As a child, my mother used to refer to those mornings when I woke up less than my cheery self as “wrong side of the bed” days. Many of us grew up with sayings like this. Stub your toe on the dresser and it was likely to be “one of those days.” Hair going every way but the way you wanted it to and you were having a “bad hair day.” The challenge with sayings like these is they can end up not just being a moment in our day, but defining it.
I have wondered from time to time what it was that set most days off on the “right” foot and some days off on the “wrong” one. Lately, my life is usually populated by mornings when I just can’t wait to get up and into my day. It comes from loving the work I do and the life I’ve designed for me.
But just a few days ago, I had a morning where I woke up feeling out of sorts. I didn’t feel my usual grounded self. It was more like the jittery feeling you get after too much coffee, without the coffee. Coaching relies on creating awareness – you need to be aware before you can choose to shift something. So I took a moment to be curious about what I was experiencing. Then I remembered an article I’d read about how cortisol can often be highest first thing in the morning upon waking. It was a physiological experience I was having, not an emotional one.
Talk about a wakeup call. I wasn’t at the start of a “bad hair day” or “one of those days.” I wasn’t getting up on the wrong side of my bed. For whatever reason, my cortisol levels were simply higher than normal, which meant I was experiencing a stress reaction. For me, I know that doing some yoga breathing and some meditation is the fastest way to move back to my more typical place of being centered, calm and anticipating nothing but a great day ahead.
To lead an extraordinary life requires awareness, personal growth and curiosity instead of judgment and being resigned to certain outcomes. How often are your thoughts – or even your physiological responses – dictating what you’ll experience in your day, week and in your life? What could be different knowing how to shift yourself from allowing a thought or a moment to define an entire day or more? How might you now consciously choose to step out of bed with the kind of energy that has you excited, inspired and looking forward to all that is to come?