Studies consistently show that certain morning habits create healthy and happy days and lives. Here are some common habits that have worked for many people, including myself.

Wake Up with a Positive Thought
When you open your eyes in the morning, even before you hurl yourself out of bed; have one positive thought; something as simple as “it’s a brand new day. I’m going to be fine. I can do it! Let’s go for it.” You can come up with your own positive thought and/or brainstorm with your partner or family members. Get kids involved as well. Often, they have more positive thoughts than the grownups and you can start them on developing these habits as well. Never too early.

Meditate
Even just 5 to 10 minutes in the morning will help you stay calm, focused, and positive. I actually meditate in bed before I get out of bed lying down, because once I’m up, it’s hard to find the time as my day takes over. Also, try to incorporate mini meditations throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Exercise
Do some stretching and/or 10 jumping jacks to wake up your body and mind, and get your adrenaline going. Morning is also great for walking or biking. If you can walk or bike to work that would be fantastic!
People who exercise in the morning have more energy and it’s nice to get it out of the way, because things can come up (they always do) and you might be too tired later. You can also break down your exercise routine. Do some in the morning, some in the afternoon and/or early evenings. Discover what works for you.

Eat Breakfast, but Be Gentle
Have a simple and healthy breakfast, that isn’t harsh to your stomach, which has been on slow pilot overnight. I start the morning by drinking a glass of lukewarm water and then my super duper smoothie, and a yogurt (soy) parfait.
Avoid oily, acidic, sugary, and processed foods on an empty stomach that could upset it and ruin your day. A healthy breakfast will also give you a huge dose of nutrients and energy that will carry you through the whole day.

Have a Daily Schedule
Having a clear, concise daily schedule is a common habit for successful, healthy and happy people. Knowing what you have to do, where you have to be, and with whom will keep you focused, on track, productive, and efficient.
Studies show that people who have daily goals have higher levels of happiness, because when you have a plan, you’re more likely to achieve your goals, and thus it lead to a feeling of self-satisfaction and happiness.

Avoid Negative Traps
Don’t turn on the news first thing in the morning. Hearing about murders, violence, politics, wars, etc., doesn’t really help you in any way to start the day.
Also, avoid checking your emails and texts first thing in the morning. Unthinkable as it maybe, you can get caught up and lose the whole morning. Unless it’s something urgent, reserve your mornings for positive acts. Those who start the day grumpy usually stay that way the whole day.

Hug Your Loved Ones
Whether it’s your spouse, a partner, a child, a dog, a cat or a pot belly pig, give someone you love a bear hug and wish them a great day, while you head out. Throw in a smile and you’ve got a head start full of positive energy, endorphins, and love and affection, which are great weapons to battle what lies ahead in the jungle of society.

Try waking up half an hour early to implement some of these habits. The key is consistency. Do these habits every morning at the same time for 2 weeks and your brain will program it as a habit and it will become automatic.

Hope this helps. Good luck!!

Brain & Happiness. Excerpt from “Happiness to the Rescue book.