6 Ways To Wake Up Feeling Happy Even If You Cringe At The Idea Of Being A Morning Person

by Julia Guerra

I’d be lying if I told you I’ve always been an early riser; that’s just simply not the case. Up until graduation, I slept until noon on weekends, arranged my class schedule so I could sleep in until at least 10 a.m. if I could manage it, and took naps regularly on the days that started around 8 a.m. If you’ve ever found yourself researching how to be happy in the morning, trust me, you’re not alone. Unless you’re naturally a morning person, it can be challenging to lull yourself out of bed with a genuine smile on your face, but it’s not impossible. All it takes is a little (or a lot, depending on how much you actually loathe a.m. hours) effort, and maybe an alarm clock with a disabled snooze button.

Allotting yourself an hour or two before rushing to get ready for the day to reflect or engage in a little self-pampering (imagine a quiet bubble bath with the morning sun peeking through the window, or finding a deep stretch in child’s pose before rolling out of bed) can make a world of difference.

Yes, sleep is important, but so is seizing the day. It may seem like a chore at first, maybe even a little pointless if you begin by slowly rising a little earlier each day. But I promise you that waking up hours before noon, or even 10 a.m., will have you seizing the crap out of your day. Here are a few ways to ease yourself into it.

Take It Slow Initially

No one expects you to wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy at 5 a.m. if you're used to rolling out of bed around noon. Slow and steady wins the race, remember? That's the way you have to approach training yourself to become a morning person.

Erika Martinez, Psy.D., licensed psychologist and founder of Miami Shrinks, tells Elite Daily that the key to waking up a little bit happier every day is to keep your expectations low:

Just add one small thing in the evening and morning, and see how it goes. Tweak accordingly.
Remember that the duration can vary depending on your schedule. Something as little as five minutes long can have a positive effect. It's about quality, not quantity.

Little activities such as listening to a podcast, a TED talk, or even a five-minute meditation can help you ease into a routine. It's much more manageable in the beginning to commit to waking up five or 15 minutes earlier than it is a full hour.

Use The Extra Time To Pamper Yourself

If you normally shower at night, try taking a bubble bath in the morning instead. Give yourself enough time to finish a chapter or two from the book you're reading, paint your toenails, or sip a warm cup of tea while you squeeze in an episode of your favorite Netflix series before class or work.

Live Happy editor at large and licensed psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser tells Elite Daily that doing something you enjoy as soon as you wake up in the morning can "help set your overall tone for the rest of the day."

Make Yourself Happy By Making Others Happy

Have you ever heard the saying "smiles are contagious?" Well, it's totally true.

Kaiser tells Elite Daily that a good way to do this is to start out your day by taking a moment to "call a friend, send a text to a family member, or email a co-worker that you appreciate."

Think of these small acts of kindness as a big way to pay it forward. Making someone else happy will, in turn, make you happy, and then we're all just really happy humans. And that's pretty awesome, don't you think?

Start Exercising In The A.M.

Now here's a tip I can definitely attest to.

When I started working from home, I decided I was going to take advantage of my workout equipment and start each day with a solid exercise routine. Prior to getting married, I was an evening gym rat, so the switch was definitely something to get accustomed to. But I can honestly say that every day I force myself (because, I'll be honest, sometimes it takes a lot of persuasion) out of bed and onto my yoga mat, my mind is clear by the time I start working, and I feel more energized throughout the day.

According to millennial life coach Jess Hopkins, all you really need is 20 minutes to spare to get your body moving and your mindset positive. She tells Elite Daily that studies show six weeks of exercise can "enhance dopamine production and receptivity in the brain, which elevates your mood and mental performance."

So set yourself up for success each and every morning with a little bit of exercise. No gym membership? No problem! There are a ton of online resources and apps to choose from to get your body moving. And if weightlifting or going for a jog isn't your thing, give YogaWakeUp a try for a little gentle stretching before your day starts.

Disconnect From Technology An Hour Or So Before Bed

Scrolling through Instagram is the millennial version of counting sheep, but it's backfiring on us.

Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and author of relationship blog You're Just A Dumbass tells Elite Daily that according to her "Happiness Hypothesis" study, 60 percent of millennials reported strong feelings of fear of missing out — better known among us as FOMO. This really shouldn't come as that much of a surprise, considering "do it for the 'gram" is an actual thing people not only say, but actually live by these days.

Silva explains,

The codependency on social networks and hoping that catching up on your streams can help with sleep actually can have the opposite effect: It can actually disturb your sleep cycle.
When you’re comparing yourself to someone else’s profile, you’re discounting yourself, which is [leading] you to evaluate your life right before you go to sleep. Want to wake up feeling refreshed and happier in the morning? Try to tech yourself down before you go to bed.

Instead, life coach Erica B. McCurdy, MCC tells Elite Daily that waiting until your morning walk or train ride to catch up on social media should "save you a lot of personal angst."

Choose And Repeat An Inspiring Mantra Each Day

When Gina Rodriguez won her first Golden Globe in 2015, she shed some light on what inspires her to achieve her goals each and every day. She said that growing up, her father would remind her to repeat this mantra: "Today is going to be a great day, I can, I will." And, because I'm a sucker for inspiring quotes and beautiful mantras, I decided to give the little diddy a try. Words can never hurt you, but they can absolutely lift you up.

Career and life coach Jenn DeWall suggests writing a mantra or motivating question on a sticky note that you can refer back to throughout the day.

"It could be a question, or a positive affirmation, whatever inspires you," she tells Elite Daily. "It will build confidence and reduce anxiety for the rest of your day."