9 morning habits to inject joy and happiness into your life, according to psychologists

Lucas Graham by Lucas Graham | June 19, 2024, 4:35 am

I’ve always believed that how you start your day can significantly impact how the rest of it unfolds.

Think about it – if you begin your morning in a rush, feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it’s likely that the rest of your day will follow in a similar vein.

But what if you could start your day filled with joy and happiness instead?

Well, according to psychologists, there are certain morning habits that can help you do just that.

In this article, I’m going to share nine simple yet powerful habits to inject joy and happiness into your life from the moment you wake up.

Let’s get started!

1) Start your day with gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can significantly boost your happiness levels.

Researchers have found that people who regularly practice gratitude are can reduce stress and less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

So, how can you incorporate gratitude into your morning routine?

It’s simple. Start your day by listing three things you’re grateful for.

They don’t have to be big things – they could be as simple as a warm cup of coffee or a sunny day.

Practicing gratitude in the morning sets a positive tone for the rest of your day, allowing you to start off on the right foot.

And remember, it’s not about the quantity of things you’re grateful for, but the quality of your appreciation. 

2) Engage in a physical activity

Exercise in the morning? I know, it may sound like a chore. But trust me, it’s worth it.

I remember when I first started running in the mornings.

I won’t lie, it was tough to get out of bed and put on my running shoes.

But once I got into the rhythm of it, I started noticing the benefits.

I’d finish my run feeling energized and ready to take on the day.

Plus, there’s something incredibly peaceful about being awake while the world is still sleeping.

Science backs this up, too. Physical activity releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, which can help you start your day on a high note.

This doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon every morning.

Even a short walk or a few stretches can make a big difference.

The key is to move your body in a way that feels good to you.

3) Eat a healthy breakfast

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and for good reason.

Eating a healthy breakfast can provide you with the energy you need to take on the day.

It also kickstarts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day.

But here’s something you might not know: certain foods can actually boost your mood.

For example, bananas are a great source of vitamin B6, which your body needs to produce serotonin, a mood-boosting hormone.

So next time you’re deciding what to eat for breakfast, consider reaching for a banana or other mood-boosting foods.

Not only will your body thank you, but your mind will too.

4) Plan your day

One of the most effective ways to inject joy and happiness into your life is to have a plan for your day.

Spending a few minutes each morning deciding what you want to accomplish can reduce stress and anxiety.

It gives you a clear path forward and helps you avoid the chaos of an unstructured day.

Personally, I like to write down my top three priorities for the day.

This helps me stay focused and ensures that I’m making progress on the things that matter most to me.

The goal isn’t to cram as many tasks into your day as possible.

It’s about being intentional with your time and focusing on what truly matters.

Taking control of your schedule in this way can bring a real sense of joy and satisfaction.

5) Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is the act of being fully present in the moment, aware of where we are and what we’re doing.

It’s about not being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s happening around us.

Incorporating mindfulness into your morning routine can have a profound impact on your mood and overall well-being.

You could try starting your day with a mindfulness meditation.

Just a few minutes of focusing on your breath can help clear your mind and set a calm tone for the day.

Or you could practice mindful eating during breakfast, paying attention to the flavors, textures, and smells of your food.

By starting your day with mindfulness, you’re giving yourself permission to slow down and appreciate the present moment.

This can lead to a deeper sense of joy and contentment as you go about your day.

6) Connect with loved ones

In our busy lives, it’s easy to forget the importance of meaningful connections.

But taking a moment each morning to connect with a loved one can inject a significant amount of joy into your day.

It could be as simple as sharing a cup of coffee with your partner, playing with your kids before they head off to school, or even sending a quick text message to a friend.

These connections remind us of the love and support we have in our lives.

They nourish our emotional well-being and can set a positive tone for the rest of our day.

In fact, studies have linked strong social connections with increased happiness and longevity.

So, take a few moments each morning to nurture these important relationships.

It’s a small act that can make a big difference in your overall happiness.

7) Limit exposure to technology

I’ll admit it, I used to be one of those people who reached for their phone the minute they woke up.

I’d scroll through emails, check social media, and before I knew it, I was starting my day feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

Then, I tried something different.

I made a decision to not touch my phone for the first hour after waking up.

Instead, I used that time to engage in the other habits we’ve talked about – practicing gratitude, exercising, eating a healthy breakfast.

The change was incredible. I felt more present, less anxious, and started my day with a sense of calm I hadn’t experienced before.

Excessive use of technology has been linked to depression, anxiety, and increased isolation. 

By limiting this exposure, you’re creating space for more positive habits and setting yourself up for a happier day.

8) Get some fresh air

Starting your day by stepping outside and getting some fresh air can do wonders for your mood.

The natural light helps regulate your body’s internal clock, signaling to your body that it’s time to wake up and start the day.

Plus, being in nature, even if it’s just a quick walk around the block or a few minutes in your backyard, can boost your mood and reduce stress.

Make it a point to get outside each morning, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it can make in setting a positive tone for your day.

9) Prioritize self-care

Self-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

It’s about taking care of your own needs and making sure you’re taking time to recharge.

This could mean different things for different people – it could be reading a book, taking a bath, or even just spending a few moments in silence.

By prioritizing self-care in the morning, you’re sending a powerful message to yourself that you matter.

Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Take care of yourself first, and you’ll be better equipped to handle whatever the day throws at you.

Final thoughts: The power of routine

As we journey through life, we often seek happiness and joy in grand gestures or major life events.

However, science and psychology suggest that the secret to a happier life may lie in the smaller, everyday routines we adopt.

These morning habits can collectively shape our mood, perspective, and ultimately our happiness. 

From the simple act of expressing gratitude to the conscious choice of limiting technology, each habit serves as a reminder to prioritize our well-being.

So, as you go forward, remember that each morning brings a new opportunity to shape your day.

Make the most of them.