By Akanksha Sharma
If there was one word to characterize the world for us millennials today, it would be ‘information overload’. In a typical day , we have information coming at us from multiple sources and through multiple mediums. In our childhood, these mediums were books, newspapers, television, radio and dial-up internet. Today, I hardly need to enumerate the number of new mediums that have emerged.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that our brains are far more overwhelmed now than they used to be. Indian millennials, especially in urban areas, report increasing levels of stress and mental fatigue. All this is despite being a more financially stress-free generation than their parents. All this stress and mental fatigue leads to unhappy people who cannot do as much as they want in their personal and professional lives.
Science and Meditation Say the Same Thing
How you start your day greatly affects how the rest of it goes. Professor Barbara Fredrickson from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) has spoken about the importance of positivity in making us better and more resourceful versions of ourselves. The Professor and her team study the effects of positive emotions on people, in laboratory settings. The results of their studies have found a positive correlation between the quality of emotions and the physiological condition and immunity levels of people.
Ancient meditative disciplines of India also propagate something similar. Scriptures and spiritual leaders speak about the importance of meditating and centering yourself in the morning. This is supposed to help maintain a positive and stable frame of mind. An unstable mind is very vulnerable to becoming upset by the many disturbances a day brings. Science has recently proven what spiritual seekers have known for a long time.
Are We Consuming the Right Kind of Information & Messages in the Morning?
Do we really need to know about our friend from college who is now travelling through Europe as a travel blogger? Do we really need to know about the bombings in Somalia the very minute that we wake up? It is of course, important to be well-informed but information has to be consumed strategically.
If scrolling mindlessly through our Facebook feed makes us feel depressed about our own lives, or if going through the News app in bed makes us despair about the state of the world, then these activities are best avoided, or delayed for a later time in the day.
In the Morning Switch Off or Switch to Something Positive
You know that you will have to be connected to the beating pulse of the world throughout the rest of the day. Switch off in the mornings. Take some time out just for yourself. Take a walk in a neighbourhood park. Sit in silence on the bench and observe the natural beauty around you.
Give meditation a try. Start with guided meditations if you are a beginner. If that is too new-age for you or if that is not your scene, then listen to motivational lectures fascinating or TED Talks. Programme your mind every morning by feeding it with positive content and emotions. After a few days, or even from the first day itself, you will start to observe a change.
How a Positive Start to the Day Can Make You Feel
A positive start to the day can make you feel ready to take on the world. It can make more energetic and resilient. A positive mindset is infectious, and is bound to affect your interactions with the people around you. A positive outlook breeds patience, and creates a buffer between stimulus and response. This makes you more mindful when you are dealing with stressful situations at work. Mindfulness improves productivity and efficiency so it is a complete win.
Some Resources to Get a Positive Head-start On the Day
I’d like to share some of my favourite resources below, that can help you get a positive head-start on the day:
Share this article with those of your friends who are always complaining about being stressed out!