7 Scientifically Proven Ways to Have a Happier Morning
Here’s how to get a sunnier start to your day.
Why it works: Evolutionary psychologists believe that we see flowers and plants as a subconscious cue of safety (“Things can grow here—let’s set down roots”), reward (“All that foraging paid off”) and promise (“These buds mean that fruit is on the way”). So the sight of a colorful bouquet in the morning, they theorize, can convince you that everything’s coming up roses today.
Why it works: It will influence your dreams. Turkish researchers found that people who tend to sleep on their right side have mellower dreams, with themes of relief, joy, peace and love. They also report feeling better rested and less dysfunctional during waking hours.
Why it works: It’s not just because oranges are the color of the morning sun: They’re also high in vitamin B6 and folic acid, both of which have been found lacking in patients who suffer from depression.
Why it works: For all the obvious reasons (you’ll be better rested, more alert, more optimistic about what the day holds).
Why it works: Cardio exercise wakes up your heart and your muscles and can set your mood on an upward trajectory that lasts until nighttime (and may even extend into a more restful sleep). Doing it outside seems to compound the effects. If you don’t have time before work for a trail run, this jumping-squatting-planking move, which can be done in a few minutes and a few square feet of outdoor space, is the most efficient cheat.
Why it works: Sleep has been shown to make memories more vivid and durable, particularly emotional ones—perhaps as an evolutionary mechanism to help us learn from these experiences (we remember how angry Ug got when we made that comment after the mammoth hunt, so we never, ever say it to him again).
Why it works: Testosterone levels (yes, women, too have small amounts of it naturally) are highest in the morning. Having sex then also boosts your levels of the love hormone, oxytocin. Schedule an a.m. tryst, and you’ll not only feel more vital and alive but also more bonded to your partner for the rest of the day.
Photo credit: i.huffpost.com