16 Ways to Amp Up Your Brain Power in the Morning
Ever wonder why some people are able to be hyper-productive each morning? It’s because their brains are ready for the day at an early time, they get their “neurons firing" and brain working. Fortunately, there are many great exercises that you can use to help get yourself moving each morning. This will help increase your brain activity and get your ready for the day ahead. Learning to create positive, healthy habits each morning is a great way to improve the overall health of your brain. Read below and you will find plenty of great activities that you can use each morning before work or school to help you kick your brain into gear!
Try Taking a Cool Shower. I know what you are thinking: “taking a cold shower is ridiculous." And I agree, taking a cold shower is ridiculous. With that said, it does a great job at getting us motivated and it definitely “wakes up" our brains. If you’ve never tried to take a shower in the morning, try it sometime and see how you feel. I usually never intentionally take a cold shower, but ended up taking plenty in my lifetime.
The washing machine would be running and suck up the warm water in the winter and I’d get a nice dose of cold water in the morning. Sure it doesn’t feel very pleasant, but it definitely does the job. Each time a cold shower ends, I feel alert, energetic, and ready to have a productive morning. If you don’t like taking cold showers, feel free to compromise by taking a “cool shower." – It will likely do the job too!
Listen to Some Energetic Music. For those who really want to wake up feeling charged, create a CD or playlist that is motivating, inspiring, or that has a quick tempo. Fast-paced music forces people to want to start moving. Maybe you’d like to start your day by playing an upbeat mix of tunes and dancing to them! You’d get a little workout, plus you’d feel pumped up and ready to take on the world after you were done. Who knows, maybe you’d even feel like taking a *cold shower! Haha.
Get Plenty of Sleep. It can be very difficult to have a great morning every day if you aren’t getting adequate sleep the night before! Each person needs a different amount of sleep: some individuals are able to run on 5 hours effectively, while others need over 8 hours. Either way, be sure you are meeting your individual sleep requirements. Getting plenty of sleep the night before allows you to wake up easier in the morning, and truly take advantage of your mornings. I have done plenty of sleep research and it seems that “going to sleep when you are tired" + “waking up at the same time each morning" is the optimal sleep strategy.
Have Fruit Juice with Breakfast. Whether you are a fan of either coffee or green tea, fruit juice is yet another alternative. Having a hearty glass of Orange Juice, Apple Juice, Grape Juice, Pineapple Juice, etc. will be a great way to start up your brain in the morning. All of these juices contain healthy amounts of sugars, nutrients, and vitamins that will lace your brain cells with plenty of energy that they will be able to utilize throughout almost the entire day to communicate with one another. My personal favorite is to drink a big glass of Orange Juice, but all types of fruit juice are extremely healthy. Each will ensure a high-performance brain state in the morning.
Set an Alarm Clock. Most people set alarm clocks in order to wake up in time for their work shift or school classes. Whether they know it or not, setting an alarm clock is suggested to ensure a productive, mentally stimulating morning. We know it is optimal to “go to bed when you are tired" and to “wake up at the same time each day."
In attempt to wake up at the same time each day, it can be difficult to do without an alarm clock. I intentionally set my alarm clock away from my bed because it forces me to make my tired butt “get up." Once I wake up and walk over to my alarm clock, I feel tired, but I am able to stay awake and boost up my brain each morning!
Many people believe that it is good to literally “jump out of bed" as if someone dumped ice water on your face. While that method is a great way to get your brain amped for the day, another way is to massage your body. Massage your face, arms, legs, and slowly work your way up. I prefer the quick “jack-in-the-box" method, but either way works! There is nothing wrong with sleeping in, other than you will miss out on taking advantage of [your brain and] the morning.
Wake up to the Smell of Freshly Brewed Coffee. Waking up to the smell of coffee is easy to accomplish if you enjoy drinking coffee. There is even some research that suggests just from the aroma of coffee, brain activity will increase along with your physical energy level. It is important to remember, though, that you should strive to drink coffee in “moderation." Too much coffee and your brain waves will shift to a rapid pattern (high-beta). This will likely leave you stressed out and anxious. Too little coffee and you won’t reap the brain boosting effects. I personally don’t drink coffee in the morning, but scientific data suggests that coffee in moderation can actually be a great way to boost electrical activity in your brain in the morning!
Consider Drinking Green Tea. If you aren’t the type of person who likes to drink coffee, you may want to consider drinking some tea instead! Green Tea and other teas have been proven to be great for your brain. They boost activity and provide you with healthy nutrients that will stay in your body throughout the entire morning. I have found Green Tea to be very calming. It soothes and relaxes my body, yet it seems to get my brain ready for the day! It tastes great, smells great, and is great to drink in the morning before eating breakfast.
Turn on the Lights, Get a Dose of Sunshine. It makes it increasingly difficult to fully wake up or stay awake when you feel as if you are in a dark cave! Turn on some bright lights in the morning and let light shine in through your windows. A good habit to get into is opening up the blinds on your windows! Light is great for boosting brain power and activity. Natural sunlight is the best, but lightboxes are a great way to get started too! People with S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) – get depressed in the winter due to lack of natural sunlight.
