This Is the Most Important Thing You Can Do Before 8 AM

Dacy Knight

We're all ears when we catch wind of morning routines the most successful people swear by. So when a Harvard psychologist weighs in on the exact one thing you should do at the start of every morning, consider us on board to give it a go.

Harvard professor Amy Cuddy, author of Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges ($25), says that there's one simple habit to integrate into your morning to make it great and set the tone for the rest of the day. Before you step out of bed or even grab your phone to check the time, you should stretch your body as wide as possible. Arms up, legs outstretched, this body posture is considered a power pose that Cuddy asserts will set your intention for the day. In an interview highlighted by Aged Care Report Card, Cuddy describes the relationship between our body's actions and our feelings as bi-directional—"the people who wake up like this (stretching out their arms in a V) are super happy, like annoyingly happy."

Too often we find ourselves sleeping and waking up in a fetal position, which Cuddy observes can translate into less confidence in our awake hours. Not only will this morning stretch set the right attitude for the rest of your day, but it will also benefit muscle flexibility, joint flexibility, stress relief, and improve your circulation. So before you even have the chance to consider whether you're waking up on the wrong side of the bed, kick-off your morning with a purposeful stretch and reap the rewards all day long.

Next up, discover the number one thing a nutritionists does in the morning.

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