If you want to become a happy and joyful person, start doing these 8 things every morning

Happiness, they say, is a choice. But how do you choose to be happy when life throws you curveballs?

I’m Lachlan Brown, founder of Hack Spirit and a devoted follower of mindfulness and Buddhism. I’ve found that the secret to sustained joy and happiness lies in the way we start our mornings.

Yes, you heard it right! Our morning rituals play a significant role in shaping our mood and outlook for the rest of the day.

In this article, I’m going to share with you 8 simple yet effective things you should start doing every morning if you want to cultivate happiness and joy in your life. These practices have worked wonders for me, and I’m confident they’ll do the same for you.

Let’s dive in. 

1) Embrace gratitude

One of the most powerful ways to cultivate happiness is to start your day with a sense of gratitude.

I’ve found that practicing gratitude not only sets a positive tone for the rest of the day but also fosters a greater sense of contentment in life.

It’s simple really. When you wake up, take a few moments to contemplate what you are grateful for. It could be anything – the sun peeking through your window, the smell of fresh coffee in the kitchen, or the love of your family.

This small act of mindfulness allows us to appreciate the beauty and blessings that surround us, often overlooked in our fast-paced lives.

And guess what? Gratitude isn’t just a spiritual concept. Science backs it too! Studies have shown that expressing gratitude can significantly boost our happiness levels.

So, if you want to be a happier person, start your day with gratitude. It’s a small change that can make a big difference.

Just remember: Authenticity is key here. Be genuine in your expressions of gratitude to truly experience its joy-boosting benefits.

2) Candle flame meditation: A few minutes can change your morning

Incorporating candle flame meditation into my morning routine has been nothing short of transformative for my sense of well-being and focus.

When you engage in candle flame meditation, you’re not just sitting quietly; you’re cultivating an intimate moment of presence, focusing entirely on the gentle dance of the flame.

This act of concentration helps to sweep away the cobwebs of stress, worry, and the relentless to-do list that often occupies our minds first thing in the morning.

It’s akin to pressing a mental reset button, welcoming the day with a clear and serene mindset.

Starting with just a few minutes can already work wonders. Begin with a short, manageable session—say, five minutes of uninterrupted focus on the candle’s flame.

Allow yourself to be fully absorbed by its movement and warmth, letting your thoughts pass by without attachment.

Psychotherapist and Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorsteinonce articulated, “Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.”

Candle flame meditation embodies this principle beautifully, inviting you to experience the present moment in its fullness, unadorned and genuine.

3) Reflect on impermanence

This might seem like a strange way to start your morning, but hear me out.

Buddhist philosophy speaks extensively about the concept of impermanence – the idea that everything in life is transient and changing. It’s a sobering thought, but it’s also incredibly liberating.

When we grasp the truth of impermanence, we realize that our worries and fears are fleeting. The problems that seem monumental today will change, evolve or even disappear over time.

Each morning, take a few moments to reflect on this concept. Remind yourself that both the good and bad moments are temporary and that each day brings a new opportunity for growth and change.

It’s not always easy to accept or understand, but it’s a raw and honest path to finding joy in the ebb and flow of life.

After all, as Buddha once said, “The root of suffering is attachment.” By understanding impermanence, we learn to let go of our attachments and live more freely and happily.

4) Practice mindful eating

How many times have we gulped down our breakfast while rushing out the door or mindlessly scrolling through our phones?

Mindful eating is a practice where you pay full attention to the experience of eating and drinking, both inside and outside the body. It’s about observing how the food makes you feel and the signals your body sends about taste, satisfaction, and fullness.

By practicing mindful eating, we learn to appreciate our food, make healthier choices, and even improve our digestion. Plus, it’s a great way to ground ourselves in the present moment and start our day on a positive note.

Mindfulness isn’t just about sitting cross-legged and meditating. It’s also about bringing awareness to our everyday activities, including eating.

Tomorrow morning, instead of rushing through your meal, take a moment to savor each bite. You might be surprised by just how much joy you can find in a simple bowl of oatmeal!

5) Set an intention for the day

Setting an intention for your day is like mapping out a route before you embark on a journey. By doing this, you’re more likely to navigate your day with purpose and focus, leading to more joy and positivity in your life.

Every morning, after my meditation practice, I take a moment to set my intention for the day. It could be something simple like, “I choose to be patient today,” or something more specific like, “I will finish writing chapter 4 of my book.”

Speaking of books, in my book titled “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego, I delve deeper into the power of intention setting from a Buddhist perspective.

As you begin your day tomorrow, ask yourself: “What is my intention for today?” Trust me; this simple practice can make a huge difference in your daily life.

6) Practice loving-kindness

This is a practice that comes straight from the heart of Buddhist teachings. Loving-kindness, or Metta meditation, is a method of developing compassion and love towards ourselves and others.

It may seem strange to sit down and intentionally generate feelings of love and kindness, especially when we’re dealing with difficult people or situations. Yet, that’s exactly when this practice can be most transformative.

Each morning, take a few moments to wish well for yourself, your loved ones and even those who challenge you. Try to really feel the sentiment, “May you be happy. May you be safe. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.”

This doesn’t mean ignoring the pain or difficulties in life. Rather, it’s about acknowledging them and choosing to cultivate an attitude of kindness despite them.

It’s raw, it’s honest, and sometimes it’s tough. But the power of loving-kindness can fundamentally shift our perspective and help us bring more joy into our lives and the lives of those around us.

7) Practice mindful movement

In our rush to get things done, we often overlook the importance of our physical well-being. Mindful movement, whether it’s a morning yoga routine, a simple stretch, or a walk around the block, can help wake up the body and clear the mind.

The key here is to be fully present during these activities. Feel your muscles stretching, your heart beating, your feet hitting the ground. It’s not about how fast or how much you do; it’s about being in tune with your body and giving it the attention it deserves.

As renowned Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” This beautifully captures the essence of mindful movement – being fully engaged in the act of moving and appreciating our body’s capability.

It’s raw, it’s honest, and it can be a powerful tool to cultivate happiness and joy in our daily lives.

8) Do nothing for a few minutes

Yes, you read that right. Do absolutely nothing. In our culture of constant busyness and productivity, this might seem counterintuitive. But sometimes, the best thing we can do for our happiness is to take a pause.

Mindfulness isn’t just about adding more activities to our routine; it’s also about learning to be comfortable with stillness and silence.

Spend a few minutes each morning just being. No tasks. No distractions. No expectations. Just you and your breath, present in the moment.

This simple act of “doing nothing” can help us reset, reduce stress, and provide a sense of calm and clarity that carries through the rest of the day.

Mindfulness is not about doing more; it’s about being more. And sometimes, that means doing less.

So there you have it – eight simple practices that you can incorporate into your mornings to cultivate more joy and happiness in your life. Remember, the key is consistency. The more regularly you practice these habits, the more they’ll become a part of your life.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into the wisdom of Buddhism and mindfulness, I invite you to check out my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego. It’s packed with insights and practical advice on how to live a fulfilling life, free from the shackles of ego.

Happiness isn’t something that happens to us. It’s something we choose and cultivate through our actions. So why not start your day with intention, mindfulness, and a heart full of gratitude? Here’s to happier mornings and a joyful life!

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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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