Who doesn't want to wake up happier every day? Rather than exerting gargantuan effort to pull yourself out of bed in the morning after hitting "snooze" four or five times, you'd spring out of bed, ready to tackle the day. It sounds too good to be true, I know. It turns out though, there are some tried and true ways to start waking up happy each morning.
Waking up happy is kind of a complicated goal to achieve. Some of the things require you to be proactive get a jumpstart the night before, while others force you to change your mindset or take some time in the morning to ensure your daily happiness as much as you can.
"If waking up happier had a pill to be taken, everyone could benefit from it," Lakiesha Russell, therapist and owner of The Evolving Chair Counseling and Consulting Agency, tells Romper by email. She just might be right. Waking up happier doesn't have to be a pipe dream. Just by making little changes or additions to your regular routines and mindsets, you can begin to wake up a little bit happier. Happiness takes effort, sure, but it's worth it. Here are a few small ways you can wake up happier tomorrow.
1. Make A Gratitude List The Night Before
It might sound like a silly exercise, but intuitive women's leadership coach Stephanie Dalfonzo tells Romper that making a nightly gratitude list before going to bed is one of the best things you for your morning mindset. "Even if you had a tough day, going to bed thinking of things to be grateful for (even if it's simply remembering to brush your teeth or being grateful for a comfortable bed) is programming your subconscious mind to focus on gratitude while you sleep," she says. "And then it makes it that much easier to start the day with gratitude and wake up happy."
2. Keep Flowers By Your Bed
According to a study conducted by Harvard Medical School researcher psychologist Dr. Nancy Etcoff, having fresh flowers in your home can help boost your mood and make you feel happier. Ectoff said that past research has also shown that receiving flowers as a gift can give people a boost of happiness as well. Pick up a bunch the next time you're at the grocery store or farmers market for a pick-me-up.
3. Practice Being Happy
Happiness takes a little bit of time and effort. "In order to wake up happy, you've got to work on being happy the day before. It's like muscle memory, you've got to work it," Dalfonzo says. Practice being happy — at least for a little while each day — to help yourself learn to be happier and focus on the good.
4. Sleep On Your Right Side
There is a lot of advice out there about how you should sleep in order to get the best sleep, but according to Medical Daily, a 2004 study conducted by Turkish researchers found that people who sleep on their left sides said they suffered from more frequent nightmares. The limitations to the study, of course, have to do with the self-reported preferences part of the study, but even so, it's possible that your sleep position could affect your mood upon waking.
5. Make Sure You Get Plenty Of Sleep
If you aren't getting enough sleep at night, chances are you're not waking up all that happily. "Many adults in America get less than the hours they need," naturopathic sleep expert Dr. Catherine Darley tells Romper by email. "Adults need between seven and nine hours nightly, which is variable by individual. When people get less sleep than their set need, they enjoy life less, and are more irritable and angry."
6. Show More Compassion To Others
It might seem somewhat unorthodox, but being more compassionate just might help you wake up happier in the morning. "When we're able to put ourself aside and serve others, we feel good," Russell sys. "Studies have shown that compassion decreases anxiety, boosts our immune response and it makes you feel happier." Helping others through whatever means you choose can help you too, just in case you needed any more incentive to show compassion to those around you.
7. Visualize Your Happy Day Ahead
In an interview with Prevention, behavioral psychologist Dr. Dana Lightman said that visualizing your day and thinking positively about it will help give you a little lift of energy first thing in the morning, which will carry over through the rest of your day. Take a few minutes for yourself in the morning — you'll be glad you did.
8. Have Sex In The Morning
Unsurprisingly, getting intimate with your partner in the morning can also make waking up a little bit happier. In an interview with Women's Health, Debby Herbenick, Ph.D. and the author of Because It Feels Good said that having sex in the morning boosts levels of oxytocin in the body, making sure both of you feel happier all day long.
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9. Smile More
No one wants to be told to smile more, but it just might help you wake up happier if you start. "[I]t's important how you look at life," speaker and life coach Gayle Carson tells Romper by email. "Smiling helps, thinking positive thoughts helps, having great friends helps, doing what you love helps, and also knowing that into everyone's life comes stress and issues. It can't be avoided. It's how you react to things that makes a difference and having coping mechanisms as well." Smiling might help you shift your perspective, which, in turn, just might make you realize you're already happier than you thought.