10 Morning Mood Boosters

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/28/2011 5:00 AM   :  41 comments   :  23,454 Views

See More: woman's day,
By Tori Rodriguez, Woman's Day

Have you ever noticed that what happens during the morning hours often sets the tone for the rest of the day? When things go smoothly, you tend to feel more relaxed and ready to face whatever the day may bring. However, when things get bumpy before you’ve even managed to get dressed, you’re more likely to remain grumpy until bedtime. While some hassles can’t be avoided, you can make mood-enhancing decisions during the a.m. hours that will set the stage for the next 16 or so. We spoke with the experts and combed the latest research for 10 pick-me-ups that will have your mood rising like the morning sun. Try one (or all!) of them for a happier and healthier you.

1. Pick one “spoil-me” task to do. When you wake up, give yourself 30 seconds to think of at least one nice thing you can do for yourself that day…and then do it. When Alice Domar, PhD, psychologist and coauthor of Live a Little! Breaking the Rules Won’t Break Your Health, was in Los Angeles for a book tour one winter, she woke up much earlier than usual. But instead of fretting about lost zzz’s, she realized with excitement that she could score some fresh fruit at the nearby farmer’s market, which would’ve been impossible if she were back home in Boston. That impromptu side trip kept her mood lifted throughout the day.

2. Eat a well-balanced meal. Start your morning with a nutritious mix of complex carbohydrates and proteins that will last you until lunch, such as oatmeal or toast with peanut butter (include a sprinkle of cinnamon, which one study linked to improved mood and alertness, for an extra boost). Other research found that a moderate amount of caffeine (200 mg, or the amount in about two cups of coffee) elevated mood and mental sharpness, so enjoy some joe or black tea with your breakfast.

3. Get some fresh air. Head out for some “green exercise”—physical activity performed in an outdoor setting—even if you only have a few minutes to spare. Researchers found that people experienced an enhanced mood and higher self-esteem after just five minutes of various types of green exercise, including walking and gardening. The study also found that exercising near water amplified the effects, so if you live near a lake, river or waterfall, even better.

4. Listen to the sounds of nature. Capture the benefits of the great outdoors, even if you can’t get outside, by listening to recorded nature sounds. In a recent study, participants recovered from a stressful situation more quickly when they listened to a recorded combination of running water and bird sounds. Open your window in the morning so you can hear Mother Nature’s music as you get ready, or invest in an alarm clock that eases you awake with nature sounds.

Read the others at WomansDay.com!

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Comments

  • JEN2330
    41
    Great ideas. - 5/1/2011   10:54:57 PM
  • 40
    I get up, and have a coffee, and usually a protein breakfast, phone my mom, then start my day. - 5/1/2011   6:22:18 PM
  • MYDOGJAX
    39
    Wake up at just before sunrise without an alarm, stretch, make coffee or tea, play outside with the dogs, shower, eat a good breakfast, then off to the rest of my day. - 5/1/2011   10:55:09 AM
  • 38
    Great morning ideas. - 5/1/2011   7:51:51 AM
  • SATANSPUPPET77
    37
    I eat my ceral and walk 5km in the morning. Yesterday I got my girlfreind to walk with me an we did 16 km. I was the nicest day I have had this year, walking by the ocean looking at the highland mountains in cape breton - 4/30/2011   1:39:28 AM
  • 36
    If I wash my face to go with morning coffee,it really helps. Looking outside also helping or go straight out to the morning air. - 4/29/2011   1:19:39 PM
  • 11WILDHORSEZ
    35
    I am turning on the nature music now.....Hope it works!
    - 4/29/2011   11:40:18 AM
  • 34
    working out, an easy run, or time in the yard. Its peaceful outside in the morning before the cars get going. - 4/18/2011   4:55:24 PM
  • BLACKBLACK1
    33
    I am so glad that i know about spark, because it helps me to get my day going. In the morning i think about my goals and the encouragement coming from all of you really makes my day, and it helps me to realize that it will take time but each day brings me closer to my goal. Thanks sincerely! BLACKBLACK - 4/2/2011   5:34:54 PM
  • AKAREN21
    32
    Going for a short walk in the morning while the coffee brews, thanks for the idea - 3/30/2011   6:44:10 PM
  • 31
    Peppermint really is a mood lifter. I'm going to try chewing peppermint gum right after breakfast as the article suggests. - 3/30/2011   3:38:35 PM
  • 30
    Walking in the morning is a go for me - 3/30/2011   12:06:53 PM
  • 29
    I found out that exercising in the morning has been a major mood booster for me. I have a spring in my step, my mind is alert and clear, and I feel calmer during my drive into work in Atlanta traffic.

