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Being an early riser or not, mornings can be challenging. Indeed, it is hard to start your day cheery if you are overtired or stressed. Nonetheless, one can incorporate a few habits in their morning routine that will profoundly influence how one feels throughout the day. The three habits below are simple and easy ways, which can help, improve your overall mental health. 

1. Start with a wellness-habit

This first habit is very broad, but truth is that individuals can vary completely in their choice of morning habit to boost their happiness. Some may start with a few stretching exercises or even going for an early run. Others might nurture their awareness through meditation or following a guided audio to help settle their mind. A simple way could be getting in a comfortable position, closing your eyes and taking deep breaths for an allocated time. Another option could be spending some time simply focusing on the nature that surrounds you or observing outside your window, whether it is the sights, sounds, or smells. Other habit can include reading a few pages from a book or writing your plan for the day. Wellness-habits can kick start your day successfully. The trick is to simply start with one and making it part of the routine you already have. Remember that consistency is key in this process.

2. Talk to yourself… and somebody else

Often people spend a lot of time talking to themselves in their own heads. This is particularly true during the mornings when one can feel more stressed out about the day ahead. Self-talk can help you ground yourself as you begin your day. This becomes more powerful when you use your name. For example, if you have an important meeting, which is making you feel anxious – you can say to yourself, ‘Listen Rob. You have done this before. You like what you do.’ This can help you control some of your negative thoughts.

Another aspect to this habit is making social contact with someone you trust. This could be anyone – your partner, children, parent, or friend. Social contact is vital in our lives and it does not need to be face-to-face. Be it a phone call, a text message or a voice message, there are different ways one can reach out. Keeping up social contact depends on your personality type and your calendar, but finding time for another can be just as useful as finding time for yourself. Meeting a friend for a coffee to start your day can be an interesting habit to start. 

3. Be Grateful 

While it is true that various habits can help boost happiness in the morning, one powerful act is that of gratitude. There are different ways to incorporate gratitude in your morning routine and this can be done quite simply. Counting your blessings is one way to reflect on the things that went well and you are grateful for. Find a quite place to sit down and list a few specific things you appreciate in your life. Notice the sensations you felt when something good happened to you. Simply acknowledging that you are alive and you get to spend time with your children, go to work or go for a walk with your dog, could improve your morning. Some individuals may choose to keep a journal with the things they feel thankful for. Others, who are more religious, can practice a morning prayer and even if one is more spiritual, can spend a moment doing something similar. You can be thankful to someone who did something nice to you, and this can be done mentally without having to write anything. Find some way to be grateful in the morning, as it can truly put you in a better frame of mind.

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Charlot Cauchi is a Trainee Gestalt Psychotherapist currently reading for a Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy with Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Institute Malta (GPTIM) and working at Willingness as a Trainee Psychotherapist. He has experience with adult clients with mental health difficulties, anxiety, depression, loss, trauma, stress and relational issues.

References

Giving thanks can make you happier. (2021, August 14). Health Harvard. Retrieved September 2, 2021from https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier