Good Morning Beautiful: 8 Morning Mood Boosters

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. Let's take the Eeyore out of the equation and insert more of a happy dance in the AM. These tips will make that a little easier:

1. Spoil Yourself - 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. We all need something to look forward to! These are simple rewards like buying fresh flowers at the Farmer's Market.

2. Eat Happy - You are what you eat. So make your morning choice count with something nutritious like a 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).

3. Fresh Air Magic - A quick walk instead of driving or any physical activity like gardening can be a game changer. Absorbing some vitamin D and feeling the great outdoors connects you to the world around you and reminds you how beautiful it is to be alive! So head out for some green exercise even if you just have a few minutes to indulge! It will benefit you and enhance your mood. 

4. Stop and smell the roses, literally! Capture the benefits of the great outdoors, even if you can't get outside, by listening to recorded nature sounds. Toss out the loud alarm that beeps at you and replace it for a wake up call with soothing sounds to nurture your sleepy mind and gently guide you into your day instead of abruptly jarring your morning!

5. Choose to Feel Good - Upon waking from dreamland... imagine that, even when you encounter frustrations and surprises, you will remember to breathe and respond mindfully — rather than react mindlessly — to your circumstances. Before making decisions throughout your day, make it an intention to stop breath, think and then respond. Also choose your mood. Choose to be happy! Attitude is everything.

6. Trade in the Coffee for Hot Cocoa - May be a tough thing to do since we rely on that caffeine buzz so much. But a recent study found that sipping a drink containing cocoa flavonols improved moods and levels of alertness. So go ahead and savor some hot cocoa made with lowfat or skim milk and dark chocolate. The protein and carbs in the milk will help keep your blood sugar levels stable until lunch, which will help you hold on to your mood momentum. Maybe slip in some coffee in between.

7. A Moment To Meditate - Don't jump out of bed right when you open your eyes in the morning. Instead, take five minutes to pay attention to your body and notice if you feel any stiffness, then do some light stretching while breathing deeply. Don't reach for your phone and scroll social media, though it seems to be calling you. Use your wake up for you and be selfish with it because it can determine your mood for the day. Before racing to your routine, make it a priority to meditate, count your breaths and imagine how your day will go surrounded by happy vibes. Tune into yourself! Be present. 

8. Smile - An instant mood lifter is to smile. Studies suggest that smiling, forced or not, can have a positive effect on your mood, decrease stress levels and even make everyone around you feel better. What happy news!