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The Neuroscience of the First Hour of the Day: Everyone’s “Gotta Have” – A Morning Fitness Routine

Many fellow consciousness guides such as Joe Dispenza, Tony Robbins, Bruce Lipton, Oprah, Deepak Chopra, and Dave Asprey speak to the importance of the first hour of every day. It is also the focus of this post in the Harvard DCE blog (

Pathwaves has been monitoring neural function in conjunction with mental function for more than 15 years. Within our Mental Health Wellness Center, we have worked with and ran sessions on more than 2,000 people throughout these years and have gained valuable information. Pathwaves has identified specific neurological reasons for the importance of a morning routine as a part of becoming and staying Mentally Fit!

At Pathwaves, we view consciousness from a neurological perspective, because we humans are both mind and body and our minds reside within the body in the nervous system (not exclusively). Naturally, to optimize this function we want to optimize our neurological function from a mental as well as a physical perspective. If we are not intentional on how our nervous system functions, then it will focus on helping us survive rather than thrive. We built our company and programs on the fact that life is much better when we can thrive rather than just survive.

Neurologically speaking, it has been estimated that about 80% of neuronal change occurs while we are sleeping ( For most people sleep is survival based. So, left to the natural process, sleep anchors us in survival states every night of our lives (unless we learn how to change that). Studies have shown that when our mind and body aren't aligned, we then don’t feel in control of ourselves, or our energy levels, which in turn can make it difficult to follow through with the goals and plans set for the day.

Clearly, this means that if we do not take 30 – 60 minutes every morning to refocus ourselves on thriving, then our natural process will make us focus on surviving. Just imagine how the cat on the branch in the poster that says “Hang in there baby!” must feel. Well, that is pretty much how many humans feel. This is a key reason why anxiety and stress, depression, and suicides are at all time highs. In short, the first hour of each day is vital!

Starting your day with an energizing morning routine can activate neurochemicals in the nervous system that will help distribute your energy evenly and efficiently throughout the day. If a morning routine isn’t already set in place, it can be challenging to create consistency and keep up with healthy habits. A healthy morning routine is pivotal for stable mental health and sets the foundation to reach and maintain mental fitness.

At Empowered G & Pathwaves we suggest a five step process.

1. Set Thriving Intention – First thing you do, establish that you are going to thrive on this day. Even if your intent is to just goof off, setting a thriving intention will help you to do this in a mentally healthy way. I personally suffered from 7 years of depression. During this time, I would wake up everyday knowing (without conscious thought – no matter what I had done the day before – even when I went to bed happy) that I should kill myself that day. I was forced to set a thriving intention in order to just get out of bed. Now, I do set this intention just because I enjoy it and it is part of my Mental Fitness Routine.

2. Nourish – Drink lots of water (alkaline water is often better) and/or drink coffee. I personally drink water and coffee with avocado oil.

3. Exercise - I do about 50 minutes of exercise daily as a part of my morning routine. I include Qigong, yoga and stretching as part of my morning exercise.

4. Self-direct and Redirect – After exercising is a good time to journal, plan my day, read, and meditate. I do all of those while bathing and getting ready for work.

5. Get Going – get your house in order and head out (or in) for work or play.

I personally set aside 2 – 3 hours for this daily. However, if my schedule is starting early, I can get most of this done in 1 – 2 hours. Begin with 30 minutes and build from there. Morning routines are extremely personal. Experiment with different activities and time frames to find what fits best for you. It is time for you to begin to thrive and be mentally fit rather than just survive!


Joe Dispenza:

Tony Robbins:

Bruce Lipton:


Deepak Chopra:

Submitted by G. Cole, Co-founder/CEO of Pathwaves/Creator of NeuroEmpowerment™ and Melissa Vargas, NeuroTech Coach at Pathwaves, Inc.


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