Good Mornings or Moanings?

Suzy Green 08.24.2015 Health

Are you a morning person?

This month I was asked to be an expert consultant on the new Nespresso Positive Morning campaign. You may have seen some of their advertisements in magazines recently including this month’s Qantas in-flight magazine. Unfortunately Geoge (Clooney) wasn’t available for the gig but the amazing Donna Hay was! I was also lucky enough to meet Donna and admit to her that cooking is not one of my strengths!
My role was to review and release survey results that Neilson Research had conducted on behalf of Nespresso that found that 8 out of 10 people believe that having a morning routine is essential to creating a positive day yet 7 out of 10 state they feel too rushed to implement one! The statistics were even more compelling for women and for those living in Sydney!

I also was asked to do a review of the scientific literature to find evidence for the benefits of being a morning person and boy there’s a lot! The benefits include:

• Being happier
• Being healthier
• Getting better grades at school
• Getting into better colleges
• Getting better jobs
• Being more proactive
• Eating breakfast
• Having lower alcohol and drug use
• Having a lower BMI (body mass index)

I also found literature that suggested those that are identified as “evening people” tend to suffer higher levels of depression.

So if you’re looking for reasons to become a morning person, these should be at least a kick-start in considering a move towards morningness!

Age does matter!

I also discovered that there are more evening people in the under 30 age group and more morning people in the over 50’s. Between the ages of 30 and 50 morningness and eveningness (as they are referred to in the scientific literature) are evenly spread. So if you’re under 50 there could be a real benefit in becoming a morning person, even giving you a competitive edge in terms of creating success in your life and work.

Can you become a morning person?

Yes, the answer is definitely YES! For people that suffer depression there is something known as “light therapy” which basically creates artificial morning light for you to wake up naturally. I also discovered an App called “Sunrise Alarm” where you can set an alarm to wake you up over a period of time (eg. 10 mins) to music that you choose (eg. birds or roosters).

Another simple way is to slowly start to push your waking time backwards – even 5-10 minutes earlier than you usually get up can move you towards morningness. To support you though in fully utilising the 5-10 minutes that you now have up your sleeve, the best recommendation I could give would be to proactively create a positive morning ritual or routine before you begin.

Creating Positive Morning Rituals

For those at the extreme end of morningness, I found in my research that these “morning people” have clear and energising positive morning routines often lasting up to an hour – often referred to as the “Golden Hour”. However even 5-10 minutes can make a huge difference particularly if you practice some of the techniques proven by science to boost your well-being such as mindfulness. Here’s a list of common morning ritual activities for you to consider:

• Mindfulness Meditation (or another form of meditation)
• Journalling
• Gratitude exercises
• Lighting a candle
• Praying
• Visualisation techniques
• Affirmations
• Setting an intention for the day
• Yoga/Tai-Chi
• Reading uplifting literature
• Listening to uplifting music
• Hydrating – Drinking water with lemon
• Writing or Reviewing your Goals/Tasks list

If you’re looking for a brief routine, check out the 6 Minute Miracle Morning routine. I came across this in my review and can highly recommend it.

Are you a morning person?

Yes there’s even a scientific assessment you can do to determine whether you are a morning or evening person – email us for it if you’d like a copy – info@thepositivityinstitute.com.au.

Recommended Reads

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

A wonderful book aimed at enhancing creativity. One of the main ideas is to implement the “morning pages”. Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. You can purchase “The Artist’s Way” via our Book Depository Affiliate link – http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=PosInstAff

And for a bit of fun….

For those of you that are old enough to remember “Allo Allo” you will recall Officer Crabtree, the Gendarme, whose catchphrase was “good moaning” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGNVU5ZjlgA.

This month’s challenge…

Given the psychological benefits shown to be associated with morningness, this month we’re going to challenge you to make the most of your mornings by:

1. Committing to waking up earlier – Set the alarm to at least 5 minutes earlier but ideally aim for at least 15 minutes. Write out a list of 5 reasons WHY you would benefit from being a morning person.

2. Creating a positive morning routine – Before you begin, invest in some time creating your own bespoke routine. Perhaps review the list of potential activities above and commit to trialling at least one this month. Of course, if you’re keen, try out more!

3. Reviewing your progress – At the end of the month, determine if you’re going to keep it up or step it up a level? What worked well? What would you do differently? How can you maintain a positive morning routine? Finally be clear on the benefits you’ve gained and how these can support you in creating a flourishing life.

We’d love to hear more about your #positivemorningroutines on our Facebook page (The Positivity Institute). And if you’re looking for inspiration, Oprah recently conducted a series of interviews with some of her favourite people about their morning rituals – here’s the link to Oprah interviewing Jon Kabat-Zinn (creator of MBSR – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl7_vFWZqkU.

Oh and of course, I personally end my positive morning rituals with my favourite Nespresso Grand Cru (Fortissio Lungo) – it’s the green capsule of course!

Until next month, happy positive mornings…

Lots of love, PI & I (Suzy)

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