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The Most Important Minutes of Your Day

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Do you make the most of the most important minutes of your day?
If you are like most people in the "human race," you are so busy running through the paces of your day that you are not sure which minutes would rate as being most important. And even if you knew how to differentiate them from the other precious minutes of the day, how would you find the time to make the most of them?

Research shows that your mind is the most open and receptive to receiving information during the first and last five minutes of every day, when transitioning between consciousness and subconsciousness -- while in alpha state.[1]

Ironically, Americans report experiencing more stress than ever before, yet almost 70 percent still start the day with a blaring buzzer. There's even a spike in heart attacks from the alarm on Monday mornings, which sends stressed out people right over the edge into cardiac arrest. [2] Needless to say, it is neurologically stressful to start your day in a physiological state of alarm.

Sleep deprivation is affecting millions of people every night,
Insomnia is affecting millions of people every night and is a leading cause of health issues like obesity, heart disease and diabetes.[3]

Sleep is the new sex -- Sleeping pills now lead the list of most commonly prescribed medications by physicians.[4] Yet, most Americans still tuck themselves in at night with the negative news on TV, or with the stimulating glare from their electronic devices. If you don't want your subconscious mind to have you tossing and turning all night, then it is best to steer clear of the negative noise and e-energy before bedtime.[5]

It's time for some good news!
Instead of bookending your day with blaring buzzers and negative news, you can easily and enjoyably maximize your alpha minutes to create the life of your dreams. Here are three easy options for you:

Don't just do something! Just lie there!
Resist the temptation to race out of bed as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. And at night, when you lay yourself down to sleep, "just say no" to turning on your electronic device and checking your email. Instead, infuse these magical moments with inspiration, and envision fulfilling your goals and dreams. Take advantage of these invaluable times to program your subconscious with positive thoughts, gratitude, visualization and affirmations. Bookending your day with meaningful inspiration is the easiest way to influence everything in between.

Get on a new thought track.
Studies show that your mind's neurotransmitters are like train tracks, and thought patterns are formed like well-traveled train routes. To create new positive thought patterns, the initial positive thought is crucial to "laying down new tracks," creating new positive thought routes and letting "grass grow" on the old thought tracks. And, while in alpha state, when your mind is the most open, take advantage of this optimal time to get new the thoughts rolling in the right direction on a new train of thought.

Start your day with a dress rehearsal.
Imagine yourself participating positively in your day during your morning meditation. See yourself successfully completing your tasks, accomplishing your daily goals and using your gifts for good, in the same way an elite athlete or Broadway performer prepares for an event or performance. Your subconscious believes the images and feelings you send it in your visualizations and can't differentiate between your inner reality and "real world" out there. Having starred in Broadway musicals for 15 years, I personally experienced the benefits of visualizing my performance before every show.

Dream on your way to dreamland.
Visualize completing goals you are working to accomplish just before you fall asleep. You'll give your subconscious six to eight hours to work on them while you are sound asleep. Allowing your subconscious to work for you while you sleep can give you that extra advantage you've been dreaming of for years!

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References:

1. John Kounios et al., "The Prepared Mind: Neural Activity Prior to Problem Presentation Predicts Solution by Sudden Insight," Psychological Science 17 (2006): 882-980; Mark Jung-Beeman et al., "Neural Activity Observed in People Solving Verbal Problems with Insight," Public Library of Science - Biology 2 (2004) 500-10

2. Bora Zivkovic; Scientific American - http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/a-blog-around-the-clock/2011/11/03/spring-forward-fall-back-should-you-watch-out-tomorrow-morning/

3. Shankar A, Syamala S, Kalidindi S (2010) Insufficient Rest or Sleep and Its Relation to Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Obesity in a National, Multiethnic Sample. PLoS ONE 5(11): e14189. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014189

4. International Narcotics Control Board. Psychotropic Substances: Statistics for 2008; Assessments of Annual Medical and Scientific Requirements for Substances in Schedules II, III and IV of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. New York: United Nations, 2010.

5. Ullrich Wagner and Jan Born, "Sleep Inspires Insight," Nature 427 (2004): 352-55.

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