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7 Ways to Wake Up Happy

7 Ways to Wake Up Happy

For most of us, waking up is hard to do. The internet is full of articles encouraging us to embrace our inner early bird, imitate successful tycoons who are rising at the crack of dawn, and increase our productivity by getting in a full day’s work before our actual day has even begun! You probably already know the classics: putting your alarm clock far away from your bed; getting a full night’s sleep, but here are some lesser known ideas that just might make your start of the day so much happier!

1. Laughter

Laughter isn’t just the best medicine; it’s the best wake up call as well. When I was paying my way through university, I once had a total of 12 part-time jobs along with a full degree course-load. One of my regular jobs had me home at 1 a.m. every morning, whilst my next shift needed me up by 6. Needless to say I was in desperate need of some way to jerk my brain into action. The trick I found was to switch on my computer and stream some YouTube videos of my favourite stand up comedy. As I was getting ready, the jokes I was hearing would invariably provoke a chortle, then a chuckle, then an all out peal of laughter and before I knew it, endorphins were racing through my system and I was good to go! If you can’t muster the strength to laugh, try thinking of something that makes you smile.

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2. Light & Fresh Air

If you live near the equator then natural sunlight is your best friend. Those of us further north or south can utilise the early morning sun during the summer months, but have to make do with artificial light in the winter. Whatever its source, exposing yourself to light as soon as you get out of bed will trigger your body’s natural tendency to associate daylight with being awake and alert.

If you’re feeling really groggy, there’s nothing like a breath of fresh air to clear your head and your lungs. If you can, go for a walk, but make sure you’re not too covered up. Colder, slightly bracing temperatures are better for keeping you awake as they force your heart to work harder to keep the rest of your body warm. If you can’t go out, then opening a window or door to let in some fresh air should do the trick.

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3. Reward yourself

One of the best ways to do something you just don’t feel like doing is creating an immediate, gratifying incentive for doing it. If you’re dreading the sound of that alarm clock every morning, plan something exciting as a reward for obeying its wretched call and actually getting out of bed. Food is one of my favourite rewards, and I usually set up the breakfast table with my favourite china (I’m old school like that), and plan a scrumptious breakfast of pancakes, oatmeal or a classic English fry-up. Other ideas could be a work-out, if you’re an exercise nut, or a nice soak in a luxurious bubble bath… whatever works for you

4. Streamline your Morning Routine

I would imagine this goes without saying but plan ahead as much as you can. You don’t want to associate waking up with stress and last minute panic. Streamline your morning routine as much as you can. Get as much done the night before as possible: your outfit, your bag, your lunch, any items you need with you for the day, kids’ clothes and belongings if you have them. You may find that as your morning routine becomes more of a breeze you might actually begin to look forward to getting up and starting your day.

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5. Get Talking

Talk to someone. Anyone. One of the easiest ways of jump starting the little grey cells is by engaging in conversation, ideally with a responsive participant, although even a pet or a plant will do if you’ve got enough to say! Talking gets you listening, interpreting and responding, all activities which naturally and gently get your brain into gear for the upcoming day.

6. Go to Sleep with a Full Bladder

One surefire way to get yourself out of bed when you feel the quilt has taken you hostage is to let nature play its hand. You should be drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day anyway, but try drinking at least a large glass just before falling asleep. If you’re in good health, you might just find nature’s own call to be the natural alarm clock you’ve been needing.

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7. Make your bed

I’m a fan of gorgeous bed linen. I love the look of a cosy bed covered in throw cushions and a fabulous eiderdown. I feel seriously guilty getting into my bed once I’ve gone through the effort of making it, as I usually make it hotel-style (sheets taut enough to bounce pennies), so I usually avoid napping during the day for fear of messing up my good work! If you can, on any level, relate to that, then try making your bed as soon as you get up. That way, if you’re even a little like me, you might find it easier to resist climbing back in, and you might even get a nice little congratulatory feeling of having gotten something done so early in the morning!

Above all, remind yourself of why it is, you are getting up, whether it’s a personal goal or an unavoidable need, and use that to motivate yourself on those really tough mornings. Experiment to find whatever works for you and you too will surely find yourself waking up happy!

Featured photo credit: Morning Coffee via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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