What are your mornings like? If they’re like most people’s, you’re rushing rushing rushing through your routine. Quick, take a shower! Quick, grab something from the fridge! Quick, gather your keys and wallet and, oh, no! Where are my glasses?

As you can probably imagine, all that rushing isn’t good for either you or your brain. Stress from constantly feeling like you’re late triggers the body’s fight or flight response, which sends cortisol shooting through your bloodstream, which, in turn, affects cognition.

The solution to the morning insanity is actually quite simple: set your alarm fifteen minutes earlier. So if you normally wake up at 7 AM, go for 6:45 AM. If you wake up at 6 AM, try 5:45 AM. Those extra fifteen minutes will act like oil in a car engine, greasing your internal gears, making sure things run smoothly. Plus, taking the proper time to move through your morning routine will be more relaxing, reducing stress.

Want to take this a step further? Join the 5 AM Club. People who go to sleep and wake up early have less repetitive negative thinking, which, in turn, reduces stress. Plus 5 AM gives you many hours, before the rest of the world is awake, to sit. And to breathe. And to read. And to savor your morning coffee. And to write in your gratitude journal. And to simply...be.