14 things you can do to start your day on a positive note
How do you start your day?
We all have those days where no matter how positive and motivated we are when we wake up, we’re just not feeling it. Some people call it getting out the wrong side of the bed. Some of us sadly just dread the day ahead. Maybe you’re in a job you don’t like or you suffer from the morning blues.
The dawning of every new day presents you with another fresh chance to make the most of unexplored potential and opportunities.
But how can we ensure that we start our day on a positive note, avoid anxiety and depression, and have positivity echoed throughout the day?
As the great Philosopher Jim Rohn used to say, “Either you run the day or the day runs you” and how you start is a really important part of that.
Below are 14 habits (in no particular order) that are guaranteed to help you start your mornings on a more positive footing.
1. Drink a glass of water when you get up
Keep a glass or bottle of water by your bedside table for when you wake up. No matter how much water you drank the day before you will always wake up dehydrated to some degree. Water fires up the metabolism helping your body flush out toxins and gives your brain fuel. So get refreshed as soon as possible, ready for the day ahead.
2. Change your alarm clock
If the first sounds you hear when you wake are blaring noises and frightening alerts, you’re likely bringing anxiety to your day before it even starts. Instead, put something nice and melodic that begins soft and gets increasingly louder as time goes. You might find this brings you into the day more peacefully, waking up to a lovely sound than you are to something intense.
3. Keep a reminder by your bedside or breakfast area
If you keep a note of what it is you intend to do or achieve in your day, and it becomes the first thing you wake up to every morning, then it can be the motivational element you need.
Consider scribbling down at least three things that you give the highest priorities for the day. This process will help you work towards achieving those goals.
Additionally, you can scribble down anything that promotes a positive outlook on life. This will help you be more appreciative of things, be it the weather, work, food, people or different things that happen around you. It may not seem like much, but often it’s the small things that we take for granted that make the most significant impacts in our lives.
Get in the habit of allocating a few minutes to read what you have written down. Some say a successful day starts before you head to sleep. Prevent foggy thoughts and restlessness by dedicating 15 minutes each night to write down your goals and thoughts for the following day. The next morning you’ll find those notes to be a useful blueprint of the day’s focus and give your day greater purpose.
4. Consider what makes you happy
Thoughts create emotions. Happy thoughts create happy emotions. It’s super simple but it’s so true – think about the things you love to do that make you happy. Just visualising doing something that makes you happy is bound to make you actually feel happier in return.
5. Go slow, take your time
When you start the day slowly and keep doing things at a slow pace then it becomes easier to keep the stress away. It becomes easier to focus on what you are doing and keep the day’s priorities in mind.
Avoid getting into things in a rush. Slow your pace so that you allow yourself to focus and be in tune with what you are doing. It will help you avoid stress when you encounter some challenges.
Going slow helps you stay in the present moment more often, preventing negative feelings.
It also opens the door to appreciate the everyday things in life, random things during the day, because your attention is focused outward and not aimlessly inward about where you need to be, how much time you have to be there and where you need to go next etc.
6. Give one genuine compliment
Give a genuine compliment to your spouse, friend, family member, workmate or coffee barista that you see in the morning. This will help lift their day and your day as a result. This may help you go about your activities feeling happier and with brighter spirits.
If possible, let it come unexpectedly. Bonus points if it is something that person has not heard before. If you are short on ideas, pick something a bit different from the ordinary such as superficial stuff that people enjoy doing. For instance, you can praise someone for their great sense of fashion or taste in music, or as simple as how good the coffee was last time.
Read more articles on the positives from generosity:
- Generosity improves social connection and relationships
- Why volunteering positively contributes to happiness
- Being stingy with money increases stress levels
Subscribe to our newsletter
7. Positive nourishment during breakfast
If you like to start the day with the news, just be mindful that most mornings you’ll be starting the day reading or hearing about things things that are depressing, evoking anger and negativity. Instead, settle for what will inspire you or start you bouncing in to the day. Catch up on the news later.
