Morning is the most important part of the day. When you have a good start, it sets you up for success for the rest of the day. When you win the morning, you have a better chance of winning the afternoon and evening too. But when you have a bad or problematic morning, it's tough to recover, and your day can become stressful and unproductive. Here are three things you can do to win each morning.
First, get enough sleep. It's important start the day well rested. In general, it takes about seven hours for you to feel well rested. But 33 percent of adults don't get enough sleep and consequently are sluggish and lethargic in the morning. When you feel sleepy, you won't perform at your peak level. In fact, sleep deprivation has been linked to car accidents and negligence, as well as health effects such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
No matter how busy you are, find the time to get enough rest. This might mean not bringing your smartphone into your bedroom because it can easily distract you. Instead, set your morning alarm on your phone and place it in another room, so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Confirm that your bed is comfortable so that you can fall asleep quickly.
Second, make your bed. It takes so little time to make your bed, but doing so will give you a sense of accomplishment. Then you can then turn your attention to achieving the next task. In a sense, making your bed should be your first domino of personal achievement every day.
Admiral William McCraven who was a Navy SEAL and wrote the book "Make Your Bed" says that "If you can't do the little things right, you'll never be able to do the big things right. If, by chance, you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that's made." Indeed, when you have a tough day, a nicely-made bed will give you confidence that tomorrow might be brighter.
Third, meditate. Your day will likely be filled with noise: from the daily commute to people chattering in the office. Rarely are you enveloped by the silence that's in your bedroom. Take advantage of that quietness by finding a few moments to breathe deeply. Close your eyes and focus on the sound of your breath. Picture the air filling your lungs as you inhale.
After just a few moments, you'll inevitably feel a sense of calm which is exactly the mentality you'll need to face the busy and boisterous outside world. Mediation can engender many health benefits from lower cortisol levels which can reduce stress. It can also boost your focus and concentration.
By adopting these three practices, you won't just win the morning. You'll have a better chance of making each day a triumph.
Commentary by Deepak Chopra and Kabir Sehgal. Chopra is the author of The Healing Self with Rudolph E. Tanzi, the founder of The Chopra Foundation, co-founder of Jiyo and The Chopra Center for Wellbeing. Sehgal is a New York Times bestselling author. He is a former vice president at JPMorgan Chase, multi-Grammy Award winner and U.S. Navy veteran. Chopra and Sehgal are co-creators of Home: Where Everyone Is Welcome, inspired by American immigrants.
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