[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f we are honest with ourselves, we can concede that mornings can indeed be challenging. We’re pulled out of our peaceful sleep and, within seconds, our brains are firing signals to our body to move and get going. Then, you find yourself attempting to organize your thoughts while still in the cloudy fog of a sleep hangover!
Most people are already thinking: ‘I need to jump in the shower, get dressed, take care of the kids, get the stuff I need for the day, and then deal with the less-than-desirable commute to the workplace. Ugh…what else do I need to do? Oh yeah…’ The cycle continues day after day until the weekend, where they can (hopefully) get some much-needed relaxation.
But here’s where happy people have the advantage. You think differently, and understand that you choose your mindset – no matter the time of day, circumstances, or distractions that often derail others. The morning, difficult and hectic for others, is simply another process for you.
Here are 10 things that happy people do differently in the morning:
1. Wake up with a grateful heart and mind
Before your feet hit the ground, be thankful to have air in your lungs and love in your heart. Be thankful for peace, and that you have another day to spend on our beautiful planet. Thank God that you are alive and well – and remember, unfortunately not everyone around the world woke up with such blessings that are often taken for granted. Happy people wake up with a grateful mindset, each and every morning.
2. Begin anew each and every day
Realize that yesterday’s shortcomings are just that…yesterday’s. Each morning grants you the opportunity to realize the beauty in starting a new day, with new possibilities of something great happening. You also realize your chance, once again, to make a powerful difference in the life of someone who may be having a difficult time and experiencing negative circumstances – happy people joyfully welcome that opportunity.
3. Are present, living in the here and now
Happy people approach mornings just like any other time of day – with present mindfulness. While their calendars may be full of appointments, meetings, deadlines, and after-work activities, they realize and appreciate the “here and now.” They understand that those responsibilities come later and will need to be dealt with later. But for now, they will live in the moment, and approach each task as it arises – with complete focus and peace of mind. We refuse to let things outside of our control distract the happiness that we fully personify and embrace.
4. Distance themselves from morning distractions
Many people arise each morning the same way – checking the news, financial markets, rushing aimlessly around the house while reading their emails and text messages, responding to the needs of others before they’ve even eaten their breakfast. In other words, they’re already inundated with the stress of work before even stepping foot in the office. This is unhealthy, counterproductive, and unnecessary. Happy people start their day with a clear and present mind because they know and understand that nothing comes before them, their families, and their happiness – even work.
5. Remember what’s truly important
No, work is not truly important – at least in the early morning hours. This may indeed be the case for people who are blessed with work that they love, and embrace their vocation wholeheartedly… this is different. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many people living today. While others remember their to-do list, happy people think about why they are grateful – including the ability to keep other responsibilities separate from what truly makes them happy.
6. Appreciate the little things in the morning routine
This has a different meaning for everyone, but it always revolves around your love and appreciation for the world around you. This can be your child’s hug, a hot cup of coffee, your spouse’s embrace, the beautiful sky and sunrise…whatever the little thing may be for you, it’s accepted with appreciation and joy.
7. Take care of their minds and bodies
Again, this can have different meanings for different types of people. However, happy people are mindful to take care of themselves, as they realize this allows them to take care of others. Exercise, reading scripture or religious text, prayer, affirmations, yoga, stretching, meditation…whatever activity that is necessary for us to take care of ourselves, happy people understand the importance of doing so, and create a morning routine out of it.
Being fully present in the morning allows for happy individuals to fully embrace whatever comes their way. This can be cooking breakfast, making coffee, preparing the kid’s lunch for school, conversing with your spouse, or during your commute to work. Whatever it is, focus only on that one thing – don’t worry about the next task. By fully embracing a single-tasking mentality in the morning, happy people prepare their mind for the rest of the day as they take on other responsibilities.
9.Embrace and follow a relaxing routine
As you are probably already aware, mornings set the foundation for the rest of the day. Your focus, momentum, and drive are all byproducts of how you approach the morning hours. Happy people reduce the number of decisions that they need to make by taking care of the essentials the day or evening before. This enables them to enjoy and fully experience their mornings, with complete relaxation and presence of mind.
10. Are mindful of their dreams
What are you so passionate about that you spend your days contemplating the possibilities? Remember that they are just possibilities for now, but can become a reality later. Use the morning hours to remind yourself of your true passion and calling in this life, and take a small step forward each and every morning. Remembering your dreams and passions will give you motivation and inspiration as you (mindfully!) go about your day.
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