A man once asked the Buddha, “I want happiness.”
So the Buddha said, “First remove the ‘I’. That’s ego. Then remove ‘want’. That’s desire. Now you’re left with just happiness.”
We desire happiness all the time.
Like chasing a wild animal, the faster we run towards happiness, the faster it runs away from us.
This is a delusional goal.
One has to accept the fact that in order to lead a healthy life, one has to experience both positive and negative feelings in life. One has to accept this harsh reality of life. We can’t be happy all the time.
That being said, it’s crucial for us to maintain an optimistic outlook on life.
People with a positive attitude are happier and healthier because of their resilience and ability to overcome negative moments, losses, and tragedies.
The happiest and the most resilient among us choose to do these 5 things in the morning to reduce feelings of negativity while strengthening the mental resolve to stay optimistic.
5 Morning Habits That’ll Keep You Happy All Day
1. Cultivate Gratitude
Cultivating gratitude for what you have is one of the most crucial steps in staying optimistic.
It is scientifically proven that gratitude improves physical and mental health, improves self-esteem, reduces aggression, and enhances empathy towards others.
Being thankful for what we have and developing empathy and compassion towards all beings can really improve our quality of life.
One easy way to cultivate gratitude in by practicing loving-kindness meditation.
It is a simple meditation technique which helps cultivate compassion towards ourselves and all living beings. Detailed instructions for loving-kindness meditation are given in the article below. Click here to learn loving kindness meditation technique.
2. Establish a Meditation Practice
This is non-negotiable! Making meditation a part of your daily routine can go a long way in developing feelings of happiness and overcoming negativity.
Even meditating for five minutes first thing in the morning can be a real life-changer.
Just find a comfortable place and focus on your breath for five minutes. If your mind drifts off (which is natural and most definitely will occur), just bring your awareness back to the breath. Use any of these meditation apps to enhance your practice.
There are several meditation techniques you can choose from.
If you are a beginner, then we recommend this 5-minute breathing meditation technique.
3. Exercise or Do Yoga
Exercise and yoga practice is one way to get some endorphins (the feel-good hormones) flowing in the morning.
If exercise or yoga isn’t your thing, then go for a nice run. If you are into cycling, then cycle for 30-45 minutes early in the morning when there’s barely any traffic outside and the climate is cooler.
If you’re a beginner, then we highly recommend you check out our Yoga 101 series where we cover beginner and intermediate level yoga poses.
4. Keep a Journal
Two minutes of mindful journaling can clear the mind, increase optimism, and can shift your perspective from negative to positive.
It can also reduce emotional stress and anxiety.
5. Create Your Own Mantra
Envision your best self and articulate this into a simple mantra. Make this mantra a part of your daily morning routine.
You will have good days and bad days. That’s just normal.
On bad days, it’s important to remember the old Persian adage: “This too shall pass.”
All feelings, positive or negative, are temporary. The sooner we accept this reality, the happier we will be.
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