Morning Rituals That Improve Your Life: Jacob Franek•
Posted on December 15 2011
How we feel on a day-to-day basis is bound to change. We might feel on top of the world one day, but then like death the next. While our day-to-day moods may fluctuate, how satisfied we feel with our life should not. Life satisfaction relates to how a person feels about their life as a whole, over the long-term. It’s typically answered by a simple question: “How satisfied are you with your life, right now?” If the answer is negative, be sure to read on
While it feels almost silly to say, it’s the cold hard truth: When you look your best, you feel your best. But when you’ve overslept and are suddenly running late for a big meeting, do you really have the time you need to groom properly? Probably not. Now you’ll show up looking like a mess and will probably blow the one chance you have to impress a new client. The point is that looks go beyond mere self-esteem. How we look has an impact on everything from personal relationships to business relationships. So get grooming to get satisfied.
No.9 Take stock of what you're grateful for
The mind is an incredible thing. As science continues to provide answers into how it functions, it’s becoming clear just how powerful positive thinking can be, particularly with respect to life satisfaction. In the hustle and bustle of busy life, we often forget to simply stop and take stock of what we’re grateful for. So why not do that each and every morning? Find a few minutes each day to congratulate yourself on long-term and short-term goals that you’ve accomplished. Don’t focus on what you have yet to do, but what you’ve already done.
No.8 Turn off the TV
Who doesn’t love early morning talk TV? There’s something so comforting about it, knowing that the world is waking up alongside you. Well, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate. Not only can TV in the morning be a huge distraction, keeping us from focusing on the day’s goals, but too much TV has actually been shown to decrease life satisfaction. Do yourself a favor and tune out.
No.7 Wake naturally
Human sleep is largely controlled by circadian rhythm, often referred to as the body’s clock. This clock is driven largely by the light-dark cycle of the sun. When light begins to fade, the body produces melatonin to put you to sleep. As morning approaches, melatonin production stops. The problem is that many of us sleep in dark rooms with little to no entryway for natural light. The lack of natural light prevents our body’s clock from properly resetting, resulting in low quality sleep. Get a satisfying night’s rest by leaving the curtains open at night or by purchasing a natural-light alarm clock that mimics the rising sun.
No.6 Eat a balanced breakfast
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard the expression that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, it’s true. Over the years, a number of studies have examined the subject, and most have reached the same conclusion: starting the day without a solid meal has a slight but detectable negative effect on mood, memory and energy level. But it gets worse: If you’re starting off on the wrong note, that negativity is likely to snowball, throwing your whole day out of whack. Stay satisfied by eating a balanced breakfast of complex carbs, protein and fat.
No.5 Hit the gym
We don’t need to tell you that increased exercise leads to greater life satisfaction -- OK, we just did -- but did you know that when you exercise is also important? Studies are increasingly finding that morning exercise improves our quality of sleep compared to evening exercise. And poor quality sleep is linked to a variety of health conditions that will leave you feeling less than satisfied. But you don’t have to actually hit the gym to be active. Any form of exercise will do, like biking to work or walking the dog.
No.4 See people
Hollywood loves to depict the hermit-type as an angry, foul person. Although it’s becoming a touch cliché, it’s probably grounded in truth. After all, research shows that social interaction and personal relationships tend to be strongly associated with greater life satisfaction and a positive mood. With that in mind, try to add a social component to your morning ritual. It can be something as simple as sharing 10 minutes of chat time with your partner over coffee or something more complex like joining an early morning running club. Get out and be social.
No.3 Get some
Just to be frank, we’re not talking about getting some breakfast, or friends, or anything else for that matter. No, we’re talking about sex. We’ve already told you the importance of physical activity and social interaction in terms of improving life satisfaction, so why not combine the two? Now, we’re not telling you to start every day off with a bang, just find a way to once in a while incorporate physical contact into your morning routine. The result should leave you smiling.
No.2 Set goals each day and achieve them
What better time than the morning to set a list of the day’s goals? This isn’t exactly rocket science. If you set your goals early, you’ll have the whole rest of the day to achieve them. Easy, right? Just make sure to set realistic goals that you can actually achieve. But why is setting goals important? Research shows that setting goals and achieving them improves our life satisfaction. The process builds self-esteem and confidence, and ultimately feeds into the whole mentality of positive thinking.
No.1 Find a morning hobby
Hobbies are the secret to improving life satisfaction. They’re outside of family, outside of work and generally outside of the many stresses of everyday life. And yet, finding a hobby that you both enjoy and are good at can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. Heck, it could even land you a new and exciting career. But because finding time for a hobby can be challenging, if you manage to incorporate one into your mourning routine, you’ll not only give yourself time but you’ll leave the rest of the day for the rest of life’s problems. Problem solved.