Being happier is a choice that starts with consistent, positive habits. And there’s no better time to start than first thing in the morning.
If you want to become a happier person in the coming year, your morning routine is a great place to start. It’s all about setting the tone for the rest of your day, and smart people know there are specific actions that can help kick-start this transformation.
In this article, I’m going to share 9 things you should start doing every morning if you want to become a happier person next year.
These aren’t complicated or time-consuming tasks, but simple habits that can make a significant difference.
Let’s dive in and see how you can set the stage for happiness every single day.
1) Start your day with gratitude
The concept of gratitude has been around for centuries, but it’s gained significant traction in recent years, particularly in the realm of positive psychology.
Gratitude, in essence, is about focusing on the good things in your life – the things that bring you joy, the things you’re thankful for. And it turns out that this simple act can have a big impact on your happiness levels.
Think about it. By starting your day acknowledging what you’re grateful for, you’re essentially setting a positive tone for the rest of your day. You’re choosing to focus on the good, rather than getting caught up in what’s wrong or what could be better.
How can you incorporate gratitude into your morning routine? It could be as simple as writing down three things you’re thankful for each morning, or taking a few moments to mentally acknowledge these things.
It’s not about making a list for the sake of it. It’s about genuinely acknowledging and appreciating these aspects of your life.
Start your day with gratitude. Not only will it set a positive tone for your day, but over time, it could significantly boost your overall happiness levels.
2) Incorporate exercise into your morning routine
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I can’t stress enough the importance of physical activity for your overall wellbeing. And trust me, I speak from personal experience.
For years, I struggled with maintaining a regular exercise routine. I would start off strong, only to lose motivation after a few weeks. The problem was that I was trying to squeeze in workouts at the end of a long day, when I was already exhausted.
Then, I decided to try something different – I started exercising in the morning.
And let me tell you, it was a game-changer.
Not only did I feel more energized throughout the day, but my mood significantly improved. Even on tough days, I found that if I started my morning with some form of physical activity – even if it was just a quick walk around the block – I was in a better state of mind to handle whatever came my way.
If you’re looking to become a happier person next year, I strongly recommend incorporating exercise into your morning routine.
It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous – even something as simple as stretching or a short walk can make a big difference. Trust me, your future self will thank you.
3) Eat a healthy breakfast
Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is like fueling your car before a long journey. It gives your body the nutrients it needs to tackle the day and keeps your energy levels steady.
Contrary to popular belief, skipping breakfast won’t help you lose weight. In fact, research suggests that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight and more likely to have a balanced diet overall.
Plus, eating a healthy breakfast has been linked to better memory and concentration levels, as well as improved mood.
If you want to become a happier person next year, consider making a healthy breakfast part of your morning routine.
Whether it’s oats, fruits, or eggs – choose something that you enjoy and that gives your body the nourishment it needs to thrive.
4) Practice mindfulness
We live in a fast-paced world where our minds are often filled with thoughts about the past or worries about the future. This constant barrage can leave us feeling stressed and anxious, which certainly doesn’t contribute to happiness.
This is where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment, accepting it without judgment. It’s about taking a step back, slowing down, and truly experiencing the moment you’re in.
Practicing mindfulness in the morning can help you start your day with a sense of calm and focus. You could do this through meditation, mindful eating, or simply sitting quietly and focusing on your breath.
Mindfulness isn’t about emptying your mind of thoughts, but rather observing them without getting swept up in them. It’s about acknowledging the here and now, which can help foster a deeper sense of happiness and contentment.
5) Set your intentions for the day
Starting your day without a plan can leave you feeling directionless and overwhelmed. But taking a few moments each morning to set your intentions can give your day purpose and structure.
Setting your intentions is all about deciding what you want to focus on for the day. It could be a specific task you want to accomplish, a mood you want to cultivate, or even a way you want to treat others.
This practice can give you a sense of control and purpose, which can significantly contribute to your overall happiness. Plus, it’s a great way to ensure that you’re spending your time on what truly matters to you.
Make it a habit to set your intentions each morning. It doesn’t have to be anything grandiose – even small, daily goals can make a big difference in cultivating happiness.
6) Connect with loved ones
In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to get swept up in our to-do lists and forget about what truly matters – our relationships. Human beings are inherently social creatures, and meaningful connections with others are a vital part of our happiness.
Starting your day by connecting with a loved one can set a warm, positive tone for the rest of your day. It could be a quick phone call to your parents, a heart-to-heart conversation with your partner over breakfast, or even a cute good morning text to a friend.
These moments of connection remind us that we’re loved and appreciated, which can bring a profound sense of joy and contentment. They ground us in what’s truly important in life, helping us start our day on a high note.
Make an effort to connect with your loved ones each morning. It’s a small act that can make a big difference to your happiness.
7) Limit your exposure to news and social media
In today’s digital age, we’re constantly bombarded with news and updates. And while staying informed is important, excessive exposure to news and social media first thing in the morning can create a sense of anxiety and negativity.
I learned this the hard way. I used to start my day scrolling through my social media feeds, only to find myself feeling stressed and overwhelmed before the day had even properly begun.
So, I made a change. I decided to limit my exposure to news and social media during the first hour of waking up. Instead, I used this time to focus on positive and uplifting activities – like practicing gratitude, exercising, or reading a good book.
The difference was astounding. I felt calmer, more centered, and ready to tackle the day with a positive mindset.
If you’re looking to become a happier person next year, consider limiting your exposure to news and social media in the mornings. It’s a small change that can have a big impact on your overall mood and happiness levels.
8) Listen to uplifting music or podcasts
Music has the power to influence our mood and emotions. Starting your day with your favorite tunes or an inspiring podcast can uplift your spirits and set a positive tone for the rest of your day.
Whether you’re into rock, jazz, classical, or pop – choose something that makes you feel good. Similarly, there are countless podcasts out there covering topics like personal development, mindfulness, motivation, and more. Find something that resonates with you.
By integrating this into your morning routine, you’re essentially setting the stage for a happier day.
Go ahead, play that favorite song of yours or tune into that inspiring podcast. Start your day on a high note.
9) Be kind to yourself
This might be the last point on this list, but it’s certainly not the least. Above all, remember to be kind to yourself.
Life isn’t always easy. We all have our struggles and challenges. But how we treat ourselves during these times can have a huge impact on our happiness.
Start your day with self-compassion. Speak kindly to yourself, forgive yourself for your mistakes, and acknowledge your strengths and achievements.
You are deserving of love and kindness – especially from yourself.
Final thoughts: Happiness is a journey
The quest for happiness is an individual journey that’s deeply personal and unique to each of us.
As psychologist Abraham Maslow once said, “The good or healthy society would then be defined as one that permitted people’s highest purposes to emerge by satisfying all their basic needs.”
And while the path to happiness may vary, starting your day on a positive note can set the stage for a happier life. The habits we’ve discussed are not just arbitrary suggestions, but well-researched practices that have been linked to increased happiness and well-being.
Whether it’s practicing gratitude, exercising, or simply being kinder to yourself, each of these habits can help you cultivate a more positive mindset and ultimately lead to a happier you.
So as you embark on your journey towards a happier life next year, remember this: happiness is not a destination, but a journey. And every morning offers a new chance to choose happiness.
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