How you begin your morning can set the tone for the rest of your day.
Yet, for many of us, the morning is a hectic time. Between work, family, and daily tasks, it can often feel as if the weight of your to-do list is crushing — especially with the whole day before you. But that it is definitely not the tone you want to set for your day.
Luckily, there are lots of quick and easy ways to make your mornings a little more zen. Try these tips to wake up happier — you’ll be thanking yourself all day long.
As soon as you wake up, open the shades to let in some natural light.
While total darkness is great for falling asleep, it can make getting out of bed a struggle. This is because the human body follows a circadian rhythm, or an internal “clock” that tells us when to sleep and when to wake up based on light. If you crack open the shades as soon as you wake up, your body will more easily recognize that it’s time to get moving. Studies have also shown that sunlight boosts serotonin levels, which improves mood. It’s a win-win for starting the day on a happy note!
Add natural touches to your room, like flowers or plants, to encourage feelings of happiness.
Research shows that incorporating natural elements into your home decor does more than just look pretty. A 2006 study from Harvard University found that people who had flowers in their homes experienced less anxiety, worry, and depression. If your morning needs a boost, the simple act of bringing in a bouquet of flowers or adding a plant to your bedside table can help.
Prepare the night before.
When your eyes open in the morning, do you immediately feel anxious about everything you need to accomplish? Taking a few extra minutes in the evening to pack bags, prepare lunch, and choose an outfit for the next day will translate into a much less hectic morning — so by the time your alarm rings, you’ll have already checked off several items on the to-do list.
Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Penelope Cruz, and Oprah Winfrey swear by daily meditation to relieve anxiety and prepare for sleep. Setting aside just a couple of minutes for the relaxing, reflective practice of meditation has helped some people ease anxiety, and studies suggest that it may even improve sleep quality.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up? If the answer involves scrolling through social media or answering emails, you might want to rethink your routine. Tristan Harris, a former Google Design Ethicist who has studied technology’s impact on people’s behavior, wrote, “When we wake up in the morning and turn our phone over to see a list of notifications — it frames the experience of ‘waking up in the morning’ around a menu of ‘all the things I’ve missed since yesterday.’” Rather than starting the morning off with FOMO, give yourself space to wake up without the presence of technology. Reducing screen time by even a short amount can boost your mood and start your day off on a happier note.
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