of my body like the nervous system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary and excretory system, etc. I express gratitude that all these systems are working normally. I thank God for taking care of me all the past years of my life, and pray for continued blessings in future too.’ These may sound like simple things to be thankful for. However, realize that there are many people on this earth who would love to have the very things that you take for granted.
Keep away from TV news, newspaper, and social media
For most of us, the day begins with a glimpse of the TV news, morning newspaper, WhatsApp or Facebook etc. The print and electronic media are filled with news about scams, scandals, crimes, accidents etc. Most of the WhatsApp messages (with the exception of some motivational and inspirational groups) are frivolous, misleading and false. Our mind in the early morning is fresh and has a high absorbing capacity. Any negative or useless information, if fed in the mind at this time, influences the course of events during the whole day. Each morning spent away from social media is so much more relaxed, peaceful, and joyful.
I don’t mean to suggest by any stretch of imagination, that you should not read newspapers, watch TV or use the social media. Just shift the timings to a later part of the day. Instead, try listening to soothing music in the morning or an inspirational audio book during your morning walk as I do.
Nature is at its best in the early morning. If you can’t go to a gym at least take time out to go jogging, running or a brisk walk. Regardless, try to do at least some exercise every morning. Did you know that exercise in the morning helps you release endorphins? Endorphins are the feel-good hormones that are produced when you do exercise. Exercise has made such an impact on former President Barack Obama, which he admits in his autobiography “Dreams from My Father” that before he started running three miles a day, he was a casual drug user and a underachiever.
Cardio is great, but for the whole body approach, add a little yoga into your routine. You’ll control your breath, stretch your muscles and generate energy. Your body and mind will be one and ready to conquer the world.
Oprah Winfrey does it, and so does Narendra Modi. They meditate at the start of the day. This makes their mind much more stable and calmer for the day. Most of these people face enormous pressure and stress. They need to calm their mind so that they can handle all the stress efficiently and positively.
Starting our days the “right way” is the key to having a lifetime of days that are relaxed and happy. But that won’t just happen. You have to discipline yourself every morning (and even the night before!). Having good days is a decision that we make every day before we even get out of bed. Well, in my experience, what you do early in the morning often sets the tone for the rest of the day. I would like to conclude with the wisdom of Buddha, “Every morning we are born again. What we do now is what matters most.”