Waking Up! Get Started The Right Way

Waking Up! Get Started The Right Way

Waking Up! Get Started The Right Way

When the alarm clock goes off in the morning, many people prefer to shut it off, roll over, and go back to sleep. Let’s face it: Sometimes, it’s hard to pull the covers off, get out of a warm, comfortable bed, and get ready for whatever is planned for the day. This is a battle that many fight each morning. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose.

It’s possible, however, to wake up and promptly get out of bed. But it might take a while to develop this habit. A hypnosis practitioner and brain training specialist, Emilie Leyes, shared her secret on a TikTok video for winning the wake-up battle.

Leyes says she follows Mel Robbins’ 5-second rule: The moment you have the instinct to act on a goal, start counting down in your head from 5 (“5-4-3-2-1”), then physically move on it. If you don’t, your brain will kill it.

Robbins, author of The 5 Second Rule: The Fastest Way To Change Your Life, has said in interviews that if you don’t take action on an idea within five seconds, you’ll talk yourself out of doing it. “Thinking about change won’t change you,” Robbins told Inc. “To change, you have to take action.”

On her website, Robbins says, “You can use the rule and its countdown method to break any bad habit, interrupt self-doubt and negative self-talk, and push yourself to take the actions that will change your life.”

To apply the 5 Second Rule to getting up in the morning, Leyes says:

    • When the alarm goes off, do not press the snooze button. Count down from 5 instead.

    • Once you get to “1,” sit up and start your day.

Leyes said she became much more of a morning person after doing this for several days.

In addition to the 5 Second Rule, Leyes told her TikTok viewers she practices mindful breathing. While meditation is helpful, this practice takes time, something that many people need more of in the morning. This is one reason why Leyes recommends trying mindful breathing when you can. To do this, Leyes suggests taking three breaths, then saying to yourself that you are going to pay attention to what it feels like to breathe. Leyes said her favorite technique is the “physiological sigh,” in which you take a deep breath, take another quick breath, and then exhale. One study found that a physiological sigh improves digestion, decreases blood pressure, slows heart rate, and relaxes the mind.

3 Things This Neuroscientist Avoids To Protect Brain Health

Did you know that using your smartphone in the morning, eating highly processed foods, and negative self-talk can affect your mood and brain health?

Emily McDonald, an Arizona-based neuroscientist and mindset coach, shared three things in a video on TikTok (where she is known as @emonthebrain) that she avoids at all costs:

1. Using a smartphone in the morning

Some people wake up in the morning and immediately reach for their phone before going for a cup of coffee. The scrolling doesn’t stop after they get up but continues throughout the day.

A 2023 study from IDC Research found that 80 percent of smartphone users check their mobile devices within 15 minutes of waking up each morning. In addition, a 2023 Reviews.org study found that 89 percent of people check their phones within the first 10 minutes of waking up, while 60 percent of study participants said they sleep with their phones. 

There’s a science to “waking up well,” and it has nothing to do with the phone, McDonald told her viewers. It concerns your brain going from producing theta waves to alpha waves. According to Healthline, Theta waves are present when you’re drifting off to sleep or in the light phase of sleep when you’re just about to wake up. Alpha waves occur when your brain is in a relaxed state and not thinking about much. According to McDonald, this is a time when you are more susceptible to programming.

McDonald explained that using your smartphone causes your brain waves to skip the theta and alpha states and go straight to the beta state, the waves that dominate when you’re awake, alert, and engaged.

As a result, McDonald says, “It messes up dopamine for the day, so we continue to check our phones.”

2. Negative Self-Talk

Everyone has an inner voice, and sometimes what it says is not good. When you engage in negative self-talk, McDonald said, you’re more likely to rewire your brain to believe it. On the other hand, if you choose affirming language, you could teach yourself to feel more positive about yourself. “What you say to yourself matters, and the more you say, the more it gets wired in,” she said. “And what’s wired in is what we manifest.”

3. Eating Highly Processed Foods

Highly processed foods may taste good but are not suitable for maintaining a healthy brain. Research shows that highly processed foods—which tend to be high in salt, unhealthy fats, and refined sugar—can affect brain health.

For instance, a December 2022 study found that higher consumption of ultra-processed foods in people under 60 was linked to swifter cognitive decline. According to the study’s authors, this “suggests the importance of preventive interventions in middle-aged adults.” Interestingly, the 2022 study published in JAMA Neurology only found links between ultra-processed foods and cognitive decline in people with a “generally unhealthy diet.”

So, does this mean that sweetened breakfast cereals, cakes, pies, and sodas are off-limits? Not necessarily. A few little treats now and then may not hurt. It’s all about balance.

Although these three things may seem like minor daily adjustments, McDonald claims they have significantly improved her overall health. But there’s one thing she still finds hard to do in the morning.

“Avoiding my phone in the morning is by far the most difficult task for me on the list,” McDonald told Newsweek. “It’s a practice, but I find it helpful to replace that habit with a different activity. I choose to set intentions for the day, practice gratitude, and repeat daily affirmations.”

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