Wake Up Happier And Start The Day On the Right Foot!

Wake Up Happier And Start The Day On the Right Foot!

Wake Up Happier And Start The Day On the Right Foot!

To start her day off right, Kate Mason, a clinical psychologist based in Worcester, England, said she sets her alarm a bit earlier than when she wants to get up and lies in bed for a minute or two. She then takes deep breaths and thinks about three things she’s looking forward to that day. It could be anything from enjoying coffee and breakfast in peace to watching something on Netflix in the evening.

“It definitely doesn’t have to be anything major at all,” Mason told Everyday Health.

According to Mason and other mental health professionals, how you start your morning can affect the rest of your day.

“Giving yourself the time and space to check in with and look after yourself will make sure you’re set up for the day ahead in the best way possible,” Rebekah Tennyson, a clinical psychologist for the National Health Service in Oxfordshire, England, told Everyday Health.

Some people, however, have struggles in the morning. For example, if you tend to have a low mood in the mornings, become anxious over facing the day, oversleep, and find it hard to get out of bed, you may have what doctors call, “morning depression,” which can be caused by the same things that bring on clinical depression, according to WebMD.

Signs of morning depression can look like symptoms of classic depression. For instance, you may feel most down after you wake up and notice that you:

  • Feel sad and anxious
  • Lack interest in anything
  • Feel cranky
  • Feel Frustrated

Morning depression may be caused by health issues, such as sleep problems, stress hormones, and inflammation. WebMD recommends talking to your healthcare provider, taking care of your overall health, and asking your doctor or pharmacist if your medications or drug interactions could be causing morning depression.

Study: Connecting with Nature Makes You Feel Happier For Seven Hours

It’s a known fact that experiencing nature has a positive effect on an individual’s mental health. Still, there hasn’t been much evidence to support that belief, Andrea Michelli, a professor of Early Intervention in Mental Health at King’s College London, in England.

In an interview on the BBC’s Breakfast program, Michelli, also a neuroscientist, was part of a research project designed to scientifically prove nature’s positive effects on our mental health. The investigators developed “Urban Mind,” an app that tracked the movements of volunteers in the study through their mobile devices. The app randomly prompted the study participants to answer questions about where they were, what they could see, and how they felt at certain times.

The study found that going on long country walks, listening to birds singing, gardening, and exposure to the sky, regardless of the weather, had a positive effect that could last for up to seven hours. That means exposure to nature in the morning can leave you feeling happier and in good spirits.

Interestingly enough, Michelli said the study also found that participants who were at greater risk for anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues gained more from being outdoors than others. Michelli said he hopes the study can “help create diverse treatment plans” for patients to overcome their mental health issues.

7 Things to Do in the Morning to Be Happier All Day

According to mental health professionals, there are manageable, first-thing-in-the-morning activities that you can incorporate into your morning routine to improve your mood and refresh your body and mind. Although there are many activities, the following are seven examples:

1. Drink a glass of water

Drink at least one glass of lukewarm water before you leave your bed. Drinking water shortly after awakening helps to detox your body by flushing away pathogens (organisms that cause disease) in your body when you urinate.

2. Stretch Your Body

Stretching is essential to your body because spending the night in bed without moving around much causes your muscles to stiffen and your joints and limbs to become less mobile. Stretching your body may help you become more flexible and relieve stress, headaches, and anxiety.

3. Keep Your Smartphone Off

Mason said she keeps her phone off to avoid checking her messages or social media. “I have a bedtime mode on my phone where from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m. I don’t get any notifications,” she told Everyday Health.

4. Link an activity to your routine

Murray Zucker, a psychiatrist and chief medical officer of the healthcare platform Happify, suggests adding a wellness habit to your routine. For instance, after getting up, getting dressed, and making your bed, read ten pages of a book. Reading can enrich and motivate you in the morning. Zucker told HuffPost that if you add a wellness habit to something that you already do, you’re much more likely to stick with it.

5. Take time to meditate or pray

Meditation and prayer have been shown to calm the mind, sharpen your focus, and improve your mood. The challenge, however, is stopping your mind from wandering. Some mindfulness experts suggest bringing your attention back by focusing on your breathing and then continuing with your prayer or meditation.

6. Speak Positive Affirmations

Speaking positive words and phrases to yourself helps to change your view of yourself, raise your confidence level, and put you in a good mood, among other things.

7. Exercise

Joshua Coleman, a San Francisco Bay Area psychologist, says he starts each day by running outdoors in the morning—rain or shine. “It clears my head and puts the day in front of me in focus,” Coleman told Everyday Health. Studies have found that morning exercise can reduce stress, increase productivity, and boost mood—an effect lasting for several hours. Exercise does not have to be vigorous; low-impact exercises also have positive health and mental benefits.

Tennyson says that too often, people just start their days without doing what she calls a “self-check-in.” She starts her day by asking herself: How am I doing? How am I feeling? Am I trying to override certain feelings I am definitely feeling?

“Being able to recognize things like ‘I’m more irritable today’ rather than thinking ‘That person is really annoying today’ is going to impact our interactions,” Tennyson told Everyday Health. “It can be really difficult to recognize your own emotions,” adding that it nearly always helps when we do.

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