Summary: The Morning Mind By Dr. Robert Carter
Summary: The Morning Mind By Dr. Robert Carter

Summary: The Morning Mind By Dr. Robert Carter

The Human Body in the Early Morning

We always have a choice about how we live our lives. Fully comprehending how you can function optimally in accordance with your circadian rhythms means you can create a schedule that opens up space for better performance and more efficient use of energy. If you can eat when your body really wants food, then you will require less effort for digestion and have more energy for life.

  • The human body is a complex machine regulated by its own internal body clocks.
  • These body clocks, or circadian rhythms, are governed by external factors like light, and internal factors like genetics.
  • During different periods of the day, the major organs of the body have a period of cleansing and increased energy.
  • The production of the hormone melatonin is vital to governing sleep patterns and needs darkness to be produced, so in the hours just before bed, it is highly beneficial to limit exposure to artificial light.
  • The best times for eating, sleeping, and exercising are different depending on your circadian rhythms, which change with age.
  • Most of our current lifestyles are geared toward irregular cycles of waking and sleeping that keep us off balance with the cycles of nature and can result in health problems.
  • We receive a natural chemical boost of alertness from cortisol in the mornings; therefore, the best time to drink coffee is after this natural stimulant has worn off, at approximately 9:30 a.m.


Your Body Is Taller in the Morning

When we are physically present in our bodies with proper posture, it sends a powerful message to ourselves and to others. It communicates self-respect and confidence projected inwardly and outwardly.

Better posture means that not only will you maximize your height, but you’ll also reduce tension in your body, develop bodily strength, breathe better, and improve memory, mood, and productivity.22

Make an effort to improve your posture. For chairs you often use, why not leave a sticky note for yourself with a simple reminder, such as “sitting nicely?”

  • Gravity exerts a lot of pressure on the spine. Over time and with bad habits, this can lead to a loss of height.
  • When we sleep at night, the spine is able to get “oiled up” and then extends, so when we wake, we are taller than when we went to bed.
  • Height and posture are interrelated, and poor posture can cause many health issues such as reduced oxygen, reduced blood flow, and reduced concentration.
  • How we sleep at night is very important, because we spend so much of our lives in this position and it has a significant effect on our bodies and minds.
  • There are various simple methods we can use to improve our posture while standing and sitting.


Your Brain Is Bigger in the Morning

Too much stress is bad for your brain. Providentially, there is much that can be done to counteract the negative effects of stress on the brain. Changing ones’ environment, engaging in social activities, and learning new things create novel neural pathways in the hippocampus portion of the brain. We will expand on these ideas and delve deeper into solutions with some simple and practical techniques.

  • Our brains have a smaller mass in the mornings due to the distribution of fluids around the body and a prolonged period without hydration while we sleep.
  • The brain needs plenty of water to function optimally, and it needs it throughout the day as it cannot store water.
  • Dehydration contributes to many negative health effects like sleep disturbances, short-term memory loss, and difficulty focusing. In more extreme cases, it may be a factor in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
  • The better hydrated the brain is, the more nutrient availability, blood, and oxygen flow it has, which improves mental performance.
  • A minimum of 16 ounces (150 ml) of warm water should be consumed first thing in the morning. Men should be consuming 100 ounces (3,000 ml) of room-temperature water a day, and women 74 ounces (2,200ml) of room-temperature water a day. Drink water and other beverages like Europeans, without ice cubes.
  • It is highly beneficial to review the quality of your water and take protective measures to ensure you and your family are consuming healthy drinking water.
  • There are various methods you can use to increase your water intake such as setting reminders, challenging yourself with fun games, and using a water-tracking app.
  • High levels of stress hormones can have a damaging effect on the brain and destroy neural pathways. Prolonged chronic stress can even shrink brain mass.
  • There is much that can be done to combat the effect of stress on the brain. Changing your environment, social enrichment, and learning new things promote the growth of new neural pathways.


The Significance of Body Temperature

The ideal body temperature is between 97.7°F and 99.5°F. This temperature is optimum for various bodily processes to occur. If body temperature gets too high or too low, it can cause health problems that can be fatal in extreme cases. Body temperature is regulated by the hypothalamus and circadian rhythms, being slightly cooler in the morning and getting warmer in the afternoon. Now you have a foundation for understanding how and why body temperature impacts our morning and the rest of the day.

  • Body temperature can affect how well we sleep. A room temperature between 65°F and 72°F is considered ideal for sleeping.
  • Prolonged stress can affect body temperature. Generally, the more stressed someone is, the colder he or she will be due to a lack of blood flow to the body.
  • There are some things you can do to help your body maintain its optimum temperature. These include exercising, staying hydrated, and eating hot and spicy rfoods on hot days


Creating Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is the ability to motivate oneself to achieve goals and improve quality of life. Self-discipline is not a natural ability that some people have; it is a skill that can be learned by anyone. Self-discipline consists of planning, delayed gratification, and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Self-discipline is an undervalued trait in a modern society that wants everything now. Feeling like a victim keeps the ego in its comfort zone of not taking responsibility. In order to grow and get the most out of your mornings and out of life, we have to step outside the comfort zone. Studies on the results of students have shown that self-discipline is more important than IQ when it comes to success.

