Friday, May 2, 2008
When you first awaken, your mind is slowly leaving the delta state, (low brain wave frequency) where it is most easily influenced by mental suggestion. In other words, your mind is most open – and what you put in it will stay in it, until at least the end of the day.
It is for this reason that often, if you are awakened by a sound or a song, you may be able to easily recall it again and again throughout the day (even if it’s a song you cannot stand!). That being said, it is absolutely critical that you start your day off on the “right side of the bed.” Any negative thoughts you have will shape your subconscious for the entire day.
Realize, if you wake up and say “Sh*t… today’s gonna suck…”, then it will suck! - Your subconscious would be imbued with a belief that “today sucks” and would work with your mental filtering systems and all of your senses to perceive information accordingly. There’s a lot to it, but the point of this article is to give you a list of tips to start your day off the right way… so back on track. We know you’re busy as #%$! In the morning and don’t have time for therapeutic, two hour spa sessions when you’re trying to get to work or class on time.
Therefore, this list is as “grounded” as is possible, and you can start using it – Now. Also, for the record, we DO use every single one of these ourselves.
1. Initial Wakeup
GET UP! FAST! When you wake up, get out of bed as fast as you can! (without sending yourself into cardiac arrest, of course.) Waste no time in getting up. The best cure for procrastination is action – so if you’re procrastinating about getting out of bed, just force yourself to get up! …and wallah! - Problem solved! Jumping out of bed will spike your metabolism, and will end all thoughts of “just lying there” a little bit more. As an added bonus, I put my alarm clock on the other side of the room – forcing me to jump out of bed and go turn it off… and once I’m out, I stay out!
The power of light is severely underestimated by most people. How? It has profound effects upon body chemistry and energy levels. You circadian rhythm (based on light levels) affects nearly all aspects of your physiology. Over 200 processes are controlled by the level of and type of light that you receive, including heart rate, digestion, appetite and thirst, fluid balance, stress level, emotions, immunity, hunger, energy, blood pressure, body temperature, physical strength, reaction times, sexual appetite, urine production and brain balance – just to name a few. Bright, natural light is ideal for bringing the most energy to all these systems. The more light you receive, the more serotonin your pineal gland produces – a “feel good” neurotransmitter. The less light received, the more melatonin your pineal gland produces. Melatonin is essentially a depressant / sedative. This explains why humans living in Spain are some of the most upbeat, positive beings on the planet, where as residents in Norway or Russia are some of the most depressed. Your body makes melatonin at night, and makes serotonin during the day. So, the sooner you turn on the lights, or open the blinds preferably, the sooner your body’s systems will increase their energy levels. The longer you keep it dark, the harder it will be to wake up – that simple.
3. Wake Up to a Clean Room
This one may not seem that significant, but believe me – it is. Waking up to a clean, organized room has a positive first impression upon your mind. Waking up to clutter, dirty clothes, and piles of beer cans from the night before does not. This may seem like a bit of a feng shui thing, but give it a try, and you will realize – it does work. It’s easier to vacate a room when it’s clean, pristine, and relatively organized / empty, versus one that is piled high and more “cozy.” Keep your room stark… put things away from you’re done using them. It will help.
4. Fresh Air Open the window.
No matter what season it is. Open the window… even if it is just a crack. Your bedroom has sat stagnant all night, void of fresh air, especially if you leave your door closed as I do. When you open the window (and the door preferably) you create a cross draft to bring in fresh air. You have lowered the oxygen level by rebreathing the same air in the room at night. However, as soon as you open the window, you bring in fresh air with high oxygen levels – instantly raising your energy level. Even if it is 10 degrees out, open the window just a tad. When it’s cold out, it will have even more of an effect – the cool, denser air will carry more oxygen, and the temperature alone will help you to awaken.
Music is a huge part of my morning. Even if you are not musically motivated, music can shape your mornings. Turn on music as soon as you can after waking up. Make sure it is something positive and uplifting – as chances are it may become stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Personally, I love pounding trance in the morning – it’s positive, uplifting chords and driving bass last with me all day. Make sure you’re listening to something that pulls you up… not down. The effect of music upon the brain is something we will discuss down the road – stay tuned. Also, if music is not available, any high frequency sound chords can work. Birds chirping, wind chimes, ect – all help awaken and sooth the mind.
