Nature Over Mirrors in the Mornings

I find that my day is radically different when I am able to delay the use of a screen even if it is only for the first hour. I have friends that choose not to go on social media until after noon. I have only qualitative evidence for the benefits of this. I believe it is a goal we should aim for. Reducing the use of screens in the opening hours of our day helps us to start off on the right foot.

I’m a firm believer that we decide our attitude about the day ahead in the first five minutes of waking. Therefore, it is prudent to prevent other people from influencing that attitude be it in a positive or negative way. I agree that we should allow others to influence us positively in the opening moments of our day. However, our positivity can and should be a trait we can cultivate in ourselves. This creates a resilience that is not dependent upon the contributions of others. A black mirror (a term for the screens we are constantly staring into) is nothing more than a portal to allow others to influence your life, and ultimately your attitude. Hence why the early mornings should be for personal interaction with the natural world around us.

I’m quickly becoming a believer in getting outside immediately after waking and spending a prolonged period of time outside. I think 30-45 minutes out in the elements first thing can be a massive mood booster in our day. What ever you are doing during that 30-45 minute time period is up to you. It can be a walk, a run, an outdoor workout. Either way I believe it is beneficial to get outside immediately, and those benefits are amplified by not being on a phone or worrying about posting what ever you are doing to social media.

If my anecdotal reasoning is not enough encourage you to consider spending time outside in the morning immediately take the following information as something to chew on.

  • A study of Blue Zones (places where people live the longest) focused on similarities between centenarians (people who live to be 100 or older) found that the majority of these people spent prolonged time out in nature, daily.
  • A long period of time spent outdoors in the cold leads to the creation of Brown Adipose Tissue, a fat that our body incinerates to keep warm. The presence of this fat and it’s use for energy in the body has been shown to reduce the presence of other fat developed from poor diet and lack of exercise.
  • Getting outside immediately after waking triggers our circadian rhythm signaling our body to begin producing the hormones that wake us up in the morning and wind us down for sleep at night.

Whether you’re bundling up and going for a walk outside, hitting a five mile run, or jumping in cold water upon waking it is obviously better to get outside in the early hours of the day. Many of us do not audit our time or bring any sort of intention into how we act in the mornings. I highly recommend considering what you will do upon rising tomorrow and ensuring in some way shape or form it includes putting the phone down and getting outside.

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About the Author

John McCarthy is a Father, Son, Husband and former Marine Infantry Officer. He serves his local community and just wants to push people to be better humans. Check out the Tough Talk Podcast and other writings on this website to learn more.

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