60-Minute Supercharge: Five Hacks to Boost Your Mornings
60 minute supercharge
This is not another article detailing the morning routine of a trending CEO. For those of us racing to make ends meet in our 9-5, finding an hour-long workout, a green juice and 20 minutes of meditation isn’t always possible.
However, Mark Twain was right when he said that “the secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Science shows that a healthy start can enhance our well-being throughout the day.
We’re here to kick back and bust the Hollywood morning routine. With these five simple hacks, you have the tools you need to set your day up for success. It’s tried and tested, takes less than an hour and leaves you feeling ready to face the day.
Morning Habit #1: Send Boosts
One of the best ways to kickstart your morning is to boost someone else’s morning. Research shows that kindness and mental health are strongly linked with 63% of Brits feeling that their mental health improves when others show kindness to them.
It seems that emotion is contagious, with those who provide social support up to 10 times more likely to be happier and more productive than those who don’t.
That’s why Aldwin Boscawen took courage. The app is designed to help you harness the power of your connection by sending (and receiving) anonymous messages of support, called ‘boosts’, throughout the day.
Unlike other social media, Morale isn’t designed to keep you scrolling for hours in bed. You wake up, write your personal boosts and send them to your invite-only network of real friends. Then you close the app, feeling good and ready to move on with your day.
Morning Habit #2: Get Moving
The physical benefits of exercise are well known, but moving your body first thing in the morning can also have a powerful effect on your mind.
how does it work? When we move, our body releases endorphins; The body’s own combined pain reliever and mood enhancer. At the same time, our stress hormone levels drop giving us a combined feeling of happiness and relaxation.
Exercise also helps to increase our energy level and regulate our sleep-wake cycle. It can also help relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.
This close connection between our bodies and minds can create a chicken-and-egg dynamic between exercise and our well-being. On the one hand, when we feel physically healthy, our mental health often improves. Similarly, feeling better about yourself can be a driver for getting out there and moving forward.
The challenge arises when we have to break out of physical stasis when we are feeling down – I have been there and it is extremely challenging.
My advice is to start consistently. Morning exercise routine doesn’t need to be a huge commitment. Evidence shows that even 15 minutes of running, yoga or stretching can significantly improve your mood. If you can exercise outside and get some sunlight, even better.
Morning Habit #3: Keep Breathing
How hard can it be to breathe, right? We’ve been doing it all our lives. It turns out that breathing properly can actually be quite unnatural for us, especially during times of high stress.
Rebecca Dennis, founder of The Breath Tree, says that a lot of emotion is held in our breath. By changing the rate, depth and pattern of our breathing, we can actually change the messages being sent to our brain.
Deep breathing helps us switch out of our sympathetic nervous system (SNS), the state responsible for that dreaded fight-or-flight feeling we get when we’re under stress.
When our SNS is activated for a long period of time, stress becomes chronic and we may begin to experience nervousness and anxiety. Upon exiting that state through controlled breathing, our blood pressure and heart rate decrease, giving our body a chance to rest and digest.
At first, mindful breathing takes a lot of discipline and practice, but once you have it down, you can get into the rhythm of it within minutes of rolling out of bed.
In fact, yoga teachers recommend that 5-10 minutes each morning is sufficient to experience the invigorating and mood-elevating effects of breathing exercises.
Even better, breathing exercises can be done anywhere. Step-by-step guides like this one from the NHS can help you boost your breathing routine.
Morning Habit #4: Embrace the Cold
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a fan of freezing. I haven’t gotten on the open water swimming bandwagon that has been popularized by practices such as the Wim Hof method. If it’s not even your bag, no problem.
Reaping the rewards of cold water therapy can be as simple as turning the shower dial on cold for a few minutes. This simple act of *minor self-torture* has been found to release endorphins in a similar way to exercise. Some people who regularly start their day by taking a cold plunge have reported sustained stress relief, as well as improvements in memory, mood, and energy over a longer period of time.
Morning Habit #5: Hydration Station
Now for the big one. We know this is no easy task but resist the urge to reach straight for the coffee. After several hours without water, a serving of H20 helps hydrate our brain and body, allowing us to think clearly throughout the day. It also has physical benefits: Drinking water in the morning has been found to benefit digestion and increase energy levels for many people. To help you keep up the habit, try drinking a large glass of water by your bed before bedtime and 90-120 minutes after waking up to have caffeine.
Think of these suggestions as a buffet rather than a set menu. Everyone is different and what works for one will not work for all. Through trial and error, you’ll figure out which of these hacks you’ll keep, which you’ll adopt and which you’ll let go. There’s no one ‘miracle morning routine’ – but implementing some of these positivity-inspiring habits can help you feel energized, happier and more connected to those around you. So go ahead and give it a shot!
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