Beating the Morning Stress Surge - OptimizeCEO - OptimizeCEO

Thomas DeLauer

Executive Body & Business Coach


One of the things that I realized was that I was getting up in the morning and I was always stressed out. I was always fearful waiting for the other shoe to drop, business would be good but it could never be good enough. I was always waiting for just that moment when everything I’ve worked for to just fall out from underneath me, for me to be back at square one.

Now, I’ve had a little bit of an interesting journey myself in really just, kind of bringing myself up through the trenches myself in terms of business. I guess I’m always fearful I know what it takes and I know how easily things can be ripped out from underneath you.

I’d get up in the morning I’d be stressed out and it was starting to affect my workouts. It was affecting my perception of myself. It was affecting how I would feel when I walk into the gym or how I would feel when I would go out for a run. I was finding myself, quite honestly, half-assing my workouts. I broke it down and I started identifying what was causing the stress within my life.

I would find that I’d roll out of bed and I’d look immediately at my phone. I’d check my e-mail and when I would check my e-mail then it would start making me take action on things that I didn’t want to procrastinate on. I’d want to take care of urgent matters, when the fact is, those matters are going to be there in an hour. They’re going to be there in two hours. Heck, they’re going to be there in a week but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to wait that long.

My point with this video is to talk about how you could set the phase for your day simply by avoiding the stressors first thing in the morning. You see, our cortisol levels are already so elevated in the morning because they’re designed to get our blood pressure up. This means that we don’t get light-headed right when we roll out of bed.

If you look at it like this from a Paleolithic standpoint. You were sleeping on a bed of hay and rolled out of bed. Since you didn’t have cortisol, your blood pressure didn’t go up. You got light-headed, you stumbled and fell and boom! A saber toothed tiger eats you, just like that.

That happens in real life too. Because your cortisol levels are elevated you’re already feeling a little bit stressed. You’re already feeling a little bit antsy. Don’t add anything else to that mix that is going to let that cortisol get the better part of you.

Here’s what I recommend. Start your day with a three-part ritual and I don’t care what it is. I don’t care if it’s something specific that you set or if it’s something that I set for you. Just do something that’s a three-part ritual. What I do is I get up and drink a quart of water. Then I spend five minutes stretching. Then I spend at minimum, five minutes meditating or at least collecting my thoughts. That is my three step process.

Before I do anything else I have to get through those three steps. I find after getting through those three steps, I don’t want to check my phone. I don’t want to hop on the laptop. I want to go to the gym and I want to be productive. Then I come home from the gym and things feel amazing. I feel energized.

I recommend that you try it. If you’re waking up and you’re having that dramatic stressed out feeling first thing in the morning, try something different, because that really does set the phase for your day. If you roll out of bed on the wrong foot, the whole rest of the day is on the wrong foot. You’ve got this in your hands, all you’ve got to do is stay committed to a process.

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