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Happiness Exercise #5: Let's Start at the Beginning

How do you spark your day? Does the sound of your alarm gently rouse you or does it rock you into a different state of being like an AC/DC concert? If you heard that sound at any other time, would it remind you of a pleasant awakening or of a huge jolt into consciousness? Then, once your eyes open, do you browse your phone for any missed texts, emails or the news, or do you give your freshly-awakened body a moment to greet the morning?

It may sound silly, but the manner in which you start the day sets the stage for the remainder of the day. In his New York Times Bestseller “Think Like A Monk,” Jay Shetty reminds us that “Looking at your phone first thing in the morning is like inviting one hundred chatty strangers into your bedroom before you’ve showered, brushed your teeth, fixed your hair.” And who wants that?! Often, we are so ingrained in our routines that we forget how important each moment is and how small, sweet modifications can enhance our future.

Happiness Exercise: Take a moment to reflect on how you begin the magnificent miracle of a new day. Change your alarm if it’s harsh. Try waking to the sound of early-morning songbirds (if you aren’t from a generation traumatized by Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”) or sweet chimes. Find a ringtone that feels like a soft breeze gently caressing you into inspiration. In the morning, leave your phone on your nightstand. Give yourself a moment to stretch, to breathe. Maybe offer gratitude to the Universe for the gift of a new day. Look outside your window. Know that you’re not alone – even if your closest friend at that moment is Mother Nature. Close your eyes or stare softly at the Earth and take a few deep breaths. Remind yourself that you’re extremely lucky to be waking up to a new day and that you can fill your mind and the upcoming hours with sunshine or clouds (Hint: Choose sunshine.)

Your new day is literally a new beginning, a fresh start, a land of opportunity. Don’t waste even a moment of it. Start your day in the same way the sun rises – with vibrancy, strength, and certainty of a bright future. It is especially important to give yourself a few moments to fuel up on positivity if you care for others and are their personal alarm clock. How you start your day impacts how they will start theirs. Allow your first moments of awakening to spark a smile in your heart and it will open the door to the sweet embrace of the Universe!

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