How to Brighten Your Morning (and Whole Day): 7 Powerful Habits

How to Brighten Your Morning (and Whole Day): 7 Powerful Habits

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Marcus Aurelius

The alarm bell goes off. You slowly open your eyes.

A new day lies before you.

A day of unexplored potential and opportunities. How can you make it more likely to become a positive and good day?

Today I’d like to simply share 7 habits that I have used to make my mornings and whole days better.

1. Have a reminder on your bedside table.

How will you start your very first moments and minutes of the day?

One good way to get off to a good start is to have a note, a reminder on your bedside table that will be one of the first things you see after you have woken up.

A couple of suggestions for what to write down on your note:

A low bar for happiness.

Write down: “Today I will set a low bar for happiness”. Read it and try to keep it in mind during the day.

This one helps me to appreciate things more.

The food, my work, the weather, the people and the small events of the day becomes not everyday stuff but something I feel happy to have. The small things or what may be something one takes for granted becomes something I now often pause for a moment or two to take in and appreciate.

Your top 3 priorities in life right now.

To keep your attention in the right place it is essential to remind yourself every day of what is truly most important.

So what is most important for you this year? A project at work? Your family? Improving your social life? Your blog, photography, soccer or debt?

Think about it and reduce what is important in your life to the top 3 most important priorities.

2. Give one genuine compliment.

Giving one genuine compliment to your partner, a family member, friend or co-worker during your morning can not only lift his or her day but also make yours a little brighter and happier.

So tap into what you can appreciate about a person in your life. Then tell him or her that.

If you can, make it something that may be a bit unexpected and something that person hasn’t heard a hundred times before.

For example, a compliment about her great taste in music or his wonderful way with animals may be more appreciated and powerful than a compliment about looks and other more superficial stuff.

3. Positive information intake over breakfast.

Instead of watching the news or reading the papers and getting a negative and perhaps depressing start to your day do something that will inspire you.

  • Read one or a couple of new posts from positive, funny and uplifting blogs or websites.
  • Read a chapter from a book that inspires you (or a handful of quotes that motivate you).
  • Or simply have a fun and warm conversation with the people around your kitchen table.

4. Start your workday with your most important task of the day.

If you do then the rest of the day will feel lighter and easier. You will feel better about yourself and more confident as you move on to other tasks.

If you have trouble getting started with the most important task then just make a deal with yourself to work on it for 3 minutes. Then you can stop if you like.

But you may not want to once you have gotten started. That seems to be the case for me most of the time.

Getting started is most often the hardest part. So make that part easier for yourself.

5. Go slow.

When I go a bit slower it becomes easier to fully focus, to keep the stress down and I most often do a better job with something the first time around.

I work with more clarity and I do not get stuck in doing busy work very often.

It may feel like I’m not getting enough done but at the end of the day I usually get more quality work done than if I tried to maintain a high speed throughout the day.

Partly because the lower stress levels keeps my mind fresh and energy up even through the last few afternoon hours of the workday.

Try going a bit slower. See how it works for you.

6. Work out.

Often mentioned and for a good reason. It has many positive benefits.

I workout several times a week and by doing so I boost my energy, inner doubts and tensions lessen, I feel more decisive and my mind becomes more optimistic.

And all of that makes the rest of the day lighter.

I highly recommend doing some kind of exercise in the morning. If you can’t go to a gym or work out from home early in the day then maybe you can walk or bicycle to work or school.

7. Do the right thing in some small or big way.

This one boosts your self-esteem. It puts a spring in your step and it at least makes me feel happier.

So do what you deep down think is the right thing.

A few examples that may resonate with you:

  • Perform a random act of kindness. Hold up the door or point out the way for someone who seems lost.
  • Help someone out practically or just by listening.
  • Get started with putting a dent in the most important challenge in your life.

Build upon just a small step, a small thing if you like. Start building an upward spiral of positivity and good feelings within. And then take further steps upward.

Towards what you know you really want and you know are the right things for you in your life.


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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehack, The Huffington Post and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

91 comments… add one
  • Good morning and thanks for compiling this awesome list!

  • Geoff Foster

    Thank you for the suggestions, most helpful.
    My wife and I are in our 80s and start each day with a time reading the Bible and a time of prayer for others and ourselves. We see each day as an adventure seeking to follow Jesus (we have been doing this for more than 60 years). Despite coping with cancer we have a positive attitude to life and a future hope. We look forward to other guidance you offer. Best wishes, Geoff
    Considering others and their needs is a part of our daily actions

    • Joshua Kuhlmann

      Thanks for telling your story. Very encouraging. Thank you Jesus!!

  • Doing the right thing pays off big, and it has a way of reminding you that sometimes the best rewards are the results of selflessness.

  • good habit for me i red your post best thankas

  • Fabulous information! Thank You!!

  • I believe, time to follow some new habits from today. Thanks for this awesome article

  • I love the reminder of complimenting someone else. That’s a great practice to have and focus on first thing in the morning.

  • I agree with number 3 the most. Listening to, or reading negative news stories puts us in a negative mood for the day.

    It is always best to start our day on a positive note, and carry our smile with us throughout the day.
    Khun Greg

  • CHAMPIKA senanayake.

    Very important article and so useful as well. Thanks a lot.

  • Another fabulous, thoughtful post – many thanks Henrik.
    Several things you list make me think more about how my days start and what I need to change. . . . . and those words from Marcus Aurelius are so true.
    I would love to have someone bring me breakfast in bed once in a while – just like that tray which has everything I would enjoy!
    I think your blog is looking different – very bright and so easy to read in larger type, thanks for that too.

  • Richard

    This is incredibly powerful, thanks so much for sharing. I appreciate your work.

  • Cydni Raven

    Thank you for your positive morning ideas!

  • Robert Smolenski

    I believe Mark Twain said it best. “Eat the frog first” by which he meant, “do the most undesirable task first”. So I get all of the unpleasant tasks done first and I have the rest of the day to enjoy life.

  • Nick Rehagen

    When I encounter someone, especially an individual I don’t know (such as a store clerk), I hold my eye contact with them for just a second or two after an acknowledgement. Almost without exception, there is a rush of positive energy that
    is palpable. This makes two people’s day.

  • Abdullahi Olumide Ibrahim

    Really appreciate

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