January 11, 2021 4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Many don’t realize this, but when we first wake up in the morning, we are in a unique state of mind. Our hormone levels are high and our minds are operating with theta waves. In this state, we can access some parts of our unconscious mind which holds on to so many of our personal life secretes and creativity such as new business ideas.
This is why it is best to not rush into mindless activities such as phone calls, scrolling on social media or watching television first thing in the morning.
To utilize the most out of this unique state and squeeze all the goodness out of it, we should participate in mind boosting, self-serving activities right when we wake up.
These activities can include journaling, meditating, going for a walk, dancing, doing yoga, playing a sport and/or creating (whether that be a podcast, book, blog, YouTube channel or whatever you create).
Here are other potential morning activities you may want to consider.
Set an intention for your day in the morning. How do you want your day to feel and unfold? When you put this out into the universe, you’re able to gravitate more towards it throughout your day.
Write down what you’re most thankful for and express gratitude. This will make you feel more grateful and increase your feel-good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine.
Tapping into your nightly dreams
Another exercise that is great to do first thing in the morning while our theta waves are still active is to tap into the dreams you had that night and write them down. This activity can connect so many dots for you because our dreams stem from our realities. Your mind examines everything you encounter during the day and tries to make sense of it at night during your dreams by playing it out. Try to detect the manifest content and latent content of your dreams to see how it applies to you.
Your manifest content of your dream is the actual content you’re dreaming. For example, if you dream that you are being bitten and attacked by a shark while swimming in the ocean, this is the manifest content.
The latent content is the symbolic meaning behind this dream. Maybe the shark represents a boss that you have, and the attack represents an unresolved conflict.
By writing down your dream on real paper, you bring the unconscious to the conscious, making you feel less stressed and anxious. It also helps you feel clearer and more focused and allows you to make decisions accordingly. This is an excellent exercise to partake in.
My personal morning includes doing 15 minutes of yoga first to move my body, followed up by meditating and writing in my journal. I write down anything I can remember about my dream, my word of the day, and three things I’m grateful for. I then get dressed for the day, have my breakfast smoothie and get my little one ready for school.
Mornings are so magical because science shows your prefrontal cortex is more active and alert first thing in the morning. This part of your brain is involved in decision making and executive functioning. According to a 2002 article published in the Journal of General Psychology, we have about 70,000 thoughts per day on average. By the end of the day, your brain is exhausted and is ready for rest. This is why it is best to make decisions first thing in the morning while your prefrontal cortex is up and atom.
A scientific study of the brain confirmed that your highest creative activity is highest during and immediately after sleep. This is why it is best to scoop up and capture this state right when you wake up in the morning.
It’s no wonder why successful people such as Barbara Corcoran, Oprah Winfrey, Winston Churchill, Ronda Rousey, and Lebron James all have solid morning routines focusing on similar activities mentioned above.
Start your mornings right and indulge in a self-serving morning routine today for business success and overall life success.