Nutritionists will tell you that the most important meal of the day is breakfast. Eating the right kind of breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and prepares your body for the day ahead. The wrong kind of breakfast may satisfy in the short-term, but quickly looses its effect and leaves your body sluggish.
Wednesday, we determined that just as physically we are what we eat, mentally we are what we think. Knowing that, how can we use our mornings to optimize our thinking and prepare our minds for the day ahead?
What Is Mental Metabolism?
Just as our breakfast determines our physical metabolism, so also our morning thoughts will determine our “mental metabolism.” The thoughts that start our day shape the way we focus our minds for the rest of the day.
If we wake up and begin stressing about the cares of the day, we start the day on the defensive. We allow ourselves to become victims of our circumstances.
Conversely, we can develop a morning strategy that helps us focus more productively on our day. The way we choose to think in the morning set our focus for the rest of the day.
Our mental metabolism is the outlook and attitude created by the thinking patterns we choose at the beginning of the day. We determine our own mental metabolism; we are not victims of our circumstances.
How Can I Maximize My Mental Metabolism?
I have found four morning practices that help me “get my mind in gear” in the mornings. These four practices set my focus properly and start me in the right direction. They are most effective if I can practice them first thing, before my day gets started in earnest.
Since life is the daily process of God unfolding His plan, I do well to let Him have the first word. Starting off in God’s Word focuses my attention on the One who ultimately determines my day.
Five or ten minutes in God’s Word feeds my mind with nutrition I need for the rest of the day. I wrote a blog earlier about some ideas for Bible reading plans.
Much of our thinking goes sour because we focus on what we do not have or what is wrong. We produce more productive thoughts when we consider what we DO have and what is right.
Consider starting your mornings by counting your blessings. Here are some suggested questions that help feed your gratitude.
- Who are the 3 (or more) people who love me most?
- What one good thing do I have today that I didn’t have this time last year?
- What three ways has God blessed me spiritually?
For an interesting perspective on being thankful for difficult times read Thanksgiving and Prepositions.
Or if you have time to listen to a sermon, consider An Attitude of Gratitude.
In my last blog, I addressed the challenge of lies that creep into our thinking. The best weapon against lies is truth. Positive affirmations about God and who we are in Christ allow us to see reality from the right perspective.
As you read the Bible and encounter wonderful truth affirmations, record them in a place where you can access them easily. I keep them in a Word Doc and store in online in the cloud. So I have ready access when I need a shot of truth; like a shot of B-12 for my mind.
I will give you a few truth affirmations to get you started. But I encourage you to add to the list with affirmations God shows you through His Word.
- The Lord is with me wherever I am. – Joshua 1:9
- Because the Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing I need – Psalm 23:1
- I belong to Christ and He has overcome – John 16:33
- God will work everything together for good – Romans 8:28
- In Christ, I am forgiven, loved, and victorious – Romans 8:31-39
- God is working in my life – Philippians 1:6
- Greater is He that is in my than he that is in the world – 1 John 4:4
Prayer connects me to the One who is the center of the truth affirmations I listed above. However, prayer is more than a shopping list of life that I ask God to fill. Prayer that boosts my mental metabolism surrenders my will to His. This prayer confesses that the events of the coming day are His and His responsibility. Prayer focuses my mind on my proper place in the plan of a sovereign God.
These four practices, exercised each morning, will affect the way you think for the rest of the day. You may find your thoughts lagging during the day, but you will off to a great start. Next week, we will consider some strategies to give our mental metabolism a boost during the day.
In the mean time remember – you are what you think, and how you start your day is how your day will go.