That’s because when you reach for your phone (or tablet, or computer, or click on the TV) first thing in the morning, you’re really inviting the outside world to dictate your mood first thing, she said.
You might not be able to control what time your toddler shuffles into your room in the morning or what time your alarm starts to blare, but you can at least try to protect your sleeping hours by keeping screens out of your room.
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“Make a social contact with somebody you have positive regard for,”
What that “social contact” looks like really depends on your personality and your schedule. “For someone who is busy, it may be a phone call or a text. If you have more time, meeting someone for a cup of coffee to start your day is really a boost,” .
But research suggests that even if you don’t actually meet up with someone or send them an email or text, it can be enough to simply send good thoughts their way. “You can start with a simple appreciation practice,” Just bring a friend or loved one into your mind, then consciously focusing on the things you really cherish about them.
While it’s true that there is a huge range of habits that can help boost happiness in the morning, researchers and clinicians tend to return to one again and again because it’s so powerful: gratitude.
There are many different ways to work gratitude into your morning routines, but it can (and should!) be simple.
“Many religions do a morning prayer,” said Task, who added that spending a moment doing something similar — whether you’re religious or not — can be a doable morning habit to cultivate.
So maybe every morning you get up, go to the bathroom, then make your bed. Link a moment in that routine (say, the bed making) to the habit you want to cultivate (maybe it’s reading 10 pages in a book). By tacking it on to something you already do, you’re much more likely to actually stick with it. And consistency really is the key to boosting happiness over time, Zucker said.
Zucker noted that people tend to spend a lot of time talking to themselves in their own heads, particularly in the morning when feeling frazzled or stressed about what’s to come. He is a big fan of noticing self-talk and self-correcting using this simple technique: say your name.
“If you use your own name in your self-talk, you’re more likely to follow cognitive advice,” Zucker explained.
The most powerful habit that helps boost happiness in the morning is the practice of gratitude. The people who journaled about the things they're thankful for during the week scored much higher on measures of happiness than people who noted the things they're irritated by.
A daily gratitude practice may contribute to improved physical health - which, in turn, contributes to overall feelings of happiness.
Napoleon Hill once said that we must know what we want and we must have the strong desire to possess it.
Without a purpose, it’s easy to pursue things that you “think you should be doing”.
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