There are various tools you can use to cultivate self-discipline, including:

  • Identifying your resistance and being aware of it
  • Planning for every outcome
  • Listing the pros and cons of achieving your goals
  • Rewarding yourself when you achieve goals
  • Breaking big goals down into smaller, manageable ones (SMART goals)
  • Recognizing and recording your progress
  • Removing temptations and distractions


Taking Advantage of the Morning

  • Having a solid morning routine is essential to mastering mornings.
  • A morning routine is the most efficient way to expend your energy and build self-discipline.
  • Your morning routine should be the first thing you do in the morning.
  • A morning routine must be tailored to the needs of the individual.
  • When starting out, it is easier to establish just a few habits.
  • It is important that you enjoy the activities of your morning routine.
  • Working on building multiple habits at once stacks them and creates stronger neural pathways in the brain.
  • Even if you can only spend a few minutes on each activity of your morning routine, this will be incredibly valuable.
  • “Eat frogs,” the most important tasks, first thing in the morning to give you the energy to complete all the rest of your tasks for the day.


Exercise Is Good Medicine

  • Starting your day with light physical activity is a great way to energize and motivate yourself.
  • Walking for about seventy-five minutes a week improves overall fitness and heart health.
  • Jogging for only fifteen to forty minutes, three times a week, has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of mortality by 30 percent and the risk of cardiovascular disease by 45 percent, when compared with people who do not jog.
  • Our bodies were made to move. Our brains release feel-good neurotransmitters when we exercise.
  • The Lizard, of course, resists physical activity, so we have to train it. There are some tricks we can use, including: being organized, receiving praise for our efforts, visualization, and working out with a friend.
  • Exercises are generally divided into aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise.
  • Experiment with different activities to find which ones support your mornings.
  • Mental practice has an encouraging and substantial effect on physical and cognitive performance. This is encouraging and amazing.
  • Adjust your exercise timing to support your heart, human performance, and scheduling conflicts for improved sleep, enhanced metabolism, and overall longevity.


What You Eat Matters

  • The food you start your day with has a huge effect on your physical, mental, and emotional state for that day.
  • Not everyone needs to eat breakfast, but those who do should eat a small, healthy breakfast.
  • Everyone’s eating requirements are unique.
  • There are some general guidelines for eating healthy.
  • Certain foods can be consumed to improve concentration and mental clarity.
  • Our gut is a critical part of our health.
  • There are two groups of bacteria in our gut, “good” and “bad” bacteria.
  • Which kind of bacteria we feed depends on what we eat.
  • The more we feed one of the types of bacteria, the harder it is for the other type to thrive in the stomach.
  • To support the “good” bacteria, we can eat a diet rich in vegetables and fermented foods, cut out sugar, reduce coffee consumption, and avoid antibiotics.


Why Do We Need to Sleep?

  • We spend a third of our lives sleeping.
  • The exact reason we need sleep remains unknown.
  • Sleep is vital for us to function. Without it, we lose focus, concentration, and necessary cognitive-processing abilities.
  • Sleep deprivation can result in death and is responsible for many accidents that occur every year.
  • The optimum amount of sleep differs between individuals but is generally between seven and nine hours.
  • There are several things you can do to get a better night’s sleep including consistent sleeping and waking times, not sleeping in on weekends, expending physical energy, taking a nap, not consuming certain foods, turning off lights, creating a bedtime ritual, and meditation.
  • The Lizard’s biggest challenge is the fear of pain or discomfort.
  • The first step in silencing the Lizard is awareness of how it operates.
  • When we enter the fight-or-flight response, oxygen is taken from our brain to give energy to our limbs.
  • To return the Wizard to the seat of control, we must redirect oxygen to the brain.
  • This can be done with breathing and meditation.
  • Different emotional states have a corresponding breathing pattern.
  • Breath-based meditation has been used in a clinical setting to provide excellent healing and recovery.
  • Practicing meditation on a regular basis allows us to better hack into the Wizard.
  • We can use controlled breathing to hack into the Wizard.
  • By acknowledging our fears, planning, and reminding ourselves why we want to change, we can better remain operating from our Wizard.


Start and End Your Day Like a Chef: The Neuroscience of Expertise

  • Every repeated thought, action, or emotion enhances specific mental pathways in our brain.
  • Sustained attention and focus while multitasking can be achieved with planning and interrelated timelines.
  • A combination of education and practical experience ensures that critical skills become second nature.
  • Routines are an excellent shortcut to enhancing the mental and physical development of the brain.
  • Be specific about what you want to achieve and focus on the biggest wins and greatest rewards.
  • Creating conditions to frequently practice skills or enhance general brain functions will be rewarded with a brain that grows to meet the demands you place upon it.
  • Decide how you want to think, feel, and act, and assemble these ideas and initiatives into a superhighway of neurological connections that kick-start your morning and the entire experience of life.