The moment you open your eyes, you can do one of two things – you can either hop out of bed and make the best of your day, or hit the snooze button, pull the covers over your head, and dread the day ahead. We all know that mornings can set the tone for the rest of the day, but waking up “happy and excited” isn’t easy for most of us. But starting your day with a positive attitude has its benefits.
When you wake up in the mornings, the serotonin (or happy hormone) level in your brain is at its highest.
Now that we’ve established how precious your mornings can be for your mental health, here are a few things you can do to make the best of this delicate, lovely time that you have all to yourself.
Start The Night Before
Do you often wake up feeling more exhausted than you did when you got into bed? Lack of sleep could be the culprit. Instead of watching “just one more episode,” turn off your TV and try to get into bed by 10 o’clock. If you can’t fall asleep immediately, try reading a book. You are bound to drift off soon enough, and this way, your body can get its 8 hours of rest.
2. Stretch Yourself Out
This is something you can do while you’re still in bed! Stretch your limbs out as much as you can. This triggers the release of dopamine, a hormone that boosts your mood, energy, and self-esteem. Pair this with a few breathing exercises and you’ll find yourself beating the urge to hit the snooze button.
3. Take A Moment Of Personal Praise
If you constantly juggle between multiple tasks throughout the day, you might feel anxious and incompetent. Finding faults with yourself, especially over situations that you have no control over, will only make your day worse.
To avoid self-sabotaging thoughts from attacking your mood, try
4. Stay Connected And Express Gratitude
Just as it’s important to praise yourself, it’s equally important to give thanks to the people who love you for who you are. Studies claim that people who express gratitude about their lives are more optimistic about their lives in general. Another fun fact? They also tend to pay fewer visits to their doctor, which further proves that there may indeed be a strong connection between positive attitude and good physical health.2
Also, pick up the phone and give a quick call to your parents, or call your best friends to tell
5. Drink Enough Water
After all those long hours of rest, your body wakes up feeling dehydrated and needs a wake-up drink. If you’re already reaching out for the coffee, stop. It is true that coffee can make you more alert, but not when you drink it first thing in the morning. Drinking coffee, especially on an empty stomach is just asking for more stress – because caffeine is notorious for releasing cortisol, your body’s stress hormone.
Instead, head over to the stove to warm yourself some water. Add a quick squeeze or two of lemon juice into this and drink up. This not only keeps you hydrated, but also helps in digestion, losing weight, and clarifying your skin. But, if you absolutely cannot do without your coffee, get yourself a mug while eating breakfast. That way you can alleviate the side effects of caffeine and the release of
6. Go For A Walk
It is a well-known fact that exercise helps boost endorphin, lovingly nicknamed the ‘Happy Hormone’, and will make you feel more energized in the mornings. Additionally a quick run in the morning will help your skin intake vitamin D, which strengthens your bones and boosts your immunity. This sunshine vitamin also helps regulate the serotonin level in your brain, thus calming your nerves and giving your mood a quick positive boost.
7. Get Mentally Organized
Right from the time you open your eyes, you will find your mind at the mercy of a vast deluge of thoughts which makes you all the more tempted to go back to sleep. The first step is to get this jumble of thoughts is to pen it down on paper. Grab a notepad and list out what’s in your head, one by one. Now segregate these thoughts and tasks into various categories, depending on priority. Not only will this help clear your head and make you feel more prepared to take on the day,
8. Tune Into Something Happy
It always helps to play something in the background as you go about preparing yourself for the day, and with the current media onslaught, you’re definitely spoilt for choice. There are, of course, television and radio news channels, but they may be a little too noisy to help you start your day on a peaceful note. Choose to play some soothing music, and soak yourself in the melody. Not feeling like music? You could even choose to tune out altogether and just enjoy the silence before the chaos sets in.
9. Step Into A Cold Shower
If you’re going to have a long day, why not look your best while you’re tackling it? Don’t skimp on shower-time. Start with lukewarm water to open up the pores of your skin and work your way slowly towards water that’s on the colder side. The idea of a cold shower may not sound very tempting but it comes with a number of benefits.
- Cold water has a great ability to
- It has been proven that cold showers can positively boost the mood and trigger creative thinking. 4
- Cold showers aid in vasodilation that helps improve blood circulation. Thus, it’s great for maintaining healthy skin and hair.5
Note: It’s all good to dress well and look presentable, but try not to spend too much time figuring out what to wear and how to do your hair. Save that energy for the rest of the day.
10. Eat A Healthy Breakfast
The most important meal of the day gets its title for a very good reason. Not only does a healthy breakfast give your body the energy it needs to take
- Oats with blueberries
- Oats with chia seeds
- Wholegrain toast and omelets
- Wholegrain toast with nut butter
- Yogurt with whole fruits
- Fruit smoothies
- Fruit salads with nuts and pumpkin or flax seeds
11. Plan Something Fun For The End Of The Day
Giving yourself something fun to look forward to can give you a great reason for smiling all day. Studies claim that the anticipation of something exciting can give you just as much happiness as the event itself.6
So go right ahead and book those tickets to the latest movie, or make a reservation for yourself and your friends at the new restaurant in town!
12. Execute Random Acts Of Kindness
Often, we get so caught up in all that we have to do in a day, we forget about the fact that there may be others around us who are having as tough a day as we are. Every morning, resolve to do an act of kindness. It could be something as simple as holding the door open for an elderly person or offering up your seat to someone on the bus, or maybe even carrying someone’s bags for them. Being able to make a difference in someone else’s life, even in the tiniest of ways, can bring you immense happiness.7 Kindness also has a funny way of coming back to you in unexpected ways, so go ahead, knock yourself out!
Starting your day on a positive note is not easy, especially if you’re suffering from depression or anxiety. Try to be determined and have a strong willpower – that’s half the battle won! These tips will help you begin your day positively and increase your productivity. Just stay the path for a few months and you’ll start seeing the difference for yourself!
|↑1||Biss, Renée K., and Lynn Hasher. “Happy as a lark: Morning-type younger and older adults are higher in positive affect.” Emotion 12, no. 3 (2012): 437.|
|↑2||Giving thanks can make you happier. Harvard Medical School.|
|↑3||Shevchuk, Nikolai A. “Possible use of repeated cold stress for reducing fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome: a hypothesis.” Behavioral and Brain Functions 3, no. 1 (2007): 55.|
|↑4||Shevchuk, Nikolai A. “Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression.” Medical hypotheses 70, no. 5 (2008): 995-1001.|
|↑5||Mooventhan, A., and L. Nivethitha. “Scientific evidence-based effects of hydrotherapy on various systems of the body.” North American journal of medical sciences 6, no. 5 (2014): 199.|
|↑6||Kumar, Amit, Matthew A. Killingsworth, and Thomas Gilovich. “Waiting for Merlot: Anticipatory consumption of experiential and material purchases.” Psychological science 25, no. 10 (2014): 1924-1931.|
|↑7||Buchanan, Kathryn E., and Anat Bardi. “Acts of kindness and acts of novelty affect life satisfaction.” The Journal of social psychology 150, no. 3 (2010): 235-237.|