Are there simple habits to help you improve your mood? Do you get up bright and energetic in the morning? Or like most people, do you get up groggy or even cranky most mornings? Waking up in a bad mood not only wreaks havoc on the rest of your day. It is also unhealthy for you in the long run.
So how do you wake up more brightly and keep yourself in a good mood throughout the day? Tweaking some of your habits can help. Most of them are quite easy to do.
It is a sad reality that most people “wake up on the wrong side of the bed”. They start their day with a less than positive attitude. If you do not even want to get out of bed to face the day; then you have already set yourself up for failure. It will become stressful just to get through the day.
Common sense tells us that if you want something to change, then you should change the way you do things. In the case of how to wake up in a better mood, improving your sleep quality is a good start.
Make Better Sleep a Habit
If you want to win your battle during the day, make sure to prepare the night before. We all know that sleeping early has great health benefits. If you just can’t go to bed early enough; then improving the quality of the few hours of sleep that you do get is even more important.
Here are some tips to help you get a better sleep.
Don’t drink or eat 3-4 hours before your sleep time. This reduces the chances of you getting up in the middle of your sleep to relieve your bladder. It also allows your body to relax and revitalise instead of using energy to focus on digesting.
Make your bed and room conducive to sleep. Turn off the lights or dim them. Pick a comfortable pillow; put on an eye mask; spray linen and room spray on your curtains and sheets (e.g., lavender, etc.). Keep your cellphone and other gadgets away from the bed. Get an extra pillow to hug or several if you feel more cozy surrounded by pillows. If you sleep on your side, sleep on the left side to improve blood circulation.
Prep your eyes and ears for sleeping. If you need to tire out your eyes, read a book, an actual book. Not only will reading tire your eyes; the repetitive motion of turning the pages will also help you relax and feel more sleepy. If music soothes you into sleep, play a soothing tune. There are plenty of sleep music that you can download online for free. Just make sure to set your music player to stop at a certain time. This way, your device won’t run out of power in the morning.
Focus on your breathing. We have tried the method of counting sheep or counting backwards from 300 or from 1,000. This is supposed to help quiet our mind and make us sleepy. Most of us ended up even more awake. We got frustrated that we couldn’t remember which number we were at as we grew sleepier. So instead, don’t count sheep but focus on your breathing.
Take long deep breaths, both inhales and exhales. Just focus on the feeling of relaxation that washes over you as you breathe in and out. If your mind starts to wander, just focus on your breathing again. This is also how you can start a meditation habit.
This may take some time get used to but keep at it to maximize your sleep time. This will allow you to have more energy to start your morning. Any of these are great habits to help you improve your mood.
Start the Morning Right
One of the best ways to wake up in an energetic mood is to get up, period. Don’t hit the snooze button on your alarm. Instead, make waking up energetically a ritual. Just get up and start your morning routine. You can follow the morning habits of successful people. Or if you already have a morning routine that you follow, make it a goal to accomplish it every morning. This ensures that you develop these habits to help you improve your mood.
Add these to your morning routine for an extra energy boost and more positive vibes.
Start your morning by sipping a warm cup of water. Add the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper powder. Or have a shot of ACV (apple cider vinegar) to wake you up.
Spend 15-20 minutes bathing in the sunshine and breathing in the fresh morning air.
Exercise your eyesight by staring into the distance for 20 seconds. Then stare at something near (like your hand stretched out in front of you) for another 20 seconds. Do this alternately for at least 5 minutes. Roll your eyes around too and up and down as well as side to side.
Your morning routine sets you up for a more energetic and purposeful day ahead. So always keep at it and you will find that you will eventually be looking forward to it every morning.
Improve Your Mood Now
As we go about our daily tasks, stressful situations can come up. Some will be easy to deal with and some will be difficult to overcome without losing your temper. When the pressure starts building up; keep these habits in mind to help improve your mood. These will also help you get a clearer picture of how to resolve a difficult situation.
Breath deeply for 10 counts. This is often taught to kids to help them get their anger under control. Surprisingly, this works for adults too. When you find yourself having the urge to shout at someone for example; breath deeply instead. Repeat until you count to 10 to help calm you down and help everybody else around you calm down too.
Take a short hike or a quick run. Is your boss or a client breathing down your neck over a deadline or just being difficult to talk to? If you can’t think of a solution straight away, clear your mind for new ideas. Take a short walk, preferably outside the office. Or if you have the time, go on a quick run. This not only helps improve your mood, it also boosts your energy level and clears your head. Of course, to ensure you don’t make matters worse, do this during your break time.
Take a happy break or sniff a lemon. If you are tied to your office chair, give yourself a happy break for 5 minutes. This means putting yourself in a relaxing position. Try putting your feet up on another chair, slowly stretching your neck, shoulders, arms and legs. You could also recline on your office chair or office sofa. Then put your feet up or get up from your chair and do some stretching exercises.
Or, go to the pantry, get a lemon and spend 5 minutes just smelling it. Studies have found that a substance found in lemons help alleviate the “flight or fight” stress response. If you’re not into lemons, try other herbs with a calming scent such as juniper, lavender or even basil. No herbs around? Use your favorite scent.
Compliment someone. If you can’t get out of the office or your office chair; you can always look to someone else to re-channel your energy and focus. Look at any of your colleagues and find one thing that you can compliment about them. This can spark a conversation that distracts you from your stress for a bit. Also, we all know that we feel good when we’ve helped someone else feel good about themselves, so compliment away. This is one of the habits that will definitely help to improve your mood.
Write down 3-5 positive things. When everything seems to be spiraling down to the pits; take a while and ask yourself, “What good things am I thankful for today?”. Recall past experiences that made you feel good; or just think of the things that you are thankful for that day. Simple things such as the fact that you have water in your faucet or in the shower; or you have free coffee in the office are things to be thankful for. It helps to write them down so you can review them every time your mood drops. You can also add to them during the day.
Be your own cheerleader. Talk to yourself but make sure you talk yourself out of your stressful mood and not worsen your mood. Comedians do this in their routine all the time. They talk to themselves as if they are their coach or doting girlfriend/boyfriend or their encouraging teacher. This usually brings laughter to the audiences at comedy clubs and it may have the same effect at your office. Of course, you might also get a few raised eyebrows so make sure your timing is right.
If you’re too shy, you can do this alone and talk to your mirror too. The whole point is to encourage yourself, get yourself out of your negative place and into a more positive zone.
There are many more things that you can do to instantly lift up your mood. You can think of your crush for example, or look up pictures of cute puppies online, or remember a fantastic vacation you had before. All these take just 5 minutes or less while you’re sitting on your chair. If you start feeling down, make it a priority to always get yourself feeling better and more positive. Remember, misery loves company but happy people don’t want to be in the company of misery.
So keep happy and sniff a lemon (when necessary).