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Wake Up With A Smile: 8 Simple Ways To Start Your Morning Right

Photo: Dean Drobot / shutterstock
woman waking up with a smile

By Theresa Faughnan

We all know what it’s like to hear the alarm go off in the morning. We also all know the instinct to grumble and roll to the other side, ignoring the buzzing.

Maybe we didn’t sleep well the night before or maybe our alarm interrupted a perfect dream. Regardless, the way we start our morning sets the tone for the rest of the day.

The reality is, if we wake up grumpy, we will more than likely stay grumpy throughout the day.

Interestingly enough, research suggests that a positive attitude in the morning correlates to improved well-being throughout the day, from personal satisfaction through professional success to interactions with others. But the question remains: How do you wake up happy?

RELATED: How To Wake Yourself Up: 8 Tips To Get Up On Time

Below are a few tips to start your day the right way.

1. Let in natural light.

When you wake up, open the blinds and let in some natural light.

It’s because studies suggest that exposure to sunlight increases the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. This hormone boosts your mood and helps you remain calm and focused.

2. Set the tune for the day.

As seen in an article by Spotify music psychologist and Cambridge Ph.D. candidate David M. Greenberg, studies show that the best songs to wake up to should build up, be positive, and have a strong beat. 

Some songs they suggested to help you wake up in a good mood include Coldplay’s "Viva La Vida," Demi Lovato’s "Confident," Katrina & The Waves’ "Walking on Sunshine," and Imagine Dragons’ "On Top of the World."

3. Move it, move it!

Even if it’s just a few stretches on your yoga mat or a whole exercise routine, moving first thing in the morning wakes up your muscles and gets your blood flowing.

4. Have an attitude of gratitude.

Begin your day by listing things you’re grateful for. Then, when we take the time to appreciate what we have, we set a positive and happy tone for the rest of the day. 

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RELATED: The Happiest Women Do These 5 Things Every Morning

5. Prioritize your tasks.

Listing your tasks in order of importance can help make the day seem more feasible and give you the comfort of knowing what can be postponed without causing any problems. What’s more, goals that are viewed more regularly have a tendency to be accomplished faster.

6. Make yourself a nice breakfast.

Since we were young, it’s been drilled into our heads: A good breakfast starts the day right. 

“Much of the research just makes good common sense,” says Christy C. Tangney, PhD, a clinical dietitian at Rush University Medical Center. “If you start with a healthy, satisfying meal in the morning, you’re less apt to nibble on less nutritious things during the day, which we often do out of hunger — you grab the first or easiest thing in front of you.” 

7. Look for good news.

We all know the news can quickly put our moods in a downward spiral, especially these days. On the other hand, reading something uplifting or inspiring in the morning can help us find out what’s going on in the world while keeping the mood light.

To do that, try sites like Upworthy, Humans of New York, or Reader’s Digest’s inspiring stories.

8. Make your life easier the night before.

Doing whatever you can before bed will allow you not to feel rushed in the morning. You may even have time for meditation, a dance party, or a nice cup of coffee. What’s more, set out your clothes, pack your lunch, and pre-set the coffee pot with a timer — anything to make your morning easier. 

While they may not seem like a lot, these simple steps will help you have an easier and more enjoyable start to your day and pave the way for an excellent rest of the day.

RELATED: 106 Inspirational Good Morning Quotes To Get You Motivated

Theresa Faughnan is a writer whose work focuses on lifestyle, family, and mental health topics. Visit her author profile for more.

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This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.