Most of us want to feel happy, but here’s the thing – it doesn’t just happen on its own. Happiness has to be consciously cultivated, not just one time, but over and over again to keep experiencing it. And part of that is figuring out what makes you feel the warm fuzzies inside. So where do we start? Habits that help boost happiness! Experts share their happiness-boosting bedtime habits that can help you wake up feeling happier in the morning.
- Practice gratitude – Research shows that doing it promotes happiness and psychotherapist Dawn Delgado suggests coming up with 10 things you’re grateful for, either in your head or by writing them down, before bed.
- Make fun plans – Part of the joy we get from doing fun things is the anticipation leading up to it, so psychiatrist Anisha Patel-Dunn recommends scheduling something to look forward to as part of your pre-bedtime routine to help you wake up feeling happier.
- Tidy up your space – Delgado explains, “The space around us influences the mental and emotional space inside of us.” So to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the piles of dirty laundry or sink full of dirty dishes in the morning, take a little time to clean them up the night before.
- Prepare for your day ahead – Get your thoughts organized and map out your day, but keep it simple, you don’t need a list of everything you need to do that could send you into an anxiety spiral. And doing a little meal prep for tomorrow’s lunch or laying out your outfit totally counts.
- Write yourself a love note – Brighten up your morning by giving yourself an encouraging message. It may feel cheesy at first, but think of what you’d say to a friend or a kid in your life and say that to yourself. Waking up to a sticky note or a message in lipstick on your bathroom mirror that says “This is going to be an amazing day for you!” is bound to make you feel good.
- Stay off social media – Sure, seeing memes that make you giggle and cute photos of friends’ puppies are nice, but social media isn’t always such a happy space. Dr. Patel-Dunn points out that social media can cause stress and feelings of anxiety and depression for some people, especially when they fall into the “comparison trap.” So she recommends giving yourself a social media break before bed to help you feel relaxed and happier the next morning.