In our last post, we discussed the five thoughts that inhibit our happiness but what about those mornings when you just wake up frowning? I have at least one morning like that once a week, and I should mention I am a morning person. I can’t even imagine how my day would start out if I hated mornings. That said, whether you are a morning person or not, I think we all could do with some insights on how to start our days off on the right foot.

1. Meditation

I try to meditate every day. Some days I can focus and get up from a meditation feeling great. Other times it takes a lot for me to focus on the positive and even spend five minutes without my mind wandering to a replay and analysis of what someone said to me the night before. But even if I can only focus for a few minutes- every day that I meditate seems to be a bit brighter. And here’s why:

  • Meditation helps me focus on what I want to accomplish for the day.
  • It assists me in feeling emotions fully and then letting them go, instead of seething, being grumpy or just “off” for a whole day.
  • It gives me the chance to get to know who I am better.
  • At its very least, the posture I put my body in while meditating tricks my mind into being in a happier state.

It took me a long time to figure out that I liked meditation and that it helped me start off my morning in a positive way. Some free websites and apps that helped me learn how to meditate are Omvana (iPhone App), Meditation Oasis (website with podcasts) and Stop, Breathe and Think (iPhone App). I should let you know that I found these sites on my own or through friend recommendations and I am in no way affiliated with these organizations. Sometimes it is hard to know where to start and these three resources each offer guided meditations for beginners as well as daily meditators.

2. Working Out

Ok, I know we’ve all heard that we should be working out in the morning. And for some people working out in the morning is not an option or a preference but I’ve discovered that when I work out in the mornings, my head tends to be clearer and more focused throughout the day. I think better, I’m not sluggish and I always feel pretty accomplished after I’ve made it through a workout. Even if there weren’t the physical benefits of working out, I believe that that emotion of early morning accomplishment is enough to start my day off in a positive way.

3. Looking Up

I think that working out and meditating are two very common suggestions to hear about starting your day off right, however, I have found that looking up from my phone in the morning is a huge help when I’m feeling down or a little negative in my mornings.  We miss so much that is happening around us when we are looking down at our phones and most of us use our phones to catch up on social media- which in itself can cause negative emotions and waste valuable workout and meditation time! This may sound a little hippy but taking the time to look at the sky, see the color of the flowers and feel the breeze as it rustles the trees can really have a tremendous impact on how you see and spend the rest of your day.

Yesterday I discovered this video and it takes a look at how being on our phones all the time can lead to loneliness, sadness and even lead to us missing out on the most important, yet seemingly insignificant moments in life. While working out in the morning or meditating can take a few more minutes that we may not have time for, looking up and enjoying your surroundings only takes a few seconds.

What other things do you do to start your morning off in a positive way? Share your morning routines and thoughts on the three tips in the comments below! I’d also love to hear your take on the video. It really spoke to me and encouraged me to put down my phone more and more often.  How did it make you evaluate your own phone habits?

Photo by Kalen Emsley