Wondering how to wake up in a good mood? It’s easier to rise above the mess than you think…
Have you ever noticed that what happens during the morning hours often sets the tone for the rest of the day? When things go smoothly, you tend to feel more relaxed and ready to face whatever the day may bring. However, when things get bumpy before you’ve even managed to get dressed, you’re more likely to remain grumpy until bedtime.
While some hassles can’t be avoided, you can make mood-enhancing decisions during the a.m. hours that will set the stage for the rest of your day.
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Here are 10 pick-me-ups that will have your mood rising like the morning sun. Try one (or all!) of them for a happier and healthier you.
1. Do something good for yourself, immediately.
When you wake up, give yourself 30 seconds to think of at least one nice thing you can do for yourself that day…and then do it. It could be something as simple as treating yourself to your favorite breakfast treat, or giving yourself time to take a nice, relaxing bath in the morning.
2. Eat a well-balanced meal.
Start your morning with a nutritious mix of complex carbohydrates and proteins that will last you until lunch, such as oatmeal or toast with peanut butter (include a sprinkle of cinnamon, which one study linked to improved mood and alertness, for an extra boost). Other research found that a moderate amount of caffeine (200 mg, or the amount in about two cups of coffee) elevated mood and mental sharpness, so enjoy some joe or black tea with your breakfast.
3. Get some fresh air.
Head out for some “green exercise”—physical activity performed in an outdoor setting—even if you only have a few minutes to spare. Researchers found that people experienced an enhanced mood and higher self-esteem after just five minutes of various types of green exercise, including walking and gardening. The study also found that exercising near water amplified the effects, so if you live near a lake, river or waterfall, even better.
4. Listen to the sounds of nature.
Capture the benefits of the great outdoors, even if you can’t get outside, by listening to recorded nature sounds. In a recent study, participants recovered from a stressful situation more quickly when they listened to a recorded combination of running water and bird sounds. Open your window in the morning so you can hear Mother Nature’s music as you get ready, or invest in an alarm clock that eases you awake with nature sounds.
5. Focus on feeling good.
Right after waking up, take five deep breaths and make the decision to feel good for the day. Imagine that, even when you encounter frustrations and surprises, you will remember to breathe and respond mindfully—rather than react mindlessly—to your circumstances. Throughout the day, “take five deep, intentional breaths and remind yourself of your decision to feel good.”