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A Simple Morning Habit to Improve Your Day

Before you’re even fully awake, here’s an easy practice to help summon a positive, grateful outlook in ways big and small.

Morning habit
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I’ve shared this with you before, in no uncertain terms—I am not a morning person. I’ve learned that this isn’t something I can easily change about myself; it’s just my “chronotype.” My natural sleep-wake rhythm makes me yearn for just a few more minutes of shut-eye when the alarm dings. If I can’t change it, I can accept it. I can embrace it as an opportunity to work on building positive habits and routines. So I’ve discovered a simple morning habit that helps.

Sensory Gratitude

Lately, I’ve started launching my day with gratitude. Blinking myself awake, I think about something I’m grateful for in that very moment. I start with something sensory, like feeling a crisp waft of cool air through my cracked-open window or the cozy weight of my blankets.

Then I broaden my thinking, focusing on big-picture things I am grateful for, like my family’s health, our good home, our community.

From there, I focus back in, thinking gratefully about something I am particularly looking forward to in the day ahead. I try to be as specific as possible (that my husband is cooking dinner tonight). And I refrain from putting too much pressure on things to turn out exactly as expected. (He might pivot from grilled chicken over salad to a hearty chili…or take-out.)

Morning Positivity

This new habit isn’t radically transforming my preference to sleep in. But it is drawing positivity, hope, and peace into that challenging moment of my day. I can hold that feeling as I hoist myself out of bed and begin the doings and goings that are on the agenda.

Best of all, connecting with my gratitude first thing in the morning helps me remember to be thankful before the day has “given” me any reasons to be. This sort of forward-looking gratitude lets me be authentically hopeful about the opportunities my life has given me. And it encourages me to make the most of this new day.

Do you have a morning gratitude practice?

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