Having a happy morning leads to a happier day. But for many of us, mornings begin in a rushed panic. We allow our alarm clocks to buzz at least a dozen times before we decide to get out of bed. We then run around our homes half-awake trying to get ready for our day.
So it may not surprise you to know that happy individuals tend to actually enjoy their mornings. They appear to thrive on waking up with the sun and look forward to a new day of possibilities. These happy people have morning routines that increase their own sense of well-being and give their day a purpose.
Here are 11 morning habits of happy and successful people. Choose the ones that appeal to you:
1) Wake up feeling grateful:
What is the first thought that comes to your mind? Is it about something that happened yesterday? Or is it about your mom, friend, sibling etc.? If yes, then stop and instead think about how lucky you are to have seen this beautiful day. Make a list in your mind about all the things you are grateful for in your life, such as “I am grateful for this breakfast, my friends, my dog, the holidays etc.” You don’t have to do this as a task. Think about these things as you carry on with you morning chores. Research clearly shows that people who regularly express gratitude are less likely to suffer from loneliness, anxiety, depression and envy.
2) Eat, even if you don’t feel like it:
Eat something really healthy and tasty for breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day. It provides you with all the essential nutrients, minerals, and energy that gets you fuelled up for the day. If you just can’t eat early in the morning try a liquid breakfast like a milkshake or a healthy smoothie. ( Here are some great, easy-to-make smoothie recipes for you!)
Planning a good breakfast the night before is also a good idea to avoid rushing about in the morning.
3) Get things done the night before:
A few simple steps taken before bed can make all the difference to your morning happiness. Try laying out your clothes for the day, decide on breakfast, have your gym bag packed and ready at the door. Additionally, having a quick tidy-up session before bed ensures that you wake up without a list of chores to do. So keep things simple and have a peaceful and happy morning.
4) Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier:
Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.”
– Richard Whately
It is just a matter of 15 minutes. It does not sound like a big deal but it can create a major difference. This way, you don’t have to jump out of bed and rush through your morning. You can begin your morning by lying in bed, slowly waking up, stretching, listening to your favourite song. It’s just as important to prepare yourself mentally as it is physically, for your day. These few minutes in bed, before anyone else is up, are all yours.
5) Use the Rule of 3 to Focus on the Essentials:
Spend 5 minutes every morning deciding the 3 most important things you can do that day. You only have to ask yourself one question:
If I only accomplished 3 things today, what would they be?
Why is it so effective?
For 3 reasons:
1) It forces you to focus on the most important things. You sort through all the things in your head and arrive at the 3 things which will create the most difference.
2) You’ll actually do it because it’s easy to do and remember.
3) It eliminates time wasters. Such as sitting for hours every day checking your email and watching YouTube videos.
Who says that in the morning you have to do those stretches for a full 30 minutes? It is actually easier than that and much more fun. For example, take walks. Morning walks are beneficial for everyone. Walking is also proven to stimulate creativity in the brain, which isn’t a bad way to start the day either.
If you have a dog, walk it. Walking your dog in the morning is a form of much-needed exercise for humans and dogs alike.
7) Live now, Think now, Feel now:
If you are living in the present then why should your mind be occupied with the past or the future? The past is already gone and the future is yet to come. So savor the beauty of the surroundings and practice being present in the moment when you go on a morning walk with your dog or sit indoors on your favourite chair by the window. Being present connects and grounds you to what is really important in the moment. There is a certain kind of wisdom that comes with being a witness to your own life.
8) Reject those morning distractions:
Don’t open your eyes to the sight of your phone’s screen. You do not want those distractions from news, emails and text messages intruding so early. They will damage your early morning routine and flood your mind with the information you don’t need right now. Those messages can wait till much later and if it is an emergency, people will call you.
9) Take a morning breath:
Spend 5-10 minutes each morning listening to music or sitting on the deck or porch, to just think. You can also pray or meditate. Meditation and prayers would keep you feeling spiritually content and music releases the “happiness chemicals” serotonin and dopamine, increasing motivation and happiness. This consequently decreases the level of stress hormones in our body. This allows the creative thinking that takes place during the night to gel and convert into a plan of action, grounding you for the day.
You can start your day off with inspiring stories of successful people or read some pages of the novel that you left off yesterday. It will start your day on a positive note with new ideas to guide your day’s journey.
11) Plan something fun for later:
If all else fails, having something to look forward to during the day really helps to chase away the early morning blues. Plan to go for dinner with a friend or watch that movie with your buddies that you’ve been wanting to watch. After all the anticipation, itself can make you happy.
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh”, said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?” “What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?” “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen that’s exciting, today?” said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing” he said.”
— Winnie The Pooh
If our favourite cartoon characters can do it so easily, so can you. If you don’t have a morning routine, choose one habit at a time and make sure you stick to it. Each happy morning can help transform your life.