How many of you wake up in the morning, hit the snooze button a few times, then hurriedly jump out of bed and run out the door? Probably most of the people reading this, we would assume.
However, mornings don’t have to start off in such a stressful, rushed manner. While not everyone is a morning person, we can all practice certain habits to improve the quality of our mornings and get the day started on the right note.
Yes, you might still need a couple cups of coffee to get moving and alert in the morning, but these habits might just add a little peace to an otherwise stressful day.
Here are five things to change about your mornings to make you happier:
1. Wake up earlier.
Yes, you read that correctly. It might be hard to incorporate at first, but you’ll quickly realize all the benefits of starting your day just a tad bit earlier.
According to a study by the University of Toronto, “people who wake up early in the morning are generally happier and have higher satisfaction overall in their lives.”
The early birds probably feel happier because they don’t rush so much in the mornings since they have more time to get ready and wake up before running out the door.
Try getting up just five minutes earlier for a week, and then ten minutes earlier the next week. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel having those extra minutes in the morning to yourself.
2. Fit in some exercise.
You probably know about all the health benefits of exercise by now, but did you know that working out in the morning helps you stick to a workout routine better? Researchers believe that since you don’t have any obligations in the morning, you’re more likely to commit to working out. Plus, those endorphins flowing through your body will get you in a positive mindset to begin your day, and you’ll simply feel more energized and alive!
You might find it hard to workout so early at first, but your body will adjust to the new routine.
3. Reach for the H2O before coffee.
We spend (hopefully) 7 hours asleep, and during that time, our bodies are fasting. Upon waking up, we’re dehydrated, which means we should be drinking at least a couple glasses of water in the morning. It can be tempting to go straight for the coffeepot instead, but your body will definitely thank you for the hydration before you get even more dehydrated from the coffee.
Of course, a couple cups of coffee in the morning won’t hurt, and in fact, can help protect against heart disease and lower blood pressure, among other benefits, but make sure you also guzzle down some water at some point.
4. Make some time for meditation instead of scrolling through your smartphone.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning, after using the bathroom? Stretch? Brush your teeth? Lie in bed for a few minutes before you start the day? Or, do you reach for your smartphone and scroll away?
Sadly, according to a study conducted by the Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey of 2016, 61% of people check their phones within 5 minutes of waking up. 88% of people check their phones within 30 minutes, and even more disturbingly, 1 in 3 people wakes up in the middle of the night to check their smartphone. What are these people doing on their phones in the wee hours of the morning? Most commonly, checking text messages and social media notifications. Not good.
Smartphones have infiltrated society so that it has become a hindrance to other important activities, namely, sleep! Make sure you keep your phone at least away from your bed while you sleep, and even better, keep it on ‘Do Not Disturb.’ This will ensure that notifications don’t keep you awake during the night. You can even use an old-fashioned alarm clock to wake up instead of your smartphone, so you aren’t tempted to stay on it after you turn off the alarm.
As far as meditation, the benefits are so lengthy that we could write a novel about them. However, we will just keep it short and sweet and say that meditating in the morning will help you relax, destress, and start your day in a more peaceful way than sifting through endless (often useless) information on a tiny little screen.
5. Listen to music.
While you get ready in the morning, put on some of your favorite tunes and jam away. Not only will it put you in a good mood, but studies have shown it can even ease stress and anxiety. Aside from the benefits, who doesn’t love music?!
Mornings might not be your favorite time of day, but they can be a little more enjoyable if you take time to slow down, breathe, and add a little mindfulness to the morning routine. Conversely, getting your heart pumping with a workout and some background music will energize you and motivate you to start your day. A combination of relaxation and stimulation is just what the doctor ordered, so let us know if these tips help you look forward to mornings just a bit more!
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love—then make that day count!” – Steve Maraboli