After spending most of my twenties living with stress and anxiety (and not knowing it), I have come up with three really simple things you can do in the morning to help reduce stress and increase productivity.
1) DON’T check your phone when you first wake up
Think about it. You’ve just woken up, still blind in one eye from the sleep, and you’re suddenly bombarded with information. Combine the stress-induced cortisol pulsing through your veins with the early-morning cortisol kick we often get in the morning and you’ve got one hell of a cocktail brewing inside of you.
Our brains are like sponges. According to a study done in 2011, we are now taking in five times the amount of information than we were in 1986. That's crazy.
This is leaving our brains at a mental deficit that opens the door to:
an increase in stress;
a reduction in productivity;
and an inability to efficiently make decisions.
Trust me when I say that those messages/emails aren’t going anywhere! You can reply to them when you’re ready.
2) Treat your mornings like they are sacred
Mornings are completely my time. They give me space and the capability to tackle the day's tasks; a solid base to work from. I've noticed that the clients I work with who get up and head out are more likely to:
Experience increased levels of stress
Experience a feeling urgency