Are you a chronic alarm snoozer? How many times have you rushed to work this week, and barely caught the train? When we’re under stress, we run off adrenaline and release cortisol, our stress hormone. If you use up too much cortisol in the morning, your energy levels are likely to slump in the afternoon.
Starting the day with healthy habits can prepare you for a happier day. Being more mindful about what we eat or drink and how it affects how our metabolism behaves. Also, morning exercise promotes concentration & boost wakefulness better than caffeine.
Unhealthy choices can make a big impact on our day. Below are 7 ways to help make your days happier. And you don’t need to quit your job!
1. Good Quality Rest
The basics of feeling energised & happier starts with a night of great sleep. To create the ideal environment for sleep, you need a bedtime routine.
- Switch off all electronics & devices an hour or so before going to bed
- Read a book, have a bath, try meditation or a mindfulness exercise (theres one here)to help you relax.
These tips will help you wind down so that you sleep better & wake up more energised.
2. Controlled Breathing
Trying the below method will have a calming effect, reducing your stress levels.
Try a few minutes of diaphragmatic breathing. Lying flat, place one hand on your stomach below the ribcage. As you breathe, notice your stomach rising and falling and try to slow down your breath to a steady pace. Your shoulders and ribcage should remain almost still, with most of the movement taking place where you can feel it with your hand: in the diaphragm.
3. Morning and Evening Meditation
Meditation & mindfulness have many health benefits which are discussed here.
Headspace advises daily meditation, first thing after you wake up to prepare for an unpredictable day. There are many ways to practice meditation and it can even be achieved on public transport or in a quiet 5 minutes. Headspace has a great app which contains some meditation exercises for you to try.
4. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate
Most of the time when we are feeling tired its because we are dehydrated. Make sure you have a glass of water as one of the first things you do each day.
Feeling thirsty actually comes after the first signs of dehydration, so try to keep hydrated, whether you feel thirsty or not.
5. Small steps
The idea of doing a full workout every morning before work can be overwhelming. Building up to longer exercise session may be more achievable. Try five reps of an exercise such as push-ups, squats or lunges. Do this every day after getting up to see if it helps you get more motivated in the morning.
Small achievements early in the day will help you feel more accomplished for the rest of the day.
6. Shower away your troubles
A shower in the morning can relax you and wake you up creating an alert mind, which can spark intuition & creativity.
Increase the positive effect of a morning shower by lowering the temperature. A study found it had more an effect on boosting mood than anti-depressants.
7. Eating Right
Protein-rich foods for breakfast increase energy levels & reduce cravings. This change to your breakfast can help to maintain even blood glucose levels reducing the mid-morning slump.
The perfect breakfast is oats, yoghurts and blueberries, which helps boost blood flow to the brain, in turn improving concentration & energy levels.
So now your sleeping better, More relaxed, well hydrated, increased your exercise, more alert and eating much better, hopefully, you are healthier and happier and you are making the train with plenty of time, and not eating lots of sweets during the day to keep your energy levels up.
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