This suggests that sunlight has a direct effect on the activity in our brains. When we deprive our brains of light, we will stay in a groggy, sleeplike state of consciousness – that is, until we feed our brain some sunlight! Bright light clears the fog from this slower [theta] brain wave state and shifts our brain wave activity to [beta] higher frequencies. These higher frequencies promote a happy, active brain / state of mind. Sunlight also triggers the release of certain neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine – both of which are great for brain health. Any form of powerful light in the morning is great for promoting a healthy circadian rhythm and amping up your overall brain power.
Get Some Fresh Air in the House. Open up some windows in the morning! Sure it may feel a little bit chilly, but you can bet that it will make you want to wake up. Fresh air flowing through the house feels very soothing and revitalizing in the morning. Hearing the birds chirp, wind blow, and other sounds of nature is a great way to experience morning. Try it sometime and see how you like it. Obviously, though, on hot days or super cold days, you’d be a fool not to use the air conditioner or heater.
Utilize the Power of Your Brain Waves. Many people aren’t yet aware of the great brainwave entrainment software that is on the market or what it can do for them. Let’s just say it is a phenomenal way to get your morning started. You can program your brain to produce relaxed, yet alert brain wave patterns.
You can also get a jolt similar to what you get from coffee in the morning, but without the “burnout effect." Entraining your brain waves is a phenomenal way to amp up your brain power each morning. Any session in the mid-beta to high-beta brain wave range will do a great job at getting you mentally prepared for the day. You will likely feel a huge energy boost after listening! Be sure to check out my recommended products section for the best brainwave entrainment products on the market. I personally use Neuro-Programmer 2 Professional and Mind Stereo and they can turn my morning into a miracle.
Eat a Hearty Breakfast. Eating a healthy, hearty breakfast is one of the single most powerful ways to prepare both your body and brain for the rest of the day. Researchers have always made emphasis on breakfast being the most important meal of the day. Why? Because it is the first time you’ve eaten anything for a long period of time. Breakfast gives your brain vital nutrients that it needs in order to optimally carry out mental processes the rest of the day.
If you’ve ever skipped breakfast, you know that you likely feel tired, mentally fogged, or unfocused throughout your morning and possibly the entire day! Think of breakfast as filling up your cars gas tank when it’s almost empty. If you forget to fill up with gas, you will either be running on fumes or you won’t get to your destination.
Same goes for your brain, it will either scavenge up whatever nutritional resources it had from the night before, or you will be running on “E." Running without breakfast means that your mental performance will significantly decline! For this reason, it is important to include healthy brain foods such as: eggs, milk, fresh fruits, whole grains, and bran cereal in your morning diet! Always try to fill up the tank before you start your day!
Start the Day with Physical Exercise. When you start the day with exercise, you start the day with power. We already know that exercise is a great activity for your mind and body. It boosts energy levels, and leaves people feeling replenished, happy, and mentally clear. Exercise is an easy way to shake the sleepiness and kick-start your metabolism.
When you exercise in the morning, you also have the entire rest of your day to do other activities! Take your pets for a stroll through the park, hit the gym, or go running. Biking, rollerblading, swimming, and walking with friends are also great activities. Exercising in the morning is a great way to start each day with a powerful boost of energy.
Consider taking vitamin supplements. Taking vitamin and mineral supplements each day is definitely not a bad thing – especially if you aren’t quite sure whether or not you are getting an adequate amount of vitamins via your diet. I personally take a multivitamin each morning just as a safe measure. They are good for the health of your body, brain, and have been scientifically proven to be healthy. Though there is controversy as to whether or not popping a multivitamin pill each morning is the best option, it definitely won’t hurt. If you can afford taking vitamins, I recommend you take them just for good measure.
Visualize – See the Big Picture. Each time you plan out your day, it helps if you visualize. Close your eyes and use your imagination. Focus on picturing each and every task in which you hope to accomplish today. Visualize your life and how you’d like it to be. Feel free to use positive affirmations or goal statements to help boost your energy. Using visualization is a powerful way to start each morning. It is a phenomenal mental exercise that prepares you for all of the upcoming events in your schedule.
Add a Meditation Routine to Your Morning. Many people find it very helpful to include a meditation routine in their mornings. Research has shown that people who meditate each day for at least 15 minutes enjoy increased energy, mental activity, calmness, and alertness than those who don’t meditate. If you have never tried meditation [in the morning], be sure to give it a shot. It has potential to keep your brain cells, brain activity, and mental state at their peak for nearly the entire day. Mental reflection in the morning is great: your mind is wandering and you can easily recall experiences to reflect upon.
Do a Crossword Puzzle. There are many great mental exercises that you can perform each morning that will help keep your brain fit. Crossword puzzles, Sudokus, Brain Games, and solving math problems are all great ways to improve your mental quickness and dexterity each morning. If you enjoy reading the newspaper each morning, feel free to flip to the crossword puzzle section and test your memory or a Sudoku page and test your quickness.
This post originally appeared at 4mind4life.