What’s The Best Time To Wake Up In The Morning?

I always thought of myself as a night person who stayed up late and slept late. When I was in college I liked to study late at night, staying up until 4 or 5 in the morning. Only now I start from the opposite end of sleep cycle. I wake up at 4 am and get busy before starting my 9-5 job. I learned that a night/morning persona can be interchangeable depending on your lifestyle and habits. So why do I wake up early, before dawn?

According to ancient veda scriptures 3 to 4 o’clock in the morning is the most beneficial time for any type of spiritual activities, such as meditating, prayers, etc. which is why monks often wake up at such an early hour. In Buddhist culture waking up before dawn represents greeting the day and therefore starting the day with good energy. 4 to 5 am is the peak hour for creativity and you will notice a flood of ideas that normally doesn’t occur often, as well as easiness of focus and concentration. This time is great for writing, painting, or doing anything creative. From 5 to 6 am is the time for productivity during which you can accomplish more in less time. This time is great for studying, working on projects, working out in the gym, or doing any type of activities where a desired result is the maximum output in the least amount of time. I noticed from personal experience that I come up with solutions to issues at work or in personal life much quicker in the hours between 4 and 6 am than I do during the day. Before 6 am your mind is yet uncluttered with the happenings of the day and can be compared to the blanc canvas on which you can draw ideas and inspirations. Waking up after 6 o’clock and onward causes a person to become less and less productive. The later we wake up the more tired and foggy we feel. Our daytime bodily processes are already long at work but our mind has yet to catch up.

Waking up at 4 am every morning allows me to get a lot done before starting my 9-5 job. In the evenings I stay away from any type of chores and use that time to unwind. Staying away from your phone and computer an hour before going to bed helps to get the best sleep. Our brain perceives blue light from phone and computer screens as daylight and becomes more alert which can cause sleep problems that in turn can cause depression, fatigue, and inefficiency due to lack of focus and concentration. To note, when you choose to wake up early make sure to get your required hours of sleep; the number of hours of sleep per day varies from person to person (for me it’s 7.5-8 hours). Waking up early can change your life and give you a peace of mind knowing that you have that time to yourself every day for you to do whatever you choose without being disrupted.

What Is Happiness? And Merry Christmas.

As I circle a number that indicates how happy I feel right now from 1 to 10 in my 60 day journal I wonder what 10 really feels like. What does 1 feel like? Can you put a number on happiness? In fact, what is happiness? For me, number 10 would be a state of excitement. But does excitement equal happiness? I think not. It passes relatively quickly and then hopefully it comes back again. Isn’t happiness supposed to be something more stable and permanent? Or is it just a word society created to describe ear to ear smiles in beautiful beach photos on instagram? Or a validation you feel when someone tells you nice things, or the excitement you feel about a new phone you purchased? Can anyone say they are truly happy? I assume if they did it would mean they are happy most of the time, because it’s simply impossible to always be happy, just like it is impossible to always be unhappy – bodily survival instinct will kick in eventually.

All of a sudden the word happiness seems like a label to me. A validation for the world, screaming “See, I’m happy!” In reality, if I don’t feel excited or motivated to go outside today and do a morning winter walk in my shorts like I’ve been enjoying and instead I sit in my kitchen and listen to podcasts in a quiet contemplative mood, does that mean I am less happy and I should mark number 6 instead of 9 on the happiness chart? If I don’t feel jitters about Christmas and I have no wrapped up gifts under a tree ( and don’t have a tree either), if I feel mellow instead, should I choose 4 or 5 on the happiness scale? My view on happiness now is that if I allow myself to feel whatever I am feeling and I don’t fight it and don’t try to change it and push it in the “right” direction, if I can just allow myself be and be ok with it, then I am being true to myself and that sets me free. If I am not in struggle with myself and I am not running after this arbitrary happiness, then I welcome it. I welcome simply being in the moment and treasuring the moment.

During this holiday season please don’t get hung up on feeling a certain way that you think you are supposed to feel. Embrace the magic of the moments, no matter what you are doing and let yourself be. Share love and share it with yourself the most, because you need it.

Love you all,

Natasha Pea.