    Another mood booster is seeing my dogs greeting me at the bottom of the stairs with their tails wagging like it's been ages since they last saw me. :) - 3/30/2011   11:33:12 AM
  • 28
    I started waking up an hour earlier then I really need to in the morning before work so I can have a little quiet time to myself - check e-mail, watch tv, read a book - however, when 7:30 rolls around, always hard to pull myself away to get to work! - 3/30/2011   7:17:38 AM
  • 27
    I grew up on a farm where my father was up at 4 a.m. to take care of the animals and let us "sleep in" until 6 a.m. so I've always been a "morning person" who just got up and got going. - 3/29/2011   6:31:48 PM
  • RUNROZERUN
    26
    I love reading this sort of stuff and its basically how I have learned to live my life. I wish my loved one's and those close in my life would adopt these principles. Anyway, its a nice read and gentle reminders. - 3/29/2011   3:26:27 PM
  • VANANDEL
    25
    Sitting down with a glass of chai!!! - 3/29/2011   2:13:37 PM
  • 24
    one thing i started doing first thing in the morning was squats down for 3 counts up for one. i see how many i can do in 60-90 seconds and not only does it get the blood pumping but it builds the large muscle groups in your thighs. i have gained more stamina for my turbojam workouts and my jeans fit better after just a month. - 3/29/2011   11:23:18 AM
  • 23
    The thought of a homemade soy mocha was the only thing that got me out of bed today! - 3/29/2011   10:57:42 AM
  • 22
    The part about stopping taking a moment outside with nature. It helps me to clear my head when I am just having one of those days. - 3/29/2011   6:11:01 AM
  • 21
    Eating breakfast was the hardest challenge for me; I was in the habit of drinking only coffee for breakfast...BAD, BAD, BAD! Now my day gets off to a mood boosting breakfast and, well, life is good! :-) - 3/29/2011   12:43:43 AM
  • 20
    Really good ideas. Getting moving in the morning can be difficult but it does pay dividends. Thank you!
    TerrBear - 3/28/2011   10:55:59 PM
  • 19
    I have instituted a morning routine that starts the night before. I lay out my clothes and my breakfast dishes/ingredients (if not perishable). Then I get up, exercise (there's nothing like the lift I get from doing something healthy for me first thing). After shower I complete my breakfast prep and then have time to sit down and actually eat it in a relaxed manner rather than rushing to get it all done before work. I often even have time to throw a laundry load in the washer now. - 3/28/2011   8:00:46 PM
  • 18
    Since I start my day at 4:20am, all I do is get ready for work! Wish I had time for any of the things I've seen mentioned here :) - 3/28/2011   3:34:49 PM
  • 17
    Pretty much since we were adopted by our newest male greyhound, we are usually out first thing in the morning for a 10 minute walk around our property. More recently, I have added doing 20 minutes of yoga / tai chi, and I have been doing this before the morning walk with our dogs. It has meant setting my alarm at 6:00AM each day, but the payoff has been a more refreshed approach each day. - 3/28/2011   2:44:56 PM
  • 16
    I get up, get dressed, turn on the alarm for my husband to remember to take his meds, slice the bread I made the night before. and head out to work. I park outside so I get alittle outside in the day, and I eat a healthy breakfast of eggs and bacon. Make my drinks for the day dig into the daily grind - 3/28/2011   2:01:25 PM
  • 15
    Great suggestions, luv the spoil me task and the suggestion about bird songs and water. - 3/28/2011   1:55:22 PM
  • 14
    My morning run, spending time with God and chatting at Dennis helps my day. - 3/28/2011   1:46:41 PM
  • 13
    Getting up and talking to my spark friends gets my day off to a good start and then I feel motivated to eat healthy and exercise....even when I am tired my spark buddies remind me why we do what we do and make me get a move on!! Smiles Barb - 3/28/2011   12:11:43 PM
  • 12
    Hah, this is appropriate! I started my day, outside of the house, at the doctor's office and was given a recovery timeframe of 3-6 months. I've been really upset, since then, so this is a good reminder that I have to intentionally look for the positive! - 3/28/2011   11:01:09 AM
  • 11
    I like to spend time in bed with coffee journaling, planning the day, and Sparking. Some mornings are shorter than others, but I like to "come to" by myself. Then its up for a healthy breakfast, usually a protein/fruit shake or whole grains and fruit, piano practice and exercise. Whew. - 3/28/2011   10:28:05 AM
  • 10
    My routine depends on whether I'm working or not. If I am, it generally goes wake up, hit the snooze button (repeat two or three times), hop out of bed and grab breakfast (usually a couple slices of toast and some orange juice), then dart into the shower, get ready for work, and go. I like the idea of pulling some of these into my routine, particularly the wake-up stretches and enjoying some fresh air first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, I think that last one is going to have to wait until it warms up a bit here! Much like Nicole0233, -12ºC mornings are NOT nice. :) - 3/28/2011   10:25:29 AM
  • 9
    I like taking a morning walk. I do a lot of productive thinking early in the morning. Goodness knows by the afternoon my brain is fried. LOL !!!!

