In 2011, a team from Ohio State University conducted a study on a group of customer service representatives to find if there was a link between their morning moods and how they reacted to customers throughout the day.
The study used independent coders to listened to the calls and participants were asked to complete several mood-researching questionnaires at different times of the day. Eventually, the result came as expected: How participants felt as they clocked in each morning affected the way they dealt with customers.
In other words:
- How you feel in the morning matters.
- It will dictate how you feel for the rest of the day.
- You`d better work on improving your early mood.
Which raises the big question: How can you build good morning habits that ensure you feel positive most of the time?
I`ve done my research, and here`s what science says about how to have an awesome morning…
1. Stop using the alarm (for a while)
Stop using the alarm to force yourself to sleep early and sleep enough. It`s hard putting a smile on your face when all the sleep you had for the night was three unsatisfying hours. Crappy nights simply don`t make good mornings.
One of largest sleep surveys in UK`s history says that 83 percent of people experience low mood and lack of concentration because of insomnia. Another study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found a link between long periods of irregular sleep schedules and lower self-reported morning and evening happiness, healthiness, and calmness.
Deciding not to use an alarm to wake you up makes you rethink your sleeping habits. You know you have to wake up early for work, but you also know there`s no way you`ll wake up at six if you go to bed at 3 a.m., so you have to find a way. And the only option you have is going to bed early to get those seven or eight hours of sleep Arianna Huffington talked about in her famous TEDTalk.
2. Say ‘No’ to early emails
I totally understand that people are different regards their email responsibilities, but try as much as you can to not check any emails at these two periods: first thing in the morning and late at night.
First thing in the morning
Tim Ferris mentioned in his bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek, that he checks no emails until he finishes his morning routine which is normally one or two hours after he wakes up. Time-management Expert Sid Savara also shares the same idea as he believes emails often come with negative or unexpected problems and you don`t want to handle them first thing in the morning.
Late at night
I know this post is about improving your morning but you also have all the right to disconnect after a long, busy workday. According to a recent study by Lehigh University, after-hours email expectations cause emotional exhaustion and inhibits life-work balance. It`s the reason why France passed a labor law in 2016 that banned employees from checking their emails after regular work hours and on the weekend.
3. Beat workout-laziness with this small trick
Exercising has many mental benefits and you have to do it regularly to stay at your peak. It`s a reason why the super-busy, mother of two like Victoria Beckham works out twice a morning, seven days a week. But the truth is, no-one loves to leave the comfort of their bed and go all sweaty on a treadmill —not even athletes— so you have to trick your mind to help you out.
I can help you. There`s one trick I use to overcome workout laziness. It`s simple, easy, and super effective and has never failed me once over the past seven years. Not even once.
Got you interested?
This trick is: Do just one rep, or one minute, of the activity you wish to complete. Yes, a friend of mine is a NASM certified personal trainer and, when he`s not in the mood, he puts things like “do one pushup,” or “run for one minute” on his calendar and leaves the rest to momentum.
In fact, even if run for a minute and then stop, you`ll still reap the benefits. According to this 2013 study by the University of Utah, one minute of any intense activity can have the same weight-loss effects provided by 10 minutes of a low-intensity exercise. Think of all physical and mental benefits you can get if you do one minute of burpees, mountain climbers or jumping jacks each morning.
I recently finished a book called Tools of the Titans and the author, Tim Ferris, claims that 80 percent of the many billionaires and celebrities he interviewed for the book either meditate or do yoga every single day. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in an interview two years ago that one year of practicing Transcendental Meditation has saved his career and changed his life.
If it`s working for him, then no doubt it`ll work for you.
Meditation has tons of benefits: It controls anxiety, reduces stress, improves sleep and boosts self-awareness. Studies also found that a healthy lifestyle plus meditation lowers the risk of heart attacks.
And the best thing about it: you can do it anywhere. There are tons of meditation apps available online that you can use for a quick five or 10-minute practice. Start slow, if you`re a beginner, and make it a habit. It can save your life.