By Saiyed M. Fauzan Ali
We often start our mornings in a frenzy, missing out on breakfast, grabbing our stuff and the car keys, and just dashing out the door. The rest of the day reflects our state of mind, and as a result, we often experience low self-esteem, forgetfulness, a horrible commute, or a bad day at work. It is imperative to realize the fact that the tone of our mornings determines the quality of our day. Jim Rohn, a famous American Entrepreneur said that ‘for things to change, you need to first change yourself’.
Something that I have learned during the course of improving the quality of my life is that how we live our mornings can either make us or break us. We can either wake up feeling optimistic, and willing to own the day, or we can just fill up our mornings with negativity, and let the entire day go out of our hands. A research study published in the Journal of the Academy of Management confirmed that the morning moods of the persons have a significant effect on their performance, how they perceive events, and how they spend their rest of the day (Rothbard and Wilk, 2011). Therefore, the morning moods that we carry with us each day have a significant impact on our daily lives. Hence, the first few minutes of the morning are highly crucial for setting the pace of your entire day. I recommend four adjustments that you need to make in your morning routine to set the pace for positivity and productivity.
- Disconnect yourself from the Tech
The first thing we do, right after we put off the alarm on our phone is that we constantly stare at the screen for several minutes while in bed, we check for emails, messages, and our social media news feeds. This bad habit of ours offers us nothing but damage. Staring at the screen of your cellphone for checking messages and stuff right after you wake up promotes a reactive mindset, rather than a proactive one. This leads you to start off your day in a defensive state of mind.
You need to separate yourself from technology for at least the first two hours of your day, this will help you begin your day with a fresh and positive mindset.
- Hydrate Yourself
After going hours without a drop of water, it is highly beneficial to drink a glass of lukewarm water and hydrate your body. A glass of Luke warm water ingested early in the morning on an empty stomach can do wonders for you. According to a book published by Vijaya Kumar, the Ayurvedic technique of adding fresh lemon juice to a glass of lukewarm water and drinking it on an empty stomach in the morning helps remove the toxins present in your gastrointestinal tract, improves weight loss and triggers your metabolism (Kumar, 2013). Henceforth, drink up a glass of lukewarm water first thing in the morning to start your day off right. You can also squeeze a fresh lemon into your glass of water for best results.
Meditating early in the morning helps train your mind and impacts the way you respond to challenges and difficult situations during the day. According to Richard Davidson, a neurologist at the University of Wisconsin’s Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior, the effects of practicing meditation on the brain can be related to the impact of practicing golf or tennis on the performance of an athlete (Kaufman, 2005). Hence, meditation can help train and substantially transform the brain in ways that only a few people can envisage. Start your day off with meditation to improve your personal productivity. Read the book ‘How to Meditate’ written by Pema Chodron. This comprehensive guide will help you connect yourself with the mind, and enhance your brain performance.
- Drink a Glass of Milk
When you drink a glass of warm milk, you ingest yourself with nutrient-dense calories. Skim Milk contains the least amount of calories, approximately 83 per cup, and is enriched with amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Hence, it’s the best bet for you if you’re on a diet. If not, Whole Milk would be the best option. According to a health study conducted by Wang, (2016) Lactoferrin present in the milk modifies the immune system, and stimulate the neural development function by regulating the neurotransmitter pathways and the Synaptic transmission pathways, which as a result have a significant positive impact on our cognitive thinking. Consequently, drinking a warm glass of milk before starting off your day will boost your mental and physical energy.
However, many people find it challenging to drink a glass of milk on an empty stomach or after breakfast in the morning. Hence, another trick is to consume a hot cup of milk before you go to sleep. You can add chocolate to your cup of hot milk. Several Health studies have confirmed that ingestion of Chocolate Milk prior to sleeping alters the next-morning metabolism, and promotes endurance (Ormsbee, et al., 2016; Gilson, et al., 2010). Hot Chocolate Milk helps replenish your hard-working muscles, and the tryptophan present in the warm milk synthesizes the melatonin, which helps sleep better and strengthens the immune system. This, as a result, improves your next day metabolism and boosts your energy.
So make these small adjustments to your morning routine, and adapt to these changes to improve the quality of your living.
Gilson, S.F., et al., 2010. Effects of chocolate milk consumption on markers of muscle recovery following soccer training: a randomized cross-over study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 7(1), p.19.
Kaufman, M., 2005. Meditation gives the brain a charge, study finds. Washington Post, 3, p. 2005.
Kumar, V., 2013. The Secret Benefits of Lemon and Honey: Secret Guides. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Ormsbee, M.J., et al., 2016. Nighttime feeding likely alters morning metabolism but not exercise performance in female athletes. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 41(7), pp.719-727.
Rothbard, N.P. and Wilk, S.L., 2011. Waking up on the right or wrong side of the bed: Start-of-workday mood, work events, employee affect, and performance. Academy of Management Journal, 54(5), pp.959-980.
Wang, B., 2016. Molecular determinants of milk lactoferrin as a bioactive compound in early neurodevelopment and cognition. The Journal of pediatrics, 173, pp.S29-S36.