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How to Wake up Every Morning on Top of The World

“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 six!”?

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.

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?”

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 toward 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 thirty 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.

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 twenty 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.

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 uplifting songs or ones that have 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 thirty 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.

Meditate.

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 five to ten 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?

Photo by notsogoodphotography

Avatar of Srinivas Rao

About Srinivas Rao

Srinivas Rao is an avid surfer and personal development blogger at the Skool of Life. He's the editor in Chief of the Flightster Travel Blog and host/co-founder of BlogcastFM, a podcast to help bloggers take their blog to the next level.

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  • Marileen

    A song that really fits this blog: India Arie – A Beautiful Day

  • http://www.biznicillin.com Kathleen Jaffe

    Srini, these are terrific ideas! Too many days, I start out thinking about all the stuff I have to deal with, and consequently manage to put myself in a bad mood before I've done a thing. I'm definitely going to try these suggestions.

  • Jessica

    Oooh, Marileen! I love that song!! Just a great post – great site. You guys are my daily dose of bliss. Thank you.

  • saraistwilightized

    Music…? but I'm Deaf, any suggestion for alternatives?

  • srinirao

    Kathleen,

    I've found that starting my morning this way just makes a huge difference in the quality of my day. I think how you start the day can really determine how the rest of it goes.

  • srinirao

    One alternative to music might be to spend some time in nature (near an ocean, a walk in the woods) if those are accessible options where you live. Hope that helps.

  • http://whollyafool.wordpress.com/ Michelle

    LOVE this post! I think I will start leaving little notes for myself to find in the morning to remind myself :)

  • srinirao

    Good idea. I should just put a post it on my computer screen with my morning questions :). Thanks for the suggestion.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/XX6P4MO6VGPKGJVLE43V2E7A7Q Ashna

    Thank you for this post. I have a bad habit of turning my laptop on in the morning and i will start tomorrow by not doing so…! Will go on a walk in the beautiful Davis Arboretum instead, contemplating the questions suggested :)

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  • Linwood Mooring

    That is excellent and true advice. keep giving that good advice and you will help many people. Keep up the great work.

  • Pdianne

    I practice the Lojong training of one at the beginning, one at the end. In the morning I set my intention for the day. So for example, today my intention was to focus on practicing patience. This evening before bed I will review the day and look at the things I have learned and that I will continue to learn.

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  • Anita

    I love to wake up early and sit in silence with a cup of coffee and my journal and just write anything that comes to mind. Kind of an exercise in hearing my inner voice. Also, like to do it with the thought of “be here now” and overwhelming gratitude. :)

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  • ricercar

    i love this! so true. loved the quote too :-)

  • http://madridingles.es danielwelsch

    I've been doing this for a while and it's great how I jump out of bed excited about the day to come!

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  • Joe LaBarbera

    Television is the worst thing for you, even readin the daily newspaper. Most news is very bad, and at times make U very sad. It would not be a bad idea if you Are reading a good book, to read some pages of it.Some fictional books can get your mind to relax a bit as you envision what the author is trying to say.

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  • remi

    When I wake up early morning I can see another side of my day,by the way meditation in early morning brings more realize and joyful for me.

  • Mutheriamflying

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvARxJoLirE&feature=fvw

    I found this on the internet. It is India.Arie singing the song with the lyrics visually on the screen.

  • Anonymous

    thank you, that’s thoughtful.

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  • Thulemin

    I’m stretching for 10 minutes (10 different exercises of 1min). I find it another way of meditating, slowly waking up my body & helps me feel more confident with my body. Longer stretching / yoga would just make me lazy to do it, so I found 10min the perfect balance (as yet) to get benefits from it :)

  • Ariess_tan

    when everyday means gift~

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  • Nikki D

    I truly needed a change to my mornings. THANK YOU for your inspiration!
    (@nicoledeleasa)

  • http://www.your-self-improvement-guidebook.com Watty12

    This is a great page – really like it and it is so true. I’m a great believer in positive self talk, and this just reinforces my thoughts. It is so true, talk to yourself positively and it makes such a difference to how you start your day.

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  • http://www.personal-development-is-fun.com/how-to-meditate.html C Meghashyam

    That’s an interesting option: asking myself what i am grateful for while I brush my teeth. That’s such a nice way to start the day on a bright note and yet i’ve  rarely, if ever done it.

    Thanks for the idea. :)

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  • http://jakyastikblogs.blogspot.com Jaky Astik

    My routine starts with meditation, of course. I am energized and fun all day long. 

