I was recently visiting my sister and sharing with her son-in-law, Alan, my Daily Alignment practice. I shared with Alan my discipline of beginning each work day with 90 minutes of mental, physical, and spiritual exercise to reinforce what I have established as my lifetime priorities. I explained that this practice began with the simple habit of journaling daily around age 45 and over time grew from 15 minutes to 90 minutes. As I reflected on the many benefits I experience from this daily ritual, two things struck me. The first insight is that I am practicing what many writers refer to as “mindfulness.” I have committed specific, uninterrupted time each morning to be intentional about how I am thinking and aligning my day. The books I read in the morning are very inspiring and always thought-provoking, so my journaling tends to be filled with gratitude and optimism. This mindful approach to starting my day makes me feel good and removes anxiety, frustration, and worry – those emotions are all available later in the day as needed.
What I didn’t realize until Alan and I were talking was the chemical effect this is having on me. It is obvious that the physical exercise is releasing positive chemicals like Endorphins and Dopamine into my body, which is why runners run (I am not a runner but have read about their enjoyment and the “high” they get). It is no wonder I feel good in the morning as I complete my 90 minutes daily alignment, I am releasing these positive chemicals into my blood stream which physically makes me feel better and helps to sharpen the gray matter in my head.
I start my day feeling good because I am aligning my actions with my stated goals and priorities. I feel good because I am following the path with the highest probability of success to achieve my goals while aligning my vision with my behavior. I feel good because I am getting a natural cocktail of heathy chemicals to start my day.