How your day starts effects how it finishes, particularly when it comes to stress and mood.
Each morning we get a little bump of the stress hormone, cortisol, which serves as a built-in wake-up call from Mother Nature. If the first few hours after we rise are stress driven, our cortisol level goes up another notch or two higher than it should, which causes it to stay elevated for up to 19 hours thereafter. This biochemically predisposes us to a more stressful day.
Similarly, studies suggest that if we arrive to the office in good spirits, we are more likely to perform better, complete more work, and leave feeling more positive about the day. If we go into the day with high cortisol levels, we tend to adapt poorly to challenges and struggle with productivity. Not only does our morning rush linger until the afternoon, but we also maintain our morning mood well into the evening.
With that said, our challenge to you is to slow down your mornings. Set your alarm five minutes earlier to decompress your morning routine. Meditate or set optimistic intentions before you leave the house and download lighter, happier music for your morning commute.
Do you have a start-of-the-day trick that keeps you feeling good? Share in a comment below.