This could include Whether it be readings from your favorite author or quotes by a powerhouse in your industry, make space for positive content before taking on the cold, harsh world.
For example, reading one or a couple of new posts from positive, funny or uplifting blogs or websites, listening to a podcast that boosts your motivation, reading a chapter from a book that inspires or makes you laugh, or even put on some good music.
Take a second to think about what kind of music immediately puts you in a happy mood. Maybe it’s the soothing sounds of jazz, or the upbeat tempo of today’s latest pop hits. Studies have shown that the “feel-good” neurochemical dopamine is released when we listen to music—that same chemical that’s associated with feeling pleasure when we eat or sleep for example.
“Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”
8. Find time to exercise
If you can, squeeze in some workout sessions in your morning. Try walking to the shop or cafe, or even a quick 15- minute workout before getting ready and taking your breakfast. If you’re short on time, something as simple as morning stretches or an impromptu dance session will do the trick.
But it is important to exercise properly at least 3 times a week. It will give you energy, good for your mental and physical health and wellbeing amongst many other positive outcomes.
Read more on exercise activities for over 60s:
- Exploring the benefits of being active daily
- 15 Myths about exercise and older adults
- 7 exercises to help improve your bone health
- Finding a suitable training range as we get older
- Free exercise videos on YouTube for the over 60s
9. Smile regardless of how you might feel at first
Even if you feel like you want to stay in bed for the entire day and mope around, don’t. Smile to yourself. Better yet, look at yourself in the mirror and smile at yourself. Many swear by the simple action of smiling for a minute or two in the mirror in the morning changes their whole mood and outlook for the entire day. It’s worth a try!
Arlene Dijamco, MD, an integrative physician based in Georgia, suggests, “When getting ready in front of the mirror, it’s a great idea to give yourself a big smile. Usually, we are critiquing our hair, or the circles under our eyes, or a new blemish that’s popped up overnight.” Instead, she says, look at your beautiful self and send yourself lots of love and compassion. Smiling never hurt anyone, right?
Read more articles on smiling:
- Smile more, it’s actually good for you
- How to add more smiles to your day
- 9 daily habits of happy people over 60
- Fun sayings about smiling
10. Stay off social media early morning and late at night
If you’re someone that checks your social media or emails as soon as you wake up – stop that now! You will be surprised how much this subconsciously affects you (often negatively), until you stop doing it for a while. Each morning spent away from social media is so much more relaxed, peaceful, and joyful. We aren’t screamed at by a constant influx of information, news, bursts of activist posts or countless messages and shared spam – and our mind has the capacity to just be.
11. Don’t check your phone until later in the morning
Just as you shouldn’t check your social media as soon as you wake up, try to refrain from checking your phone until little in the day, or morning. Obviously check the screen to ensure nothing urgent, but if your screen notifications are just standard app messages and general chats – why not leave it until later. You’ll notice how much technology can have a negative effect on our mind and energy levels, especially the moment you wake up. Don’t get sucked in so early in the day!
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
12. Give gratitude
Gratitude is an important practice for many people that seek positivity. It’s easy to get caught in the cycle of negative thinking and eventually forgetting how good you actually have it. When you spend some time in the morning to list out 2-3 things you are grateful for, it shifts your whole mindset and your day becomes so much brighter.
An article on Harvard Health Publishing sums it up perfectly: “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” So, try starting your day with appreciation.
13. Wake up to clean room
The messier your room is, the more cluttered your mind can feel. In order to get your mind organised and focussed, you should first have your space organised. Clean up your room and you’ll notice how much the energy in the room becomes more peaceful and welcoming.
14. Play with your pet(s) (if you have any)
Why not start your morning playing with your pet(s)? Before or during breakfast, stretch out and play before heading off to work or whatever your day has planned. It will help you connect with your pet, feel happier, and start the day off on a joyful note. And of course, your pet will love every minute of it.
Because let’s be honest, it’s nearly impossible to be angry or sad after playing with your beloved pet.
Subscribe to our newsletter