Health And Wellness

8 Little Things To Add To Your Morning That Will Instantly Better Your Life

Photo: Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock
woman drinking water

Learning how to be happy and how to change your life requires a lot of positivity, and this can start by making necessary changes to your morning routine.

Even though not as easy as it sounds, building morning discipline into your daily routine just might be the fastest way to improve performance in any area of your life, which will lead you to a path of happiness and positive thinking!

RELATED: Mother Asks If She's Wrong For Installing GPS Tracker On 15-Year-Old Daughter’s Car

Most people's morning routines include grabbing their cell phones to check e-mail, texts, social media, or newsfeeds before they even rouse out of bed in the morning.

The problem with doing this is that rather than deciding how you want to feel and then working hard to cultivate more of that feeling, you are allowing things totally outside of your control to determine how you will feel as you enter into your day.

Whether it’s an e-mail from your boss reminding you of a late report, a phone bill you neglected to pay, or a text message from an ex professing their undying love, by engaging with your phone first, you’ve just placed the fate of your day into the hands of chance!

Rather than letting a "bad" weather report or obnoxious news headline set off a bad mood that could potentially negatively impact the rest of your day — and life — try committing to a daily morning routine.

Optimizing your state of mind — your mood — as you begin the day is what we call "Winning the day!"

This means preparing your mind and body for all that lies ahead! By taking charge of your morning ritual, you hedge your bet by getting into an optimal state of mind and body from the start. And, it's absolutely life-changing.

Here are 8 simple things to add to your morning routine to change your life for the better:

1. Gratitude/Appreciation exercises

The power of positivity is astounding so start the day with gratitude!

Before I engage in the "problem scan", frantically scanning my mind for the list of all the things I don’t want to do that day, I immediately reach for all that I am grateful for, or appreciative of! This puts me in the right frame of mind to begin to approach the day ahead!

2. Smile

I always remember to try to have a positive attitude! So, think positive thoughts!

Making the shift to a positive attitude might be the single biggest contributor to an improved life! It may sound corny to you, but your attitude really is everything.

That’s because your thoughts are mood-dependent. How you feel dictates the direction of your thinking and that is what ultimately drives your perception. What that means is what you see is not an objective version of what is, but a byproduct of what you believe, think, and feel at any given time.

In fact, before I even open my eyes each day, I make sure to smile nice and big. The act of smiling alone will help boost your mood as it releases neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.

No matter what lies ahead, starting your day with a smile immediately sets you up to make rational decisions, see the world favorably and ensure you feel as though you can be, do, or have anything!

RELATED: Single Dad Gets Police Called On Him By His Brother After Dropping His Kids Off At His Work, Causing Family Feud

3. Cold water

Take a quick cold shower or give your face a cold water splash!

A little cold water helps to get your blood circulating, tightens pores, and soothes your eyes.

4. Hydration

I head right to the kitchen and pour myself a 10-12 ounce cup of room-temperature water. I recommend using filtered water, if possible.

I also like to put a dropper of trace minerals into my water to get some minerals that have been depleted after seven to nine hours of sleep with no fluids. Trace minerals give your body magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, and iodine to get your body prepared for the stressors of the day.

5. Sunlight

Exposing your body to sunshine in the morning is a great way to set your circadian clock effectively.

Sunlight also helps regulate mood and metabolism. It even helps mitigate some of the effects of blue light exposure from the electronics that you will be exposed to throughout the rest of your day.

RELATED: Dad Cuts Off Wife’s Money After Hearing Recording Of Her Speaking To His Adopted Daughter

6. Movement

Adding in movement helps with getting the body ready for any stressors later in the day.

Whether it’s a mindful walk out in the sunshine, a few sun salutations, or stretching, — mindful movement is a perfect way to set a positive tone for the day.

Personally, I go on my rebounder (mini-trampoline) and jump for 5-10 minutes!

7. Meditation

I can't tell you how many times I have heard people say, "I can’t meditate!" Newsflash" no one can! That’s why we call it practice!

Meditation is the fastest way to neutralize negative mood states! It also teaches you to quiet your mind down long enough to be able to separate out your voice, from the obsessive critical and fear-based narrating!

Even if you just start by setting a timer for five minutes and little by little work up the stamina to sit longer, that’s plenty to get started! Just sit quietly, count your breathing, and try and allow thoughts to come and go without attaching to them.

Watch them like a cloud or a train passing you by. That's really all it takes to change your life for the better.

8. Music

What if you knew that today was going to be the biggest day of your life? How might you approach it differently? If you watch any athlete or follow sports closely enough you know that music is a big part of their preparation strategy!

Using music as a way to cultivate a positive mood is something I have done since high school. The great thing about this is it doesn’t take any extra time! You can put music on while you get ready in the morning. Personally, I prefer to put music on even as I take a shower!

Try a combination of these or come up with your own for at least the next 30-60 days. The key to making this work is to be realistic about what you know you can and will do routinely.

Remember that how you approach your life is the single most important factor in determining your success or failure.

What could possibly be more important than taking this time for yourself so you can have the happy life you so deserve?

RELATED: Single Mom Refuses To Pay For Babysitter's Laptop After Her Child Breaks It

Samantha Benigno is a mental and behavioral wellness specialist.

Get the best YourTango advice, celebrity news and giveaways in your email inbox daily. And it's free.