We first make our habits, then our habits make us ~ John Dryden
Have you ever noticed that how you feel in the morning often determines your actions for the rest of the day?
Most of us wake up and we simply go with the flow of our emotions.
If we feel happy, then it’s going to be a good day.
If we feel depressed then it’s going to be a grueling one.
The problem with depending on your emotions in order to do the things that truly matter in your life is that your emotions are completely unreliable.
One moment you feel like moonwalking like Michael Jackson. The next second, you want to crawl under your bedsheet to never see the light of day ever again.
What you might not be aware of is that every emotion you feel is a result of biochemical processes in your brain and body.
Research has shown that the part of the brain known as the Limbic system is highly responsible for activating emotions.
Research has shown that the limbic system, autonomic nervous system, and reticular activating system are responsible for the physiological processing of emotion.
What this means is that whatever emotion you’re feeling right now as you read this article is basically the result of the mixture of certain neurochemicals in your system in a certain proportion.
Some of these neurochemicals include dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonin.
This is not a biology lecture so I’m going to stop lecturing here.
Now what happens is that we often pay so much attention to these temporal emotions so much so that they drive us to take actions that are not in our best interest. Actions that have long-term consequences and can even change the entire course of our lives.
For example, let’s take one of the worst-case scenarios. Suicide.
Can you imagine someone committing suicide because his body released a certain amount of a particular neurochemical at that moment in time?
Now, with the knowledge that emotions are simply caused by biochemical processes in our systems, what if there was a way to chose how we feel after we wake up in the morning?
How much more you can achieve? How much happier can you be?
I realized that these men had one thing in common.
They had figured out how to control their emotional states in the morning.
They were completely aware of the power your morning has over how much you can achieve in a day.
So, these great achievers had won the battle over emotions in the morning.
They accomplished this by developing a morning routine.
A morning routine is simply a set of activities that they do every single morning after waking up from the bed.
They know with absolute certainty that after completing those set of activities they will attain a certain emotional state that will allow them to work with energy, enthusiasm, and efficiency.
This was one of the “aha” moments of my life. It felt like I just solved a life-long misery.
For years I would wake up some mornings feeling sour like an unripe mango. Sometimes, I will stay in bed until noon and then head back to bed in the night feeling like a pile of dogshit.
When I realize what these legends were doing, I decided to give it a try.
I had to do something to break this vicious irregular pattern that was slowly shaping my life and steering me toward a pit of imminent failure and regret.
I decided to give it a try and create my own morning routine and see where it goes.
I would water my face with some cold water to keep me from rushing back to my bed.
Then, I decided to use the time to read a chapter of a book. Later, I incorporated writing into my morning and then sports.
What I experienced was mind-boggling. I woke up some mornings and every cell of my body will instruct me to go back to bed. No motivation for anything. My emotions all messed up.
But, every time I forced myself to complete just one of my morning routine activities, I would feel completely different. It’s like the dark clouds in my brain suddenly got replaced by a clear sunny sky.
Sometimes, I would wonder if I’m thesame person who didn’t even feel like getting out of bed a few minutes ago. Who felt lethargic and sour.
Please, know that I’m sharing my experiences with you not to impress you but to impress upon you one thing. If you can set up a morning routine for yourself and stick to it, God only knows how much better and how much more you can achieve in the next few months.
Right now, what I’m saying might not make sense to you. You might not even believe it to be true. That’s okay. What I want you to do is to just give it a try.
But how do I develop a morning routine that works for me?
Know that everyone is unique. Someone else’s morning routine might not work for you. My routine might not fit your health or work status.
So, here is what I propose. You have to experiment with different activities and their order of execution.
Your goal is to be able to find those set of activities that whenever you complete you feel your emotional state changes.
You will know when you find it. Your body is going to announce it to you.
That’s because you’ll notice that every time you complete that activity, you feel energized, you feel happy.
A small dose of dopamine aka ‘feel-good-hormone’ is released into your system which changes your state almost instantaneously.
Again, remember that emotions are caused by neurochemicals.
So, if you can find out activities that will boost the release of certain hormones like dopamine and serotonin, then you never need to worry about having a bad day or waking up on the wrong side of the bed ever again.
My recommendation is that you should choose activities that excite you. Especially those activities where you can experience growth over time.
Maybe learning how to play the piano, or learning a new language, or learning how to dance. Whatever works for you. Go for it.
There is one activity I will strongly suggest you include in your set of morning routines.
Movement of your body. It doesn’t matter if it is just 10 jumping jacks, or 5 pushups, or a few stretches.
This is one of the fastest ways known today of changing your emotional state. That’s why people who often go to the gym on average are often happier than those who never go.
Another thing I will recommend that works for me as well is to take a shower. A cold shower is preferable. But, go for whichever works for you.
Before you set up your morning routine, begin by specifying a time to wake up. Choose any time that works best for you. The key is that you should be consistent.
Start waking up at that time everyday. If you can discipline yourself and create that habit of waking up at a particular time every day, then the battle is won. Executing your morning activities will be as easy as licking icecream.
Do this and watch your world revolve in front of your eyes 180-degrees.
A morning routine is the fundamental habit of every successful person in life. This is because your morning has the power of controlling your entire day.
Due to the fact that we can’t control how we feel the instant we wake up from bed, it is dangerous to just go with the flow of emotions.
Doing that means you’re life is like a coin. Heads for a good day and Tails for a bad day. Total randomness.
This is a recipe for failure and ineffective utilization of the 24hours we get dished out every midnight.
Emotions are a result of certain neurochemical releases in our system and we have the ability to influence what gets released and therefore change our emotional states when we get out of bed.
A morning routine is a secret weapon to help you ensure that you’re always in a state of maximum energy and bliss. Ready to go through the day happy and fulfilled.
Remember that your emotions influence your actions and your actions determine the kind of person you become in the future.