It’s winter, it’s chilly and it’s probably raining outside. We’d all love nothing more than an extra 5 minutes in bed and the snooze button is all too appealing. But can we promise ourselves a good morning every morning? Below we review the best ways to wake up happy.
Prepare to wake up
Arguably the best way to wake up happy is to go to sleep happy. Getting a good quality sleep is important, as this way you’ll wake up feeling well rested and refreshed. A 2010 study by Baglioni et al found that poor sleep is directly linked to negative emotions whilst good sleep is linked to positive feelings. It’s important to follow good sleep practices like not smoking, not consuming alcohol or caffeine before bed and having a calming bedtime routine. All of these factors can contribute to getting a proper sleep, rather than a disturbed one.
As well as getting sufficient rest, preparing your things for the day ahead will mean that your morning is calm and relaxing rather than hectic and rage inducing. Before you go to bed, choose your outfit for the following day and lay it out ready. Get your lunch ready so you can easily grab it before you leave. Finally, organise your bag, ensuring you have everything you need to guarantee you a stress-free morning.
We all know the saying ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’, so why do so many of us skip it? Lack of time and energy is usually the reason. However, eating breakfast can set you up for the day ahead and actually reduce the feeling of tiredness. Studies show that eating breakfast can boost your metabolism, sharpen your focus and even lower bad cholesterol. Taking the time to make your breakfast can be a relaxing experience and can focus your mind in order to prepare for the day ahead.
It’s not just about making sure we do it, what we eat is also really important. The NHS Good Breakfast Guide suggests basing breakfasts on starchy foods such as bread or cereals providing they are low in salt and sugar and trying to incorporate fruit in some way. The starchy foods provide slow release energy whilst the fruits give a natural sugar kick and are of course packed with nutrients. If you simply don’t have time in the mornings to make your breakfast, why not make it the night before? British Dietetic Association spokesperson Lucy Jackson suggests ‘hard boiling a couple of eggs and putting them in the fridge to grab in the morning eaten with maybe a slice of rye bread’.
Change your alarm
There’s nothing worse than the harsh wake up call of a traditional alarm clock. Most of us nowadays use our mobile as an alarm, so set yours to a feelgood song that makes you want to get up and start the day. It’s a good idea to have this on a setting so that the music gets gradually louder, waking you up more gently. Music is scientifically proven to make you happier because it releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical. In 2011, researchers from McGill University in Montreal conducted a study on the effects of music on the brain, published in Nature Neuroscience. They found that levels of dopamine were found to be up to 9% higher when volunteers were listening to music they enjoyed.
Listening to your favourite music is a brilliant way to start the day. As well as setting your alarm to your favourite tune, why not turn on the radio or listen to music whilst getting ready instead of watching TV? Singing along to songs will allow you to set up for the day without getting distracted and will boost your mood so you can leave the house happy.
Do something good
It’s common knowledge that good deeds make us happy. Doing something good doesn’t have to be dramatic or life changing; it can be the smallest of things that will put a smile on someone’s face. You could:
- Give your partner a good morning kiss
- Make a family member a cup of tea
- Play with your pet
- Leave a positive note on the fridge
- Put out your neighbour’s bin for them
Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph. D. states ‘When you are kind to others, you feel good as a person- more moral, optimistic, and positive’. Wouldn’t it be amazing to start every day feeling that way?
What’s your favourite way to wake up? Let us know in the comments!