Mornings can signify the bright start of a brand new day. But for others, when your alarm clock rings, it's a groggy mess of dragging yourself out of bed and heading straight to the coffee maker. Although not everyone is a morning person, starting your day off positively is actually quite important. Studies show that when you begin your day in a positive mood, it increases your chances of remaining happy as the day progresses.
What you do in the morning can affect the rest of your day, so why start your day off by waking up on the wrong side of the bed? Creating good morning habits doesn't necessarily mean you have to wake up at 6 a.m. to go to spin class or do a yoga routine before work; there are little things you can do that take just a few minutes, but can improve your mood, your performance, and your overall satisfaction with your day.
For those of us who aren't morning people, there are ways to start your day off right that don't even involve getting out of bed. Try incorporating one of these seven habits into your morning routine for a happier and more productive day, all without having to leave the comfort of your cozy sheets and blankets.
1. Take A Moment For Personal Gratitude
"Think of five things about yourself that you are grateful for...that you are a kind person, that you make great spaghetti sauce, that you are very organized, etc.," says Stacy Kaiser, Editor at Large of Live Happy.
Studies show that people who express gratitude about their lives feel more optimistic and happier about their lives overall. Interestingly enough, they also tend to visit the doctor less, proving that their may indeed be a link between attitude and physical health.
2. Nurture Yourself
"Grab a cup of your favorite tea and hop back into bed, watch a little bit of a morning news show that you enjoy, read a magazine, cuddle with your mate, your kids or your pet," says Kaiser.
Doing something you enjoy first thing in the morning will help set your overall tone for the rest of the day.
3. Set Some Goals
Whether it's something significant like kick-ass at your big presentation or something minor like smile at a stranger, research has found that creating concrete goals for yourself not only sets you on the right track to success, but helps you feel happier as well.
4. Spread Some Happiness
"Before you start out your day, take a moment to call a friend, send a text to a family member, or email a coworker that you appreciate," says Kaiser.
Not only will this help someone else feel good, but it can help you start your day off as well; studies have even shown that thinking of a loved one or significant other can help reduce pain and stress.
5. Get Mentally Organized
When you wake up in the morning, oftentimes a deluge of thoughts may be running through your head. Writing them down can not only help you stay organized, but it might even lead to a better chance of accomplishing your tasks.
"Grab a pad of paper for your smart phone and create a list of things you hope to accomplish throughout the day," suggests Kaiser. "This will help you remember what is important, and make you feel prepared to take on the day."
6. Stretch Out
No need to hit the gym to do this exercise. Stretching in bed for just a few minutes releases dopamine, improving your mood, your self-esteem, and boosting your energy. Doing a few stretches and practicing your breathing can help keep you relaxed for the rest of the day.
7. Plan Something Fun For The End Of The Day
"Think of something that you will love doing once your day is done and promise yourself you will make that happen," says Kaiser. "Giving yourself something enjoyable to look forward can help put a smile on your face for the entire day."
Even science has to agree: Studies show that anticipating something exciting can bring you just as much excitement as the event itself.