We’ve all had mornings where we’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed—it’s natural for the stressors of work, relationships and life to get the best of us from time to time. But what if you could control the flow of your day from the moment your morning begins? According to researchers, it’s totally plausible—and it starts with waking up grateful.
Why is it important to wake up grateful?
It’s impossible to predict what can happen in our day-to-day lives. No matter how hard we try, we can’t fully control how our days unfold, but we can control how we respond to trying circumstances. A bad day can quickly turn into a bad week if we don’t immediately handle or absorb the situation. Think about it: How often have you gone to sleep upset or uneasy, and then woken up with the same frustrated emotions? This is why it’s so important to practice gratitude the second your day begins. With this hopeful and positive mindset, any missteps throughout your day might feel less significant or difficult to deal with, simply because you know that there are bigger things in your life that are so good, they practically outweigh the bad.
How do you wake up grateful?
Everybody practices gratitude differently, but here are four proven tricks to help you wake up with both your head and your heart in the right space:
4. Start slowly.
A hectic morning that leaves you feeling flustered or stressed can often be a good indicator of how the rest of your day might go too. When we’re busy running around or getting ready because we’re short on time, we lose out on the opportunity to take our mornings slow and appreciate the little things that we might miss otherwise. Giving yourself time to ease into your day is a great way to appreciate the beautiful details of each morning.
3. Immediately think of the good.
This can feel easier said than done—but that doesn’t make it any less important or effective. No matter how bad our days get, there are certain elements of our life that will likely remain the same. And those are worth celebrating! Think about the big: the people you love, the work that you do, the home that you have, the opportunities and little goodnesses that are still to come in your life, or even just the beauty in waking up to another day. And then think about the small: the comfort brought by a warm cup of coffee or tea, the beauty in a sunrise, the plants and life that continues to grow in our own backyards, or the inexplainable coziness and quiet ambience of your home in the morning.
2. Grab a pen and write.
Let’s face it, our brains can get cluttered with thoughts pretty quickly. If you’re having trouble focusing on the good, consider journaling your thoughts, dreams and the things that you’re grateful for. Writing things out can make it easier to articulate exactly what you’re feeling, and it offers a certain tangibility that will help to remind you that it’s real.
1. Stay consistent.
Of all of the habits in our day-to-day lives, this is arguably the most beneficial one to incorporate. Consistency will help transition your gratitude from a state of mind to a state of being.
Life is unpredictable—but when unexpected obstacles arise, we can handle them with more grace, confidence and positivity if we simply commit to beginning our days in the right frame of mind. Gratitude isn’t a problem-solver—but it’s absolutely a solution for how we can approach situations more effectively.
Stay tuned next week for another installment of our “Thankful Thursday” series, where we’ll share more tips, tricks and insights on how to better practice gratitude and live more authentically.