Wanna have a great day? Um… YES you do. The good news? You have control over this. I love learning how our brains work. How much we can influence our minds to work, how we wish them to, is always fascinating to me. I always find interesting articles on Scientific American, if you care to nerd out with me. You can read more in-depth information on brain states here.
I started reading on what state our brains are in when we wake up, after watching a TikTok video. It stated that we can influence our minds in the morning by changing what we do in that first 15 minutes. If you are like me, and I imagine many of you are; you grab your phone and start checking your Facebook, Instagram or whatever your drug of choice is. Drug is a strong word, yes, but these actions become addictions, like it or not, it’s truth. So I set out to reshape my morning routine so I am more likely to experience a better day.
I will not go into great detail on brainwaves here. You can read up on the 4 different brain waves if this spikes your curiosity. When you wake up in the morning, your brain goes through an awakening cycle. Often tittering between theta and alpha brain states before entering beta, what I call “task mode”. Both brain waves will have your brain in a relaxed mental state. You can have a productive and meaningful connection to your sub-conscience mind and therefore bring about a more positive state of mind. This isn’t the only time your brain enters this state during the conscience periods of the day. You often enter a theta state when doing repetitive activities that need little mental work. This is the reason you zone out while driving the same route you take to work, or why you have those exceptional shower thoughts.
Alpha state is similar, although more alert than theta, your brain is still in a relaxed state. You enter this state when your brain takes a rest. Perhaps during meditation or even when you have completed a task and you take a break to go for a walk or just sit. You will enter this state as your brain becomes more awake and you are leaving the theta state.
For the first 5-15 minutes of your day you are in either a theta or alpha state. When your brain is in these states, it’s not thinking too much of any task and thus what you bring into your thoughts will influence your sub-conscience. Being aware of your brain states is valuable. This period in your day is a gateway to your sub-conscience mind.
If you ever tried meditating, you know how hard it can be to relax and quiet the mind to tap into your sub-conscience. So often we stay in beta state for most of our awake hours. When you bring awareness to the daily gifting of being in this state, you will generate more positive thoughts throughout your day.
Here are the things I do that changed my overall mood during the day.
I admit, I am lucky. I wake up each morning to one of my cats and my dog gentling nudging me and making the cute sounds that animals make. Before I even open my eyes I say what I am grateful for that morning. My first thoughts are how grateful I am for my love bugs waking me up and the brisk air in the morning. It doesn’t matter that I repeat the same things every morning. It immediately brings my brain to a cheerful place. Intentional gratitude is always a great way to raise your vibration.
I get it… to sit and write before you are well awake sounds taxing; contrarily, it’s relaxing. I used to journal after my morning yoga and meditation. I changed this after reading more on our brains state when we first wake. Instead, I journal first thing in the morning. I write my gratitudes again, this makes me smile as I am writing and by this time my list flows. I write a few affirmations. Last, I write who I want to send love and light to that day. On a teaching day I always do this for my students and call me crazy, but this practice has improved my classes, notably with my challenging kiddos. As I write I play calming music to go with my journal time.
That’s right, I said it again. WWAP!! Water people! I am telling you; it does wonders. I chug an enormous cup of water in the morning; it starts my day off right and wakes me up. There was a time in my life where I was half asleep turning on the coffee machine. Then sit in a zombielike state while I drink my coffee and zone out before peeling myself off the couch to take a shower. I love coffee more than most and switching water for coffee first thing has been life changing. I still drink coffee, but only after I am ready to hop on my computer.
The 21/90 Rule
The 21/90 rule says it takes 21 days to create a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle. I challenge you to do this in the morning. You can follow what I do, or create your own routine in the morning. I promise, this sets you up for a great day. It doesn’t mean that every day will be perfect. Believe me, I have plenty of days where I am in an energy funk, but for at least few minutes, I am content and calm. Now, I don’t look at my phone until I have been awake for at least 2 hours. I am not missing anything, whatever is happening on my phone, social media, whatever, can wait. I am more important. My peace of mind is more important. YOU are more important!