Start your morning off with a full glass of water before you eat anything else – This is essential. Toxins have been ejected from tissue and line your throat and mouth (thus, morning-breath) and the last thing you want to do is to allow them to adhere to your breakfast. Drink a full glass of water –and give it ten minutes. If you have an empty stomach, the toxins will be flushed down, and pass out with your urine, with no food to absorb them. Ten minutes later, you may eat your breakfast. The subject of a healthy breakfast is obviously a lengthy subject, but I’ll be brief – DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST. They’re not lying when they say it’s the most important meal of the day. Your body has been starved for eight hours or more, and breakfast is crucial. Breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism, ends your body’s “hoarding mode” from the night, and will actually help you lose weight and stay lean if you chose the proper foods. Make sure you eat some fruit, some protein, and some carbs. My typical weekend breakfast consists of an orange and three scrambled eggs… very basic, but quite healthy. If you’re eating loads of sugary cereal, or worse, doughnuts for breakfast, you need to go do some basic research online on how to eat healthy. You could be lean and good looking, but lack energy, and your arteries may be 90% blocked – as a result of your diet.
7. Cold shower - Take a cold shower.
Yes, freezing cold is unbearable. You don’t have to do it that way. Start it off hot… like me. Then, after you’re medium-toasty (not well-toasty... it will make you more tired), put it on cold for as long as you can take it. Then, put it on hot for a minute… then cold for a minute. Repeat the hot-cold cycle a few times – this will not only wake you up fast, but it will expand and contract your pores to force out toxins and oils from the night. End the shower with a cold rinse – you want to be cold when you step out… it’s critical, as it will raise your metabolism, and keep it there. Try the cold shower thing for a week – you’ll notice a difference. A long, hot shower depresses your physiological systems and makes you want to go back to bed. A cold, invigorating shower will wake you up – fast. Try it.
8. Make Your Bed
This doesn’t serve as much of a purpose for in the morning, as it does for in the evening. I’ll explain how it works from my situation. I wake up. I do my morning routine. I (in this example) do not make my bed. I leave. I work all day, and at the end of the day, I think of all the projects that I am going to work on when I get home. However, when I get home into my room, I suddenly feel tired… there’s something drawing me to my bed. The covers are thrown back – like a great, yawning mouth of gaping comfort… calling for me to dive in after a long day at work. So I do – I jump in, cover up, get all toasty, and sleep away half of my evening – only to go to bed again a few hours later. Leaving your bed unmade kills your motivation. Not only does it appear messy, which drains your energy in its own right, but it also invites you back in repeatedly, when you usually cannot afford to. So, make your bed. You’ll notice you get more things done in the evening.
9. Time Savers
There are several small, simple things you can do to save time in the morning. For one, if you check your computer in the morning (MySpace, Facebook, email, stocks, weather, ect), then try this. Rather than shutting down your computer at night, put it in standby. You will save a few minutes over turning it on, and it won’t use any more electricity. If it takes your computer four minutes to boot up, multiplied over a year, that is over 24 hours! An entire day you would save if you followed the routine everyday. Another rather obvious tip is to put all your “to-go” items in one spot. Put your phone, wallet (or purse), watch, rings, notepad, ID badge, car keys, ect; all on the same part of the counter, or in a bowl perhaps. It will save you time searching for everything. Additionally, whatever time you are waking up now, wake up ten minutes earlier. It makes a world of difference in the morning. If you can get over the “I could sleep for ten more minutes” thinking, you will reap amazing benefits. Ten minutes can take a lot of the edge off of your morning, allowing you to take your time as you go about your routine. It can save you money as well. I can tell you in my case that if I leave a few minutes early, rather than driving 80 MPH to make it to work on time, I can drive 65-70 MPH, which, due to exponential drag and air resistance, is optimum gas mileage speed for my car, and saves me a few bucks each week in gas.
Self-Talk should be the most important part of any morning routine. In the morning, you need to load yourself with as much positive mental programming as possible. Your mind is most receptive to it in the morning (and at night), and it will shape the rest of your day. Your programming comes in many different forms, and it is our job to help you use it to your advantage. Mental programming is too much for this article… keep your eyes on us as we come out with new products to help you shape your mind exactly the way you want it – and help you live the life you deserve.
Posted by mrp721 at 18:13