20 Instant Mood Boosting Ways to Start the Day

September 9, 2016

20 ways start the day

The morning is the beginning of a new day and often symbolizes a new start. The way your morning goes can set the tone for your entire day. Who hasn’t had a difficult morning whose effects lingered long throughout the day? With something that has such direct impact on your day, it makes sense to take some time to deliberately craft some morning habits that will help keep you on a positive path. Luckily, there are a number of ways to do this.

To help give you the best start to your day, we’ve researched some of the best mood-boosting ideas and principles. Some ideas are scientific principles that you can harness to boost your mood and others are just ideas that will make you feel good. So, if you’re ready to take control of your mornings, read on…

1. Smile as soon as you wake up.

There are so many benefits to smiling that there are countless studies and research devoted to just this one act. Those studies have found compelling evidence to make including a smile first thing in the morning a no-brainer activity. Smiling has been shown to be contagious, reduce stress, lift your mood and the mood of others around you, be a natural pain reliever, relax your body and lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Not a bad way to start the day!

2. Wake up to your favorite song.

There are many health benefits associated with music. Most of them are linked to the type of music you listen to. A slower, rhythmic tune can help bring about a meditative state, while catchy, upbeat music helps you perform better in high-pressure situations. All music plays some role in altering your mood which has been shown to help people relieve stress and anxiety, elevate your mood, ease recovery, improve cognitive performance, improve sleep performance, help people eat less and relieve symptoms of depression.

3. Say a prayer of thanks or write in a gratitude journal as soon as you wake up.

An interesting fact on the habit of gratitude –  it’s been scientifically shown that regular grateful thinking can increase happiness by as much as 25 percent. Even better, keeping a gratitude journal for as little as three weeks results in better sleep and more energy. Better sleep and energy can go a long way to starting the day in a great mood!

4. Plan something fun like breakfast with friends for the morning.

Having something fun to look forward to can help give you that little jolt you needed to hop out of bed looking forward to the day. While it may not work as an everyday practice, planning something fun for the morning on days you know you might need that extra mood boost might be just what’s needed.

5. Think about all the good things that will happen to you today.

You’d be hard pressed to refute the benefits of positive thinking. Sometimes, just a simple shift in perspective is all you need to feel better about a situation. Whatever you put your attention on grows, so it makes sense to focus on the good things in your life when you need a mood boost.

6. Think about the events in your life that make you the most happy.

Similar to thinking about the good things, focusing your attention on what makes you happy will not only lift your mood, but also allow for more of those things to enter into your life. You may even want to combine this idea with a gratitude journal for extra impact.

7. Take a morning walk.

While you won’t get the type of endorphin rush you would from vigorous exercise, there are many health benefits associated with establishing a walking routing. Regular exercise increases blood and energy flow to the brain, which helps improve mental acuity. Studies have also shown that after walking there are improvement in areas of the brain responsible for regulating mood. In fact, walking is often a recommended practice for patients suffering from depression.

8. Drink your favorite morning beverage.

Having something to look forward to is a great way to start the day off on a positive foot. When it becomes part of a morning routine, it helps become a mood boosting trigger as well. What’s even better is that most typical morning beverages offer some sort of health boost as well – even coffee. If you’re really looking to add an extra kick to the start of your day, look into some juicing recipes.

9. Do morning yoga.

There are too many health benefits associated with yoga to even possibly attempt to list them all. However, the biggest benefit may be its ability to help improve your mood.  The reason for this is when you’re doing yoga, your brain responds by producing more of the chemical GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is a chemical that regulates nerve activity. There is a link between people who suffer mood and anxiety disorders and lower levels of GABA production.

10. Start the day looking at your favorite inspirational quotes or sayings.

It’s easy to let life dictate the direction of your day, and therefore your mood. However, when you take a moment to purposely reflect on chosen words you are taking a giant step to controlling the tone and direction for your entire day.

11. Draw, write or create art.

Inspire yourself by doing something inspiring! The first thing in the morning is a great time to work on your artistic endeavours. Your mind is fresh and your thoughts haven’t been polluted with other outside influences yet. Not only that, but you’ll start the work day feel accomplished already because you’ve taken some private time for yourself to work on something you love to do.

12. Meditate.

Not only has mediation been shown to improve your mood and decrease stress, but it can also make you mentally tougher and enable you to complete complex mental tasks. Studies have also shown that meditation can lower your blood pressure and amp up your immune system. Not a bad habit to develop to start your day in a positive way!

13. Work on personal project.

Some of the most productive people in history made use of the early hours to work on their personal projects. More than just a productivity technique, carving out morning time to tackle those projects that are important to you can help set you on a more positive outlook for the entire day. Happiness is often dependent on the ability to feel free to do what you want. When you start the day doing something you normally have to put after responsibilities, it can immediately provide a sense of that freedom of doing what you want.

14. Play with your pets in bed.

Pets can play a vital role in a person’s happiness. It’s pretty difficult to stay in a bad mood when your pet is rolling around on your bed or trying to lick your face with kisses. Spending a few minutes giving your furry creatures a little love can kickstart the day on a positive note.

15. Establish a morning routine.

A morning routine may sound boring and uninspired, but is actually a foundation for enabling you to find your most inspiring self. The reason for this is that when you set up a routine, you aren’t wasting your energy and mental powers on making decisions of what you need or want to do. You can just go on autopilot and perform your set out routine. This frees up attention units so you can use your mental prowess on the important stuff. In addition, a routine frees you from the chaos that can develop in the morning, which is sure to put anyone in a good mood.

16. Decide what type of day you want to have.

Instead of blindly being led by the events that unfold each day, make a conscious decision when you get out of bed regarding the type of day you want to have. Plan out the way you want your day to go in your head. Make sure to include as many of the little details as you can. Sometimes, just the act of setting out to do something is enough for that thing to happen.

17. Set your alarm for a few minutes early so you can feel like you’ve slept in.

What’s the best part about a day off? For many, it’s the option to sleep in. If you fall into that category, you may be able to trick yourself into that sense of weekend freedom. Just set your alarm for ten to twenty minutes early and hit snooze a few times. That way, when you first hear your alarm, you know you have a few more minutes of snooze time available to you.

18. Spoil yourself.

This idea is especially good if you wake up earlier than expected. Instead of worrying about missing out on some sleep, take some time to do a “pamper yourself” activity. Do your nails, take a longer shower, read a book, go for a walk, make a bigger breakfast or visit a coffee shop. The point is to do something to spoil yourself.

19. Do something for someone else.

Mahatma Gandhi probably said it best, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Giving is an essential part of the human experience and has been proven to boost your mood and self-esteem. Some studies have shown that doing something for someone you know can increase this feeling even more. Let’s face it, doing things for others that you know will help them out just feels good, which makes it a perfect way to start the day.

20. Remember, today is a new day.

This is especially important to remember when you’re facing challenging times, or when you’re finding it difficult to get motivated. Every day is a new opportunity to start over and do something different for yourself. If you find yourself needing this inspiration, just remember the quote for Maria Robinson, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today to make a new ending.”

About Jennifer Good

Chief Inspiration Officer and Founder of Inspiration Insider. "You don’t need to wait to make a difference in your own life or the lives of others." - Anne Frank