Rise, reconnect, rejuvenate- The New Indian Express


Express News Service

The moment we wake up sets the tone for the entire day. For many, the immediate reaction is to reach for their phones, immersing themselves in a flurry of notifications, emails and social media updates. The impact of this digital flood, however, on our mental well-being and overall health is often underestimated.

Waking up to disturbing news or a disagreement, and immediately turning to our phones can result in frustration or anger that trickles down to the rest of the day. This choice can disrupt our body’s remarkable response upon waking up—a spike in cortisol, the energising hormone. Excessive screen exposure, especially in the morning, can interfere with the natural surge of cortisol and disrupt the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep patterns.

Scientific studies confirm that screen exposure in the morning can disturb our circadian rhythm, leading to sleep disturbances and mood swings throughout the day. Information overload primes our brains for stress, affecting our ability to handle daily challenges effectively.

The solution lies in reconnecting with nature during the early hours. Engaging with natural elements like sunlight or greenery can realign our internal clocks and positively impact our mental state. Research highlights the benefits of morning natural light exposure, linking it to increased alertness, reduced stress and improved mental health compared to artificial light exposure.

To craft a morning ritual prioritising nature over digital immersion, consider reclaiming the sacred morning hour:

● Take a moment for gratitude for a new day

● Engage in mindfulness exercises like pranayama and yoga

● Take a walk or stroll in your neighbourhood or garden

● Bask in the morning sunlight

● Spend time with your garden or indoor plants

● Set intentions for the day

● Practice prayer or simply sit in silence

These actions align with nature’s rhythm, promoting mental clarity and emotional balance
Mindfulness practices also play a pivotal role in setting the right tone for the day. Studies consistently demonstrate the positive impact of mindfulness on mental health. A few minutes of intentional breathing, meditation or prayer can significantly reduce stress levels, improve focus and set 
a positive mindset for the day.

By creating a morning sanctuary, which celebrates nature, mindfulness and self-care, individuals can transform their mental landscape. Unplugging from digital noise in favour of reconnecting with oneself and the natural world can significantly elevate mental wellbeing.

The first hour after waking up is precious, offering an opportunity to recalibrate and set a positive trajectory for the day. Unplugging from technology during this critical time is not just about disconnecting; it is about reconnecting with what truly nourishes our minds and souls.

As the morning light peeks through your window, consider stepping outside, breathing in the fresh air, and allowing nature’s embrace to guide you towards a day filled with clarity, balance and a sense of purpose.

In a world saturated with digital distractions, an unplugged morning offers a chance to connect with ourselves and nature, fostering a brighter, more balanced mental landscape.

Coutinho is an integrative lifestyle expert

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