The screeching sound of the alarm tears through your blissful sleep. Half-awake, partially aware of what is happening, you fumble to silence the annoying sound. Your mind kicks into action, going through each item on the to-do list for the day; tasks, chores, jobs, crisis, kids, pets, work… it all swirls unrelentingly in your brain. Forcing yourself out of bed, you stumble to the kitchen desperate for a cup of coffee and a shower. You grumble as you make your way to the shower, cursing that it is only Monday and you have four more days to get through before the weekend.
Good morning, Sunshine, your day has started.
Sound familiar? Probably for most people mornings start like this every day. These unpleasant thoughts and feelings set the tone for the day, often not in a good way. Let’s face it, mornings can be a drag for the majority of people. We start with negative thoughts, focus on the unpleasant, and almost will our day to sour.
Then there are the happy, positive people. The people who wake up happy, refreshed, and excited about the new day. They savor their coffee, enjoy a shower, greet the kids with kisses every morning, and a pleasant drive to work. They are sunny, warm people.
How do they do it? How do they wake up happy, enjoy their day despite whatever comes, and see the world in a positive light? Happy people seem to enjoy more in life, savor the little things, embrace whatever life brings, and seem satisfied.
Certainly genetics and life circumstances have a part in positive thinking. Mind set and simple habits have as much to do with happiness as genetics and circumstances. What does that mean for us negative thinkers? It means we can find happiness every morning too!
10 Things Happy People Do Every Day
For most people, the first few minutes of each morning determines their mind-set for the rest of the day. Rather than waking up to the unpleasant screech of an alarm or never-ending lists of tasks to complete; perhaps starting new, positive habits will change the course of each day and increase well-being.
Each morning positive people wake up grateful for their families, health, and the small things in life. Many people write 5 things they are grateful for in a journal. Others say these things to themselves. Now, to wake up grateful you must also get a good nights sleep. Often people wake up sleep deprived which leads to negative feelings and thoughts. Task: Write 1 “thing” you are grateful for and then write 5 sentences describing the specific reasons you are grateful for the “thing”. Go to sleep 30 minutes earlier. Turn off all tech items 1 hour before going to sleep.
2. It’s a New Day
Forget yesterday, it’s over and can’t be redone. Don’t worry about tomorrow. It’s not here and can’t be preplanned. Today is another opportunity for success, adventure, and life. Focusing on past failures hinders current progress; rather learn from the failures and move forward with the opportunities of today. Task: List 3 opportunities you have before you today.
3. Affirmations, Meditation, or Prayer
Positive people are kind to themselves. They build themselves up with happy thoughts and extend the same gentleness to themselves as others. The old saying, “Treat others as you would want to be treated.” works the other way too, “Treat yourself the way you would treat others.” Often we extend courtesies and kindnesses to strangers but treat ourselves poorly.
Happy people also have an inner peace and spirituality from prayer or meditation. Practicing prayer, meditation, or even yoga helps calm the mind and creates an inner peace. Task: Write 5 affirmations to read each day. Say a prayer, mediate, or do a calming exercise while in the shower.
4. Put Down the Tech
Happy people don’t start the day reading e-mail or even the news. They focus on taking care of themselves (coffee, breakfast, a shower) before addressing the needs of others or engaging in anything stressful (news). Task: Take care of yourself in the morning before thinking about checking e-mail or social media.
5. Establish a Simple Routine
Routines are good for everyone. They set up a reliable flow of events that end a lot of stress and thinking. A simple routine is easier to stick to and prevent distractions. If you have kids, get them on a simple routine as well. For instance, Johnny gets dressed, eats, brushes teeth and hair, checks backpack, shoes and coat, out to the bus. Simple. Task: The night before write a simple routine, lay out your clothes (kids can do their own), make your lunch for the next day, etc. Keep it simple and easy.
Happy people exercise every day. No, most beneficial exercise cannot be done within 10 minutes, but it is an important part to happy, healthy living. Most positive people exercise early in the day but for most of us rising earlier is an additional challenge. Morning exercise may be something to work up to; start with exercise some time during the day for at least 20 minutes. Exercise is also a great time to meditate, pray, and have quiet time with yourself. Task: Start exercising 20 minutes each day. Waking, running, jogging, biking, Wii Fitness, basketball, baseball, jump rope, at home workouts, yoga, Youtube video workouts, whatever you enjoy. Just do it and make time for yourself.
7. Eat Breakfast
It is proven that eating a healthy breakfast helps wake the body, increase energy, and satisfaction. If you make your kids eat breakfast why aren’t you doing it too? Task: Eat a healthy breakfast every morning. No excuses!
8. Get Outside
Fresh air is invigorating. Positive, happy people enjoy the outdoors, appreciate the beauty of the world around them, and savor the opportunity to enjoy nature. Getting outside is as simple as exercising every day, walking the dog, going to the park with the kids, hiking, or reading a book in the back yard. Task: Go outside and enjoy your surrounds and the world. Look for the beautiful, wonderful little things… ants carrying food to the hive, small flowers, the sunshine, whatever catches your attention.
Happy people keep their dreams and aspirations alive. They focus on what they are passionate about and their goals. Having dreams and goals gives people something to work toward, something positive that they want to do. Reaching our goals and attaining our dreams leads to a sense of worth, value, and success. Task: What are your dreams? What are you passionate about? Make a list of 3 goals and read it every morning.
10. Get Physical
It’s no secret that human touch is vital part of the human condition, specifically physical and mental well-being. Touching releases hormones, such as oxytocin that increases relaxation, satisfaction, security, and affection. Not all touch is the same; for instance, touching your kids is different from your spouse, or touching your dog is different from seeing your doctor for a cut. Seeking out and touching a loved one brings happiness (who doesn’t like a nice hug, a caress, holding hands, or a kiss?) This is a great article by Refinery29 about touch. Task: Touch a loved one — a hug, hold hands, kiss, rub, or if you are in a committed relationship get intimate.