Did you know that you have tiny biological clocks in nearly every tissue of your body? Your biological clocks are made up of specific protein molecules that work together inside your cells to determine what is called circadian rhythms — your 24-hour cycle of physical, mental and behavioural changes that you are generally unaware of. While it is mostly nature that determines your circadian rhythms, your environment also affects them to a large extent.
You would want to manage the factors that help you keep your biological clocks in sync so that your circadian rhythms are conducive to maintaining a healthy balance in terms of your sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, eating habits and digestion, body temperature, and other important bodily functions. These factors in turn affect your mood, energy levels and productivity.
Due to individual variations in circadian rhythms, different people experience their peak energy levels at different times of the day. Some of us are early birds and feel most energetic between morning and noon. Others are relatively sluggish in the morning and their bodies and minds take some time to vitalize. Regardless, since most people work from morning to evening, your mood in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. By including elements in your morning routine that help to energize your mind and body, you can maximize your mindfulness and productivity throughout the day.
So whether your biological clocks make you a lark or an owl, here are some ways to perk you up in the morning and keep you supercharged for the rest of the day.
Taking a hot-cold contrast shower might sound like a curious way to kick off the day, but it is a sure bet to set you up for a day of high vitality. Your lymphatic system transports lymph, a fluid that contains infection-fighting white blood cells throughout the body. A contrast shower is a hydrotherapy that uses alternating water temperature and pressure to move stagnant lymphatic fluid, increase circulation, boost immune function and metabolism. Lymphatic vessels dilate when exposed to heat, and contrast in response to cold. Alternating hot and cold water for between 90 seconds and several minutes has shown to do the trick. Start with 30 seconds of cold water, switch to 30 seconds of steaming hot water and end with 30 seconds of cold water.
Drinking a warm cup of matcha tea after your morning shower helps you get mental clarity, achieve alertness, improve memory and reduce stress in an overall state of relaxation. The health benefits of matcha tea are well documented. Zen Buddhism and the Chinese methods of preparing powdered tea were brought to Japan in 1191 by the monk Eisai.
Matcha tea is said to have 10 times the amount of antioxidants as a cup of regular green tea. In contrast to the caffeine you take in coffee, the caffeine in matcha tea is released in the bloodstream slowly as catechins are broken down. This helps you sustained energy rather than short bursts of intense energy, followed by lows as happens with coffee. As a detoxifying agent, it also helps you regulate the pH levels in the blood and eliminate heavy metals from the body.
Right before you get on with your work routine, set aside five minutes in the morning to jot down three things you will do during the day. Make sure your morning to-do list is not your run-of-the-mill checklist of wonted chores but positive energy-boosting activities to make you feel good (be selfish). It could be something as little as picking up a bunch of flowers on your way back home, a quick evening run or catching up with an old friend on the phone. Despite being far from being remarkable feats, these little things to do will give you the much-needed sense of accomplishment to finish off the day on a high note.
Needless to say; you must create a routine of waking up early every day so that you have the time needed to do the above. The results you achieve by repeating these during the first few days will reinforce your will of continue doing them over an extended period and will eventually become your habit.
Originally published at medium.com