I am not much of a Pollyanna by nature. I am more of a Pollyanna in training. I often have to remind myself to look for the positive. I find that if I can start my day with a pleasant morning, the whole day feels more positive. Here are three habits that help me start my day with a happy heart.
- Morning Mantra. Words matter. Thoughts matter too. Our thoughts can have a profound effect on the way we feel and the way we behave. Each morning when I wake up, I consciously try to make my first thoughts positive. I do this using what I call my “morning mantra.” A morning mantra can be any thought or idea that you choose to focus on, that helps shift your energy in a positive direction. My morning mantra was originally, “Face the day with a joyful heart.” Over time, I’ve shortened this to just “joyful heart.” With repetition this thought has become automatic. If you need a visual cue to remind you of your morning mantra, you could write it on a post it or piece of paper near your bed. I find that by deliberately guiding my thoughts in a positive direction, I not only start the day on a high note, but I also find it easier to get out of bed without hitting the snooze button. This makes item #2, “Allow yourself time for a slow start” much easier to accomplish.
- Allow time for a slow start. We all know how panic-inducing it is to realize we’ve overslept. Wake up early enough to give yourself plenty of time to ease into the day. I like a hot beverage every morning, even in warm weather. Give yourself plenty of time to make yourself something you enjoy. Early morning is often the quietest time of the day. Spend a few minutes meditating, reflecting, reading something you enjoy, or simply enjoying the quiet.
- Put the outside world on pause. There are few things less restful that waking to the sound of a buzzing phone. I like to put my phone on airplane mode or do not disturb overnight. Checking your messages before you even get out of bed in the morning may make you feel unnecessarily stressed. If at all possible, wait until you have given yourself plenty of time to wake up gently before your check your phone or computer. There may be a certain time at which you feel like you need to be available and responsive to messages. That’s fine, just figure out what that time is, and work your way backwards so you have ample time to ease into the day first. Give yourself time to emerge from rest in a way that feels peaceful. Then you decide when you’re ready to face the outside world.