10 Morning Mood Boosters
By Tori Rodriguez
Guarantee a better day by starting your a.m. off right with these easy tricks
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.