  • palomar

    You know, I probably shouldn’t start my day with NPR either.  Most of the time my stomach is in a knot by the time I’m in the car.  My life generally feels like a wreck lately but this is seriously something I have in my control to change – the way I start my morning.

    Thank you!

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  • http://giddyfreckles.co.uk Rebecca

    I try to wake up early every morning. I love that feeling of being the only one awake in the world, and being present as the darkness turns into light.
    For the last few months, I’ve started every single morning with 20 minutes of yoga. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in ages, and I’d recommend it to anyone. I feel stronger, more flexible and more relaxed in the morning.
    However, I do suffer from negative thought syndrome when I hear my alarm each morning. Unless it’s Friday, because I know it’s only a few hours ’til the weekend, or Saturday, because I know I’ve got the whole weekend ahead of me. Depressingly, I even have negative thoughts upon waking on Sunday mornings because I know the end of the weekend is in sight. I’m really going to make a concerted effort to start asking myself positive questions in the morning. Also, I like the idea of a more soothing, melodic alarm. I always feel as if I’m suddenly jolted awake by mine, which can’t be healthy.
    I totally agree with your comment about the news too. I never ever watch it. In fact, I’ve pretty much eliminated all news coverage from my life (TV, radio and newspapers). I know it’s good to be aware of what’s happening in the world, but I was starting to find it far too depressing.

  • Jenny1336

    Awesome suggestions! Simple but the explanation of the impact is great!

  • Jenny1336

    How about screen savers that have photos of peaceful places, or of different designs? burn a cd ave play it on your tv.

  • Guest

    You remember your dreams best when you first wake up. First thing I do when I wake up is write down as much as I can remember from my dream (or dreams, sometimes I have a few in one night) in a dream journal. Sometimes I cant remember what happened very well but I can remember how the dream made me feel when I woke up so I jot that down as well. Helps with lucid dreaming :)

  • Slagnor Vorkus

    fuck yourself what u beleive if nothing

  • Slagnor Vorkus

    nothingness is everything

  • Ohana de Oliveira

    Everybody needs to have a sacred morning routine, mine is meditation, prayer, declarations, and the chapter of the day from Deepak Chopra’s book: The Seven Spiritial Laws of Success. Wake up and run to work or school, without having a time for yourself it is a sin against yourself.

  • Kristen Poborsky

    Great ideas! I have a morning routine in place that I do every morning that gets me into a positive mental space too. I found some great things here that I can add to it as well. My favorite suggestion are the questions that I should be asking myself each morning. I’ll do that when I journal each morning.

  • ellen ross

    I LOVE THIS ARTICLE!!!

  • Greg B

    I’ve been testing my night-time ritual a lot over the past 6 months and I am about to get started on my mornings. I find this to be a great place to start. I’ve noticed the first minutes of my day really sets the tone.

  • A

    I absolutely loved this post. Thank you! I will definitely try these tips in the morning because recently I have been waking up with a sense of dread. I have been feeling like I don’t want the day and want the night to continue so I don’t have to face it. This is really positive though and I will start practising it to see if it helps.

  • http://www.simplecapacity.com/ Nikola Gjakovski

    Lets face it. Mornings are the best and only way to start your day (unless you were in the disco up to six o’clock in the morning). The best prediction for the day is the mornings. This is great article to guide your through morning routines and inspirational questions to remind yourself why are we walking on this earth and what is our goal. Great article!

  • Talya Price

    This was a great read and a constant reminder to take time out for ME. I have been lacking in that area of my life. I wake up every morning and meditate. Then I try to interpret the dreams I had the night before. The Universe is always talking to me and guiding me in the right direction.

  • http://wildfitness.com.au/ Anna

    I love this one: “How can I make today absolutely awesome?” It’s a super empowering thing to realise you have the ability to create your day like this :)

  • Mike

    Love this post! I set my alarm to play music that I enjoy. It makes waking up so much better.

  • http://movemequotes.com/ Matthew Hogan

    My morning routine consists of a hot shower, 10 minutes of foam rolling, 20 minutes of stretching, and a 10 minute meditation. I’ve been doing this for several months now and always feel awake, relaxed, and ready to take on my day when I’m done; as though I’m starting my day on purpose. Which, of course, is in stark contrast to rolling out of my bed last minute and hustling to keep up with day as it unfolds. Now, I just need to work on re-framing the questions I ask myself… ;)

  • Sue S

    Thank you so much for these simple ways to help my day start in a positive way.

