Do you ever wonder if some of the first morning actions we perform or emotions we wake up to influence how the rest of our day will go?
I remember one morning, a few weeks ago, I woke up in tears after having a pretty awful nightmare. It really did set a cloud hanging over the rest of my day even though I knew the events in the dream did not happen in real life. Then there are other mornings, like today, where my morning started off on a wonderful and positive note that has set a delightful tone for the rest of the day.
You know that saying, where you can wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Sometimes I feel like that holds true, but often times we do have the power to change our mindset and set a different tone for the rest of the day. Life happens, and we will not be happy 100% of the time, but it never hurts to perform acts of self-care, self-compassion, and self-love in addition to treating others in the same accord. Either way, this post is about ways that we can start our days off in positive ways. 🙂 Feel free to suggest anything in the comments below on any morning rituals you have to start off your day on a good note.
1. Music: You know that happy feeling you get when you listen to your favorite song(s)? It’s a damn good feeling, isn’t it? Channel that feeling as soon as you wake up and throw on your favorite song or two! Even better, program your phone to play your favorite song as your alarm. I can tell you that it really does work, because this morning started off with awesome songs and I woke up in a really great mood. My boyfriend and I decided to play songs that make us happy and found ourselves dancing before we even got out of bed! Want some suggestions to start off? Our song choices this morning were:
Two Princes by Spin Doctors – I challenge you to not want to rock out to this song.
Canned Heat by Jamiroquai – The message in here is awesome. Yes, I will dance my blues away, thank you very much.
Good Morning Good Morning by The Beatles – My boyfriend chose this song and not only was the song great to listen to, but hearing his attempt at a British singing voice contributed SIGNIFICANTLY to my positive mood this morning. 😛
2. Positive Affirmations: Positive affirmations are statements that you can repeat to yourself, and research studies show that these can increase our feelings of self-worth and help us respond to threats more effectively. Here’s a great list of some morning affirmations you can start out with, but over time you’ll likely end up creating ones that fit into your view of life at that time. They can really make a dramatic difference in mood and often result in us feeling more grateful towards the things in life we take for granted. Try it and see if it works. 🙂
4. Warm Beverages/Food: Disclaimer: I am not an expert on health nor nutrition. Obviously by my blog title, I love starting off my morning with a cup of coffee. It makes me feel all warm and gooey inside. What’s your go-to beverage to get that inner gooey feeling alive and kicking? Sometimes just having a warm beverage or something yummy in the morning can get us going for the rest of the day, not to mention give us the energy we need to complete tasks.
5. Positive Images: During grad school when my anxiety/stress levels rose to an all-time maximum, I would immediately Google pictures of cute baby animals because who doesn’t soften at the sight of cute baby animals? Kristen: #2 is for you, girl! Even better, a Japanese study showed that looking at cute pictures increases not only our mood, but our productivity as well. Whether this study is legitimate or not, I don’t care because ALL HAIL CUTE BABY ANIMALS! 😀
The list can go on and on, but I suggest finding at least one thing to do every morning that will make your life easier. Maybe that involves setting the alarm so you can wake up a little earlier so you can squeeze in looking at funny websites like Buzzfeed, Reddit, or Imgur or savor that morning cup of coffee. Or maybe you can go for a quick jog/run/walk in the morning or be mindful when taking your dog on a morning walk. Maybe it will involve not leaving your home, but just waking up and writing down one thing you are grateful for in a journal. Gratitude is always a great way to start a morning. Whatever it is, try to set a goal of just doing one thing that can improve your mood, even slightly, every morning. There will be days when it’s not as easy to improve our moods, but that’s ok because we have many more mornings to come (and should be grateful for that fact as well). 🙂
We can’t control how the rest of the day will go, but we can at least take a little bit of time to start our morning off in a way that will keep our minds (and subsequently, bodies) as healthy as possible.