3 Strategies for Keeping Your Cool Each Morning

Connect to Your BIG Picture First

When considering the first strategy for keeping your cool each morning, it’s valuable to ask yourself these questions.

What type of day do I want to have?

More importantly, what type of life do I want to have?

We function optimally when we sync ourselves to the larger life force that we are a part of to feel both connected and grounded. Reminding ourselves to see the big picture of your lives brings more meaning into the present moment and the actions we want to take each day.

When we first wake up our brains are in the alpha wave state. At this state we have more access to the subconscious mind. This is why what we think about first thing in the morning can have such a strong impact on how we act and feel throughout the day.

If we choose to focus on how we are disconnected from what is most meaningful to us first thing in the morning, we will likely continue to focus on what is NOT working throughout the day.

The brain’s Reticular Activating System keeps track of what we’ve been focusing on and will find ways to match or validate our thoughts. Therefore, if you want more relaxed and easeful days the best place to start is with your mental dialog in those first few moments of your day.

Repeat a phrase, mantra or affirmation that you believe at least 70%.

For example, “I have all the resources I need to move through my day at a steady, strong and effective pace.”

The Importance of Making Your Bed

The second strategy for keeping your cool each morning is is to make your bed. This small action gives your brain a small win for the day right off the bat.

It makes your room look cleaner and more organized, which in turn reinforces the belief in your brain that you are someone who is clear and organized. This action shapes how you identify with yourself.

Leaving your room tidy signals to your brain that you take action and respect your space.

It’s a small win that your brain will build upon throughout the day as it looks for more ways to validate that you take action in a clear and organized manner.

Take 10 Minutes to Preview Your Day

The third strategy for keeping your cool each morning is to bring the future into the present through writing.

  • Note all appointments scheduled for the day.
  • Assign the remaining time blocks to no more than 3 important tasks for that day.
  • Relax knowing that you are ready for your day.
  • Write 3 things you are grateful for this morning and why they are meaningful to you.

I recommend the BestSelf Journal for one quick and easy place to put all of these items so that you as prepared each day, each week and each quarter to accomplish what is most meaningful to you.

What to Do When You’re Not Keeping Your Cool

Often when you feel that you’re not keeping your cool it’s because you are rushing, hurrying or worrying.

As Robert Downey Jr. has been quoted as saying, “worrying is like praying for something that you don’t want to happen.”

Rushing and hurrying also place energy and value on the future, rather than being in the present.

Not keeping your cool produces feelings of stress and anxiety which release a cascade of hormones in the endocrine system that deteriorate your health over time.

How to Reduce Rushing, Hurrying and Worrying

When I notice myself rushing, I will…

  • Begin to lengthen my exhalations as I look at the clock and determine the time remaining on my current action.
  • Acknowledge that most people underestimate the time it takes to complete a given task and recommit myself to setting more accurate time boundaries.
  • Recognize that I either have time to complete the task and may simply need to remove distractions, or need to acknowledge that I will be late with the task. If I’m going to be late I will notify anyone impacted as soon as possible (avoid texting while driving with this one – use hands free calling).
  • Get curious about what brought me to this place of rushing. Was it within my control? Do I get a rush from cutting things to the wire? If I don’t want to repeat this behavior what is the next step I can take to put a point to pause in place for similar actions in the future? This pause will allow me to plan for more time and ease with this type of task or situation.
  • Let go of being perfect. Make a genuine apology where appropriate.

When I notice myself hurrying, I will…

  • Pause and take 5 breaths where my exhalations are longer than my inhalations.
  • Acknowledge that I feel rushed to be somewhere or do something quickly.
  • Decide to be present with what I have the capacity to do now.
  • Do the simplest thing that will move me forward in an effective AND steady way. Often this means dropping the multitasking. For example, turn off the phone and radio while driving, just drive. Shut down email while working on a project, just work. Feeling trapped in a meeting when you have “other, more important things to do,” write a list of what is on your mind then turn your attention back to the meeting and be present.
  • Be present for any opportunity that could help you move through my To Do list with more ease.

When I notice myself worrying, I will…

  • Pause and take 5 breaths where my exhalations are longer than my inhalations.
  • Acknowledge that I am worried and projecting an outcome for the future or ruminating on something that happened in the past.
  • Give myself up to 90 seconds to feel the emotional charge I have created in my mind, rather than avoiding or suppressing it.
  • Invite gratitude with depth (consider something meaningful in the moment or in your life and why you are grateful for it).
  • Decide to be present with one small step that I have control to act on now.


Here’s to
keeping your cool each morning, so that your days are easy breezy.

Want to learn exactly how your brain can stay cool more consistently? Consider joining my online group coaching program, Journey to Thrive, to support your ability to thrive in a world that continues to become more complex and volatile.

 

Photo credit: Josh Rakower