    - 3/28/2011   10:16:00 AM
  • WJGRIFFIN
    8
    Good stuff - 3/28/2011   10:01:07 AM
  • 7
    I usually work out in the morning, with a bowl of Cheerios and juice afterward. New routine -- walk to/from work! It really makes me feel good! - 3/28/2011   9:54:46 AM
  • 6
    A few days a week, I get up around 5:30 or 6:00 with my husband and head out into the dark neighborhood for our C25K training. Then, I come back, shower, and have a healthy breakfast (usually a poached egg or two over a small bowl of savory oatmeal). Then, it's off to work - a 45 minute walk! When I don't have C25K training, I still try to get up around 5:30 or 6:00 and have a more leisurely breakfast before I shower. - 3/28/2011   9:45:18 AM
  • 5
    These are some good tips but, some of that I just can't do, especially it being winter here.

    The "spoil me task", I'm not even too sure what I would do really. I really want to get a pedicure but that involves making an appointment, and money of course, with a lot of other spoil me things I could think of.

    As much as I would really realllly love to get some fresh air by sitting on my front porch with a nice cup of hot coffee, right now it is -12 degrees Celsius! (Which is 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit) Burrrr, that's more of a rude awakening to me!

    Sounds of nature kind of goes part with the one above, unless I listen to recorded sounds, which is definitely a possibility.

    I don't have mint, but I wanted to purchase some last week! Maybe I could grow it this summer.

    I love this article, and I am definitely going to SAVE it to my Spark Favourites, especially for the summer time!

    Thanks SparkPeople!

    - 3/28/2011   9:45:00 AM
  • GMAGEE
    4
    I head straight for the coffee. And, I open up the blinds to let the sunshine (or cloudshine) in.

    I wish I could wake up to the sounds of nature, but what I get to hear where I live is dogs barking, trucks beeping, neighbors loudly yakking, their kids screaming, highway traffic, etc. This morning, the electric company treemen were outside at 7:30 with their chainsaws and mulchers. It's after nine and they're still at it!

    I liked the article about Mood Food. Going to put that on my fridge for reference. - 3/28/2011   9:09:39 AM
  • 3
    One thing my cats taught me, always stretch upon arising! And a walk to Curves for a double dose of exercise helps, too. - 3/28/2011   8:18:45 AM
  • 2
    I go for a walk along the sea front, no matter if the sea is rough or calm the sound of the waves has a soothing effect on my mood. - 3/28/2011   7:37:35 AM
  • 1
    when I'm down, I usually start doing yard work & it brings up my spirits. - 3/28/2011   7:07:34 AM

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