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10 Morning Habits Of Happy People

10 Morning Habits Of Happy People

Are you a morning person or a night owl? Morning people are generally happier than night owls, according to a study. Night owls tend to become morning people as they age. Whichever one you are, it is fascinating to look at the morning habits of happy people because you can be inspired by them. You can also reject what does not suit you at all, of course.

Everyone approaches mornings according to their character. Winston Churchill had a rather lazy morning routine but he still managed to lead the Allies to victory. He used to wake up at around 7.30 a.m. but would stay in bed having breakfast, reading the newspapers and dictating until 11.a.m.

Anne Wintour (editor of Vogue) has a very different morning routine in that she always gets an hour of tennis in before 6.45.a.m.

Here are 10 morning habits of happy and successful people. Choose the ones which appeal to you and fit your lifestyle.

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1. They wake up feeling grateful

As they wake up, they always feel grateful for being alive, for the gift of life and for the joy of a new day. When things are bad, make a list in your mind of all the positives.

Research shows clearly that people who regularly express gratitude are less likely to suffer from loneliness, anxiety, depression or envy.

2. They never skimp on breakfast

They know that this is the most important meal of the day. It provides you with all the essential nutrients, minerals and energy you are going to need for the day. Planning a good breakfast the night before is also a good idea. You will be able to get some of the things ready so you can save time when you are under pressure during your morning schedule.

3. They never forget the spiritual connection

“The morning wind spreads its fresh smell. We must get up and take that in, that wind that lets us live. Breathe, before it’s gone.” – Sufi, 13th century poet

As they wake up, they dedicate some time to mindfulness, prayer, meditation, yoga, or offerings to Buddha. These are all valuable ways of connecting to the present reality and savoring these precious moments before going on auto-pilot.

4. They get exercise before they start work

“I ride my bike to work because it creates a stress-free time. I get my best ideas on my bike” – Tania Burke, President of Trek Travel

Some people prefer to walk the dog early in the morning or cycle to work, if that is feasible. Other people, like President Obama, start their daily workout at 6.45.a.m. One study reveals how much more beneficial pre- breakfast exercise can be although it might not suit everybody.

5. They plan their good deeds

“The morning question, what good shall I do this day?” – Benjamin Franklin

It should come as no surprise to learn that when happy people help others it increases their happiness, rather then being a burden. Studies published in the Journal of Happiness Studies illustrate this clearly. Other studies show that these happier and kinder people will live much longer.

“Money doesn’t make people happy. People make people happy.” – Steve Wynn

6. They rarely ruminate about the past

Happy people have one thing in common. They very rarely express regrets about the past. They know that life is for living now and that to-day is the main event. They never let it be hijacked by the past or yesterday’s failures.

7. They make happiness a habit

Did you know that as much as 40% of your daily activities is sheer habit or routine? You are on auto-pilot half the time. Happy people make gratitude, joy and mindfulness a part of that habit and it always works for them, espeacially in the morning..

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8. They reject the morning distractions

Happy people know that they do not want those distractions form news, emails and text messages muscling in too early. They will damage their early morning serenity in getting their gratitude and mindfulness act together. This is what is important. Those messages can wait till much later. This also helps them to approach all the deadlines, meetings and tasks with much more serenity.

9. They have set their daily goals

Happy people know what when they do start work, they should try and get the most difficult task done first. It is just part of a list of objectives but they have always clear goals and have prioritized what they want to get done. It increases their happiness.

Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin has researched all this. He found that when you see progress towards achieving a difficult task or goal, this increases happiness and also suppresses all the negative emotion.

10. They have taken out a happiness subscription

When you meet happy people, they give you the impression that they have opted in for a happiness subscription. They are not waiting around or hoping vaguely for random happy events to knock on their door. They are making happiness and spreading it around. That is why they always stand out in the crowd!

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“The happy people are failures because they are on such good terms with themselves they don’t give a damn.” – Agatha Christie

Featured photo credit: Happiness is excitement……/Marcy Kellar via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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