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Wake-up on the Good-side of the Bed: 5 Easy Ways to Start Your Day Right

Want to be less zombie and more happy when the alarm goes off? Try these 5 techniques to start your day right.
Heather Merrill, FamilyShare Modified: August 27, 2014 at 4:50 am •  Published: August 29, 2014

I've never been a morning person. Equipped with a gene found in nocturnal animals I would float during daytime hours only to amp my production after sundown.

But then I had my daughter.

The first time I tried to pull a late-nighter post-baby I ended up a curled-up heap under a comforter. And the kicker: I had to cancel the dinner party that I had worked so hard to prepare for.

But over the past few years I've discovered a few things that have helped me evolve into a creature more like my species: A morning person.

Now, you may jest that these 5 things are almost too easy — but I dare you to try them. They might just make you feel less zombie and more happy in the A.M.

First things first: smile

Believe it or not, when you smile it transmits a message to your brain. And you know what the message says? It says, “I'm happy!” (Go figure.) The research of the late psychiatrist Dr. Robert Zajonc suggests that the act of smiling can contribute to your feelings of happiness. But don't take my word for it — once you hear your alarm go off — smile. (Cajole it out with memories of your favorite comedies if you need to – it will eventually become more natural.)

Second: verbalize gratitude

Once I've smiled, I really do start to feel happy. And once I start to feel happy, I begin my next step to waking up on the right side of the bed. At this point in my morning regimen, I verbalize gratitude. Note: It's important during the wee hours of the morning to not just “think happy thoughts” of gratitude in your head because if you're like me your gratitude stew will simmer your mind to sleep. So say what you're thankful for. Be sincere. And, be real. Speak of your gratitude that you got to sleep in until six. (Yesterday you had to get up at five.) Declare the goodness of having a bed. (Some people don't.) And if you're brave, express thanks for the things you're learning from your struggles.

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