“You get peace of mind not by thinking about it or imagining it, but by quietening and relaxing the restless mind.” -Remez Sasson
What’s the first thought that goes through your head when you wake up in the morning? Is it deliberate or is it the default “Oh shi#$, it’s 6am!”?
If that’s how you start your day, then it’s likely your day will be filled with anxiety and stress. It’s not exactly the most productive mechanism for getting things done.
In the last week or two, I’ve been experimenting with something that has really changed how I feel about everything. I’ve talked about morning power questions in the past and have suggested you should ask yourself before anything “What’s the best that Could Happen?”. Questions are quite powerful if used in the right way.
How to Use Morning Power Questions
When you wake up in the morning you are always asking yourself questions whether you realize it or not. As you brush your teeth, drink your coffee or eat your breakfast thoughts are running through your head. You might be thinking “why am I so I tired, why didn’t I sleep earlier, what am I going to eat, etc, etc.”
These things generally don’t serve any useful purpose and in some cases as you can see are even hurting you. The idea behind using questions is to take conscious control of the direction of your day. So, let me give you a few examples of things that you could ask yourself first thing in the morning:
- What do I have to look forward to today?
- What’s absolutely perfect about my life?
- How can I make today absolutely awesome?
- What’s the best thing that could happen today?
By asking yourself these kinds of questions you start to shift the focus of your mind towards all of the things you want to have happen. One interesting thing to note is that your questions don’t need to have any basis in reality because your brain will answer anything you ask it quite literally. So if you’re going to be delusional, you might as well make your delusions extremely empowering.
The key to using this effectively however is to do it for 30 days in a row. What happens when you do this is that your brain will create a link, known as a neuro-association, between the empowering states you create with your questions and being awake in the morning.
One Question to Ask Yourself Every Morning
For about two weeks now, I’ve been asking myself one question from the moment I wake up. “What am I grateful for?.” You’ve heard before that you should start every single day with an attitude of gratitude. This is probably the simplest way to actually do that.
If you ask yourself that question enough days in a row you will wake up feeling on top of the world every single day. As you start to view your life and the world around you as full of things to be grateful for, you’re going to bring more and more of that into your life.
We all have lots to be grateful for, but we often get caught up in all the things that are wrong with our lives. Hopefully this will enable you shift your focus.
Ways to Change Your Morning Routine
I want you to give some consideration to changing up how you start your day. In addition to power questions I encourage you to start your day in a more peaceful, quiet way then you have in the past. I think you’ll find that the impact this will have on you both physically and mentally will quite powerful.
1. Don’t turn on the computer or TV.
As a blogger, for the last year or so the first thing I would do every single morning is turn on the computer. Even if you are not a blogger you may have a tendency to turn on the computer right when you wake up. Starting your brain off with so much information overload right when you wake up can’t possibly be healthy.
I encourage you to just enjoy your coffee or breakfast for about 20 minutes. Turning on the TV is one of the most insidious things you can do. The news can have such a negative impact on you that you might not even realize it. The news is generally about everything that’s wrong in the world and this is the first thing you become exposed to in the morning.
One thing that we know from years of self help is that our minds tend to be extremely receptive in the morning. That’s why I encourage you not to turn on the TV if you’ve been doing it.
2. Listen to music/something uplifting.
I love listening to music and when possible I even use an alarm that actually plays music. I try to find really uplifting songs or even songs that have really peaceful melodies. One of the best times to listen to a self-help tape or program is right when you wake up. Think about how the effect this will have on you if you do this for about 30 days.
If you listen to inspirational/uplifting material right when you wake up then you will eventually condition that message into your mind and connect it with waking up in the morning.
I think one of the most challenging things about meditating is to free yourself from thought. As somebody with a mind that moves at what feels like a million miles a minute, this isn’t something I’m great at myself. Early in the morning your mind is in a fairly quiet state and even 5-10 minutes of deep centered relaxation/meditation can make a huge difference in your day.
How do you start your morning routine? Is there anything else you’d add to this list?
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