Today’s Solutions: October 24, 2021

Not everyone is a morning person, but if you wake up irritable and sleepy in the morning, you are more likely to feel down for the rest of the day. If this sounds familiar, consider these five simple morning habits that happiness experts have come up with to positively influence how you feel throughout the day.

Pick a wellness habit, then link it to a morning ritual you already have. There are many evidence-backed strategies you can use to try to boost happiness, but the key is finding the one that works for you. Some recommended methods to cultivate awareness are through meditation, yoga, or focusing on whatever nature you see outside your window.

Once you’ve selected a method to try, link it with something that you already do in the morning. Whether it’s making your bed or brewing coffee, if you tack on a wellness practice to an existing habit, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Remember, consistency is key to maintaining healthy habits over time.

Get your phone out of your room. Career and life coach Allison Task orders her clients to keep their bedrooms and cell phones separate. There is a lot of evidence out there that supports the idea that screens get in the way of happiness. Studies show that frequent social media users develop overall feelings of unhappiness. The same is true for those who receive a high volume of emails.

Plus, screens disturb sleep cycles, which are deeply connected to people’s overall sense of well-being.

Talk to yourself. Murray Zucker, psychiatrist, and chief medical officer of the health care platform Happify, notes that many people already spend a lot of time talking to themselves, especially if they’re feeling drained or dejected in the morning. Zucker builds on this with a self-talk pro tip: use your own name. According to him, “if you use your own name in your self-talk, you’re more likely to follow cognitive advice.”

Talk to somebody else. To complement your positive self-talk, try to connect with someone else who you hold in high regard. This person may be your spouse, best friend, or even your child. Take a moment to connect and recharge in the morning with this person. This can be over a cup of coffee, while cooking breakfast, or even at your desk before you start your workday.

If these options aren’t accessible to you at this moment for whatever reason, research shows that even if you don’t actually meet up or speak with someone via email or text, simply sending good thoughts their way can be enough.

Incorporate gratitude. Researchers and clinicians agree that gratitude is a powerful happiness booster. Studies show that individuals who journal about things they’re thankful for during the week score significantly higher on the happiness scale than those who noted things they’d been bothered by.

If journaling doesn’t call to you, then consider trying out a morning prayer. Many cultures and religions do this already, but even if you’re not religious, this is a simple habit that you can try out. Take this chance to express gratitude about being alive, or having a roof over your head, or the fact that you get to walk your dog. Whichever way you do it, feeling appreciative for what you have will truly set the tone for your day.

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