Updated: Dec 10, 2019
Mornings can be the most pivotal time of the day. The sun rises, or there may be clouds, traffic may be light or heavy, you may have had a good or bad night’s sleep; there are so many external factors that we have no control over upon opening our eyes to yet another new day.
Most times it seems as if even our mood after waking up is something we are powerless to. I’ve had plenty of mornings where I’ve felt groggier than others, more anxious than usual, or simply just unmotivated to get out of bed and start the day.
As one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert, quotes so clearly, “welcome to the human experience.”
Being human means you have the capacity to feel an entire spectrum of emotions, which is truly a beautiful thing, but on mornings where you find yourself on the lower spectrum of the scale, you may wish you didn’t have the ability to feel at all.
This is where the motto “act as if” comes into play. If our emotions are the results of our thoughts, and our thoughts are the reins to which we rule our entire lives, then we ourselves are the sovereigns of each and every emotion that enters the house that we live in.
To act as if is to feel the way you want to feel regardless of what emotions are already present. It isn’t necessarily considered faking it; rather it’s promoting the actual growth of the energy, air, and emotion that you want to feel.
I find that mornings usually set the tone for the rest of my day, so if I wake up from having unpleasant dreams the night before, or if I didn’t get as much sleep as I wanted to, I tend to carry that with me for some portion of the day, allowing it to slip into my daily experiences.
One great way to start your morning that I’ve tested from the book, The Magic, is to write ten things you’re grateful for, and really feel the thanks for those things in your life before even stepping out of bed.
Another is to simply meditate for five or ten minutes; whether that be focusing on your breathing, taking the element of thought out of your mind (extremely hard, I know), or imagining your day the way that you want it to go, all are influential exercises within your control to uplift your mood. Inventing some of your own to fit your unique schedule is a great idea as well.
To end with another fitting quote from Elizabeth Gilbert:
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”