8 morning habits that happy and mindful people always practice

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I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder of Hack Spirit, and I’ve been studying mindfulness and Buddhism for years.

There’s a huge difference between waking up to just another day and beginning your day with intention. And happy, mindful people get this.

It’s not about having a rigid routine, but more about cultivating habits that truly fill your mornings with joy and meaning.

So what are these habits? Happy and mindful people have their own little morning rituals that set the tone for the rest of their day.

In this article, I’m going to share 8 morning habits that can help you start your day on a positive note. These are practices that I’ve personally found to be transformative.

It’s not about perfection, but about making small changes that can make a big difference.

Let’s dive in.

1) Mindful mornings begin the night before

Surprised? Well, those who practice mindfulness understand that a great morning actually starts the night before.

Happy, mindful people know that a restful night’s sleep is the foundation of a successful day ahead.

They cultivate habits like maintaining a regular sleep schedule and creating a calming bedtime routine.

They might read a book, practice some gentle yoga, or do a short meditation before bed. These activities train the brain to wind down and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

This isn’t just about getting enough hours of shut-eye. It’s about waking up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day with positivity and purpose.

Take a leaf from their book. Create your own soothing bedtime routine and stick to it. And remember, what you do in the evening sets the tone for the next day.

Just as Robert Cialdini pointed out the power of social proof in decision-making, mindfulness teaches us the power of mindful habits in shaping our days.

2) Starting the day with gratitude

Here’s a personal secret; every morning, I begin the day by expressing gratitude. It’s a simple habit but it sets a positive tone for the day.

Happy and mindful people often start their day by acknowledging what they are grateful for. It can be as simple as being thankful for a new day, a warm bed, or a loved one.

This simple act of gratitude shifts your focus from what’s lacking to what’s abundant in your life. It fosters a sense of contentment and joy right from the moment you wake up.

As Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh beautifully puts it, “Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment.”

Consider starting your day with a moment of gratitude. It doesn’t have to be grandiose, just genuine appreciation for the little things in your life.

3) Embracing impermanence with morning meditation

This might sound a bit raw, but the truth is, nothing is permanent. This is a fundamental tenet in Buddhism, and understanding it can profoundly change how you view your life.

Happy and mindful people often practice morning meditation as a way to internalize this wisdom. They sit in silence, focusing on their breath or on a mantra, observing their thoughts without judgment.

This practice of mindfulness meditation helps them to connect with the present moment and accept the transient nature of all things – feelings, thoughts, people, and circumstances.

It’s not about negating or running away from pain, but rather acknowledging its presence and its passing. And this acceptance brings a sense of peace that can help navigate the inevitable ups and downs of life.

Consider adding meditation to your morning routine. Even 10 minutes can make a significant difference.

It’s not about achieving some state of bliss, but about cultivating awareness and acceptance.

4) Mindful eating and drinking

Here’s a raw truth: many of us are guilty of mindless eating. We often eat breakfast on the go, or worse, skip it altogether in the morning rush.

But happy and mindful people understand the importance of mindful eating and drinking.

They take time to savor their morning cup of tea or coffee, fully experiencing the aroma, the warmth, and the taste.

They tune into the sensory experience of eating their breakfast, appreciating every bite.

This practice isn’t just about savoring delicious food or drink. It’s about being fully present in the moment, and appreciating what nourishes our body.

It helps us to connect with our feeling of satiety, reducing overeating and fostering a healthier relationship with food.

Tomorrow morning, instead of rushing through breakfast or gulping down your coffee, try to take a few extra minutes to truly enjoy it.

Mindful eating is a simple act that can bring tremendous joy to an ordinary morning.

5) Physical movement and mindfulness

I’ve always been an advocate for integrating mindfulness with physical movement. In fact, I’ve dedicated an entire chapter to it in my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego.

Happy and mindful people understand the importance of starting their day with some form of physical movement. It could be a morning run, a yoga session, or even a simple stretch routine.

This physical activity isn’t just about keeping the body fit, it’s also about staying mentally agile. When we move our bodies mindfully, it helps us to connect with our breath, our physical sensations, and our surrounding environment.

The positive impact it has on our mood and energy levels is truly remarkable. So why not give it a try?

Start your day with some gentle stretches or a brisk walk outside. You’ll be surprised at how much it can uplift your spirit.

6) Setting an intention for the day

Here’s a raw truth: Many of us rush into the day without any clear direction. We react to whatever comes our way, rather than consciously directing our own path.

But mindful people and practitioners of Buddhism understand the power of setting an intention for the day. It’s like setting a gentle direction for how you want your day to unfold.

This intention could be as simple as, “Today, I will be patient with myself and others,” or “Today, I will stay present and not worry about the future.”

Setting an intention is not about controlling every aspect of your day, but rather setting a course for how you wish to respond to the events of the day. It’s a way of reminding yourself of the values and attitudes that are important to you.

Before you dive into your tasks tomorrow morning, take a few moments to set an intention for your day. It can make all the difference in helping you stay grounded and focused amidst life’s challenges.

7) Connecting with nature

Let’s be honest: In our fast-paced, technology-driven world, we often forget to connect with nature. But did you know that spending time in nature has a profound impact on our well-being and mental health?

Happy and mindful individuals make it a point to connect with nature every morning. It could be as simple as watering plants, taking a walk in a nearby park, or simply sitting outside and listening to the birds chirp.

This connection with nature helps them to appreciate the beauty of the world around them, and to understand their place within it. The peace and tranquility of nature can also be incredibly soothing and grounding.

As mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn said, “Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.”

And what better way to experience mindfulness than by immersing ourselves in the natural world?

Try to incorporate some time in your morning routine to connect with nature. You’ll not only feel more grounded, but it will also remind you of the simple pleasures of life.

8) Doing nothing at all

This might sound counterintuitive, but sometimes, the best thing you can do in the morning is… nothing.

In our culture of constant busyness, doing nothing is often seen as a waste of time. But happy and mindful people understand the value of silence and stillness.

They might spend a few minutes each morning just sitting quietly, sipping their tea, or simply staring out of the window. This act of doing nothing, or ‘purposeful idleness’, allows them to relax their minds and just be.

Mindfulness teaches us that it’s okay to slow down. It’s okay not to fill every moment with activity. In fact, these quiet moments can often be the most productive, as they allow us to recharge and gain clarity.

Tomorrow morning, try doing nothing for a few minutes. Just sit quietly and let your mind rest. It might feel strange at first, but with time, you’ll come to appreciate these moments of calm in your busy day.


Remember that adopting these morning habits isn’t about adding more tasks to your to-do list. It’s about cultivating a mindful approach to the start of your day, one that sets the tone for a happier, more conscious life.

And remember, you don’t have to adopt all these habits at once. Start with one or two that resonate with you and see how they transform your mornings.

If you’re interested in exploring more about mindfulness and Buddhism, consider checking out my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego. It’s packed with practical tips and insights to help you live a more mindful and meaningful life.

Every morning is a fresh start. Embrace it with intention, mindfulness, and joy. Here’s to happier mornings!

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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