Our brains are really the most powerful supercomputers we will ever have. We navigate our day, make our decisions, create and modify habits here. It is like our office, from where we operate our physical beings. Everyday when we wake up, we assume control of our faculties here. Similar to after a day’s work, we like to tune off; from here however, we close our eyes and sleep. Post this when we re-enter our office, we either wake up with a lot of baggages, pending things to do, targets to achieve or pleasantly, to nothing. This repeated cycle has its highs and lows, but everyday is a new chance, an opportunity to start over, to become the person we have always imagined.
Believe it or not but the way we spend our first fifteen minutes once awake, sets the tone for the day. Take a moment to think about the first thing you do once you wake up… you either try to remember the dream you had last night, and make semblance out of it, or probably check on your kids, spouse, your phone, but rarely on ourselves.
Think of an athlete who is about to start a sprint. Before the sprint the athlete checks the shoe grip, loosens up the gluteus, checks the kit number, but if the athlete doesn’t focus on having the right mindset for the race, what do you think will happen ?
Simply stated, it becomes imperative for us to care for our minds, just the way we would for our loved ones and our professions.
So the big question, how do we do that ? Breathing and meditation helps increase the O2 levels which is crucial, but we need something more personal, something that gets our mind in the “zone” for the day.
It is actually pretty simple.
If you think your mind to be a separate person who works for you, you would train it by speaking to it, by gradually teaching it and making it competent in its skills…right ? We will do the same thing thing to our minds, albeit in a different routine. This routine has three simple principles, principles aimed towards nurturing our minds.
Principle 1 : “Make peace with yourself”
The first thing you got to do is to make peace with yourself. As mentioned before, we all have baggages, like memories, figments of imaginations or the thoughts of our upcoming work for the day. When we think of all this in the first fifteen minutes of the day, we get tensed and anxious. This happens because we do not accept the incoming and succumb to the sentiment of inevitability. This creates a response to fight it by rapid thinking of scenarios on how to deal with it.
Sure planning is essential, but not as a reaction to the fear of the incoming events, but as a response of dealing with it clearly. This is only possible when we accept the situations in its entirety. This small sentiment helps our minds to be at peace and think sequentially. As mentioned earlier, our minds are under employment of our will. When things do not go the way we want, we berate ourselves, often mercilessly. This causes a discord in our relationship with ourselves. Hence before we start each day, it is imperative to make peace with ourselves, as it serves as a way to try again.
You can do this by the following:
- Take a deep breath in
- Hold for five seconds
- Say these magical words in your mind, “It is okay”
- Then breathe out
Simple right ? More often than we might expect, the simplest actions have the greatest of effects.
What we are essentially doing is, calming our minds down and accepting the situation as it is. We are training our minds to respond, rather than react. This small change in our daily approach helps us calm and mellow down.
Principle 2 : “Feel a sense of gratitude”
This sentiment is essential to remind us that, we are here because of the countless people who have helped us, guided us and influenced us to become who we are. Often with advanced experiences and age, we tend to become too full of ourselves. This can happen as a response to our insecurities or the even more down-rank sentiment of being a narcissist.
Hence a little gratitude helps us be humble and take cognisance of our stature. A simple way of doing this is to thank ourselves and the people around us. Just say “Thank you”, to yourself, to your family and friends. It is a small gesture, but it goes a long way in accepting the way we are, so that we are not in denial of assuming an identity we do not possess. In addition to this, it goes a long way in strengthening relations with your loved ones.
Principle 3 : “I am going to live this day to the fullest”
This is the moment we are giving a mission statement to our minds and our psyche in general. What happens when we say this, is that our mind programs itself to take on the oncoming day with a sense of renewed positivity and vigour. No matter how critical or vacant the day be, this helps us to prepare ourselves mentally, for what’s coming.
Simply say this in your mind five to six times before you step out of your bed. This also help us focus better during the day and increase our productivity. Resisting any temptation of wasting time or indulging in unproductive activities, is one of the keys to being successful at your craft. It is a pivotal moment to state a fact that, behind every successful person, there is a disciplined lifestyle. This is one of the way of making sure your mind obeys to you and not the other way around.
When you promise this to yourself, essentially what is happening is that our mind is registering it as a direction by which it will conduct itself. It will make sure that all our energy and vitality is focussed on essential things and plainly screen out the clutter from the day.
It is essential to remember that our mind is like a garden, whatever we sow, we reap. Hence it is crucial to nurture it, care for it and then reap the benefits out of it. After all, it is your office. If you want to work efficiently, you will need to maintain it.