  • http://www.finallywriting.com/ Jackie

    Lovely article! I love the idea and practice of turning our intention towards gratitude, looking inward and honoring ourselves to set the foundation for the day.

  • http://enhancedawareness.com Jules Youngberg

    I had never heard of asking empowering questions in the morning but it makes total sense. I like to practice yoga in the morning, meditate and have a cold shower. I find this routine has me energized and ready for the rest of the day. The morning routine is really an important part of the day and influences how the entire day goes. Once the day starts bad, it is easy to make it worse and worse with a negative outlook. However if we manage to ensure we have positive mornings our days will be much more enjoyable.

  • http://projectsimplelife.com/ Mariel

    On my drive to work I like to drive in silence. Sometimes I’ll stop at Starbucks and get a tea latte to enjoy on my way. Because I live in the sierras I’m surrounded by mountains no matter where I’m at in the city and driving to work I get to enjoy this even more. It’s a great way to remind myself why I love life. That there is all this beauty surrounding me waiting to be hiked and appreciated after work or a long week. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Rosemary Mattingley

    One of my dogs is always so eager to start the new day. I would usually sooner sleep longer and wish he wouldn’t make so much noise in his eagerness, but I have come to realise that he’s happy to be awake and ready to start something new, so it’s actually very inspiring!

  • Jagoda

    I love the questions to start the day–I’m going to ask them beginning tomorrow morning and continue it for 30 days. I work with people in conflict and use empowering techniques with them. Good reminder to use them with myself also. Starting out on a positive note builds resilience as well as the benefits you mention..

  • http://whoneedsagenre.com Selorm Salam

    This is very true. As a kid my mom would always make sure we had our “quiet time” before we started the day. As a kid I kind of hated it but as I get older I still do it. It stuck with me and I see the effects. People tell me that I am really cool all the time (which isn’t true, who is cool all the time?) But I get what they mean. I take life VERY easy no matter what I may be going through. I attribute part of it to my quiet time. I’m sharing this on my blog!

  • Robert

    What a great article, my mornings are a mess! My only routine is being stressed about leaving on time (long commute) and not giving myself enough time to do anything but the very minimum to start my day.

  • http://joelkey.com/ Joel Key

    Great post Srinivas. Personally, the morning is my most productive time, and so it’s essential that my attitude reflects the positive approach I aim for in my work. I find that movement, stretching and breathing exercises provide the clarity of mind for an excellent start to the day.

  • Rico

    nice read. thanks for sharing

  • Ayesha Arshad

    Just dropping a hi Srinivas. Read your article and found it really inspiring. A good night’s sleep and a nice start to the day always ensures that the day glides by smoothly. Can’t agree more with the idea of starting the day with gratitude. A while ago, I developed this habit of waking up and instantly thinking about everything that was wrong with my life and I would remain depressed through out the day. Took me a while to fix this, and I started with waking up and giving thanks for another new shiny bright morning :)

  • Ayesha Arshad

    Struck a chord with me when you said your mom made sure you had your quiet time before the start of the day. I wish we all had such insights to instill into our children such healthy habits which are SO important to survive the stressful lives that we lead these days!

  • Pratibha
  • CeLeBi

    I just chat shit to myself all day and make myself laugh and pretend wierd stuff is happening like im 25 so its ok i think to be extremely happy for pretend reasons :D and lots of happyness is shared too so awesome.

  • Ben

    How do I free myself from thought during meditation? I don’t. Just like I have learned to deal with physical pain and the dangerous emotions that come with it, I choose now to realize that I have thought and will always have it. Becoming caught up in it is when I lose my concentration and composure. Realizing that I have thought (and pain) always is comforting for me. I don’t push it away; I allow it to be there with me during my meditation but don’t become distracted my it. Knowing it is always there allows me to go beyond thought (free myself of it) and go into the deeper absorption a of the mind, later coming back to thought if necessary. But sometimes I stay with the thoughts and investigate them, seeing what insights can arise. For me, meditation isn’t the freedom and separation from thoughts, but the wisdom to be with them mindfully and carefully, and knowing when to let them go.

  • kavin paker

    You have an entertaining way of writing and yes I love the why, I usually ask ” What are you hear to teach me
    Hotel Munich

  • DD

    Surround yourself with photos or pictures, images of things you love. Sunrise,sunset, a baby’s smile, flowers, the Sky’s the limit.

  • L

    I read this 2 minutes after waking up =P
    Thanks, insanely awesome and to ponder what I’m grateful for is exactly what I needed. It immediately shifted my perspective from wandering in weird/fast/random thoughts to a more calm state. <3