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Science Has It: 10 Tricks To Have Happier Mornings You Should Try Now

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Science Has It: 10 Tricks To Have Happier Mornings You Should Try Now

So you finally decided to start waking up earlier after hearing early birds are happier than night owls, but you’re still not loving that morning alarm? These 10 tips backed by science will keep the beginning of your day bright and ensure you never wake up on the wrong side of the bed again.

Before Bed

1. Set a Bed Time

Adults need about 7-8 hours of sleep a night to be considered well rested. Getting the proper amount of sleep has numerous benefits such as lowering the risk of obesity and diseases, as well as increasing your learning and memory abilities. The takeaway? Set a bedtime that allows you to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night and stick to it.

2. Sleep on your right side

When you get in bed, aim to sleep on your right side. In a Turkish study, those who slept on their left side tended to suffer from a high rate of nightmares. Right side sleepers, on the other hand, gravitated towards feelings of security and safety.

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3. Workout

Numerous studies have found that exercise improves sleep quality and helps people fall asleep faster. This plus the numerous other benefits, makes working out a key part of any healthy lifestyle.

4. Keep a Journal

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    Keeping a journal is one of the greatest things you can do for your health. Not only have journal users been found to be much happier, the action of getting your thoughts onto paper can help clear your head before a night of sleep. This alone can make those late nights spent in bed worrying disappear.

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    5. Sleep in the Dark

    A study in Molecular Psychology found that chronic exposure to artificial light can make you less happy. By decreasing exposure to artificial light you can keep your sleep quality and mood up high.

    6. Turn Off Electronics 30 Minutes Before Bed

    Staying up late on electronics like cell phones, tablets, and TVs delay the release of the sleep inducing hormone, melatonin. This can impact both your ability to fall asleep as well as your the overall quality of your sleep. Researchers advise shutting down all electronics about 30 minutes before bed in order to avoid such negative effects.

    In the Morning

    1. Eat Greek Yogurt

    Yogurt is good for you – especially greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is loaded with more calcium, which causes the brain to release nuerotransmitters associated with happiness. Plus, greek yogurt has lots of protein to keep you happy and satisfied all the way until lunch.

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    2. Take a Cold Shower

    Cold showers have been shown to have some awesome benefits. For example, faster fat loss, quicker recovery, better circulation, clearer skin, and increased mood are all boons of turning the temperature down. Start the day off right and brave out the cold. It will be worth it.

    3. Set Daily Goals

    Setting your goals in the morning will help keep you motivated and in the right direction throughout your day – and it only takes 1 minute. Simply ask yourself, “What would make today great?” Then, write down 5 things on a piece of paper and keep it with you throughout the day. This tip alone can boost the achievement of your goals exponentially. If you want more tips on setting goals, check out this post on the science of setting goals.

    4. Log gratefulness

    Practicing gratefulness has shown time and time again to boost happiness. Even thinking about things you’re grateful for in the morning can have a positive effect on your mood. Make it a habit to write and think about things you appreciate – you’ll smile more as a result.

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    Keep these tips in mind and you will be on your way to happier mornings!

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    Last Updated on October 21, 2021

    How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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    How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

    Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

    Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

    The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

    Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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    Program Your Own Algorithms

    Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

    Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

    By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

    How to Form a Ritual

    I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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    Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

    1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
    2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
    3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
    4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

    Ways to Use a Ritual

    Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

    1. Waking Up

    Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

    2. Web Usage

    How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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    3. Reading

    How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

    4. Friendliness

    Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

    5. Working

    One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

    6. Going to the gym

    If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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    7. Exercise

    Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

    8. Sleeping

    Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

    8. Weekly Reviews

    The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

    Final Thoughts

    We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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    Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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