If you're one of those that has a hard time getting out of bed in the morning and the only thing that pushes you out are your responsibilities, I can imagine you feel it's time to re-evaluate things.
Maybe you're going through a phase in your life where it's hard to see the silver lining. Maybe you want life to change, you just don't know how.
For some, waking up after a night of dreaming is hard, as if they traveled all night and went to another place, only to wake up still being haunted by the dreams, or waking up to their reality.
Sometimes the realities they are waking up to aren't even bad, they just, for whatever reason, wake up feeling unhappy.
For whatever reason, here are some tips to jumpstart your ability to feel the happiness you seek.
1. Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on me. While sleeping in the dark is great, make sure to position yourself where the sun comes in a window and you can see it. Don't sleep in a basement or darkened room. The body naturally starts waking up with the rising of the sun and the light and energy it produces. When it wakes, the body won't feel jerked out of slumber, but gradually awakened.
2. In the same way, go to sleep early enough so that the body can wake up on it's own, rather than being jerked awake with an alarm clock. You will know when you are getting enough sleep because you wake up BEFORE your alarm clock. If it doesn't happen, go to bed a half hour earlier until you naturally wake up on time. Or change your job, or the time you start work.
3. Sun Gazing. Still in line with #1, the sun places a huge role. Not only does it wake the body up naturally and gradually, the sun places an important part in your physiological functions. All it takes is ten seconds, but let your eyes see the sun (especially at sunrise,when it's weaker). Seeing the sun, the beams of the sun shine right through to the hypothalamus tract. This is important because the hypothalamus regulates your ability to wake up, switching from hormones that help you sleep to hormones that help you wake up, and those that produce that "happy" feeling.
4. Go to bed thankful. That's right. Keep a journal by your bed and every night, as the last thing you do before you turn out the lights, and list all the things you can think of during your day that you can be thankful for, and all the things that made you happy. It may start as one or two things but as you progress, you'll start finding more things you were happy and grateful over, and you will find they were the little things, not great big exciting things we think we need in order to be happy. You'll learn to be grateful for the little things and it is these things you will feel sparks of happiness with during the day. Once you have been doing this habit long enough, you will start seeing these things more than the things that put you down because it's what you've been trained to do. You start having a very humble approach to happiness when it's all the little things that make your day, and you know it.
5. Have a purpose right away. When you plan your day, plan it to start with something you do for yourself immediately that is something you enjoy and look forward to. Having something to put your mind on right away will wash away what ever lingers from the night.
6. Write your plan for the day. Along those same veins, it helps to have a plan for your day, but don't do it in the morning when you feel low, do it at night before you go to bed. Right before you do your gratitude journal would be great. Write down exactly how you would like the next day to go and vow that you will honor yourself by sticking to it. Don't let other people and projects take away from your day's intentions, unless it is something that is a new experience for you and you choose to accept it. This doesn't mean don't be spontaneous, definitely do that, but if you don't have a plan for how you want your day to go, you are going to get bounced around like a ship without a rudder, tending to whatever needs coming up, guarantee, they won't be yours. Keep in mind, this is not a "to do" list, but a list of intentions. The things you want to make sure you do for how you want to see the day go.
7. Get exciting: plan some things that are out of the norm. Take even the ordinary and make it enjoyable. Instead of "lunch", "lunch at Lake George", "lunch while window shopping", "lunch with a friend"., "lunch in front of the big beautiful window". This helps take the mundane tasks and turn them into experiences. Do this with all of the tasks that you see are necessary and make them fun. It doesn't need to be extravagant, just different.
8. Set things up, as much as possible, to be able to sleep through the night. Do whatever you need to do, like use music, fans, white noise, darkened room, cool temperature, but most importantly, go to bed earlier. Usually people who say they can't sleep at night are waiting too long. They have missed the window when the body said they were tired and moved into the "second wind". The body has a cycle and usually it moves according to nature. Start winding down when the sun does. Start turning off lights and power as the sun moves down, start turning down your own activity level as the sun drops. Pretend we are back in the age of no electricity. People went to bed because they couldn't see what they were doing, then rose with the sun and started their day. The fact that we have inventions and technology to keep us going when the body should be resting with nature is a big reason we have such poor sleep now.
9. If you have kids that wake you up, see if you can arrange it with someone to give you a break now and again to give you a chance for a good night of sleep.
10. Get rid of the caffeine. Don't reach for the coffee pot or the mountain dew. If you need something to "wake you up", you're not getting enough sleep in the first place, plus you are setting up an addictive pattern in the brain that contradicts your functioning system's natural ability to produce the proper hormones to get you up and get you down. This ends up affecting more than your sleep and wakefulness, but how you handle struggle, turmoil, tragedy, your physical systems, your hormonal systems, and your ability to feel safe and relaxed, as directed by the adrenal glands.
11. Plan something that you can look forward to, each day and each week. If you have something to look forward to, greater the chance that you are going to feel happier about your day. If you have long and short term happinesses to look forward to so that you are not looking for the next thing that will "make you happy", but gives your life something to progress towards.
12. Make some changes for the better in your health. Unhealthy diets, limited or lack of exercise, pharmaceutical drugs get in the way of what the body naturally knows how to do to keep you healthy and go against what the body is supposed to do. Make some changes and take some baby steps to make change for the better. Start with removing sugar, start with a 20 minute 3 times a day workout program. Don't go overboard and get overwhelmed, start with baby steps that you can handle and then build on. Exercise right away in the morning. It sends the message to your brain that says, "Oh boy, this is going to be a busy day, we better get ready." And it will produce the right chemicals to give you the energy for the day it perceives it will have. You will feel this energy.
14. Expand on your life. Staying stuck in the way things have always been won't make you feel happiness. Get rid of routines, even if it's as simple as drying yourself from bottom up instead of top down, brushing your teeth with your left hand rather than your right. STOP doing things how you always do it. Not only does it challenge other neural connections in the brain, it helps your brain to know that life keeps changing. Then when you have real change to deal with, you can adapt and enjoy it. This means expanding your dreams. If you always do things the way you've always done, you probably have not challenged your expansion into the next goals for your life. Time to come up with a bucket list! Expand your business! Grow your love, your family, your passions in a new way!
15. Learn something new. Not something over-challenging and stressful, but something you've been curious about. Learning something new keeps the brain active during the waking hours, and ready for rest if it's been used in an appropriate way (as opposed to worry, anxiety and over-thinking) at night.
16. Have purpose in life. This means more than to just have a plan for your day, but a project, a purpose, a mission that is long term that keeps you moving towards a goal EACH DAY. Having something to live for is one of the great happinesses. If you don't think you have anything to live for, find something, use other people's reasons for living as an example.
17. Something (someone) to love. Find people in your life that love you and spend time with them. If you don't or can't, adopt a pet. If you don't want to do that, volunteer where you can help animals. If you don't want to do that, stop being so stubborn, it's not about you. We're all here to share love.
18. Help someone else. Often times I hear people can't find anything that feels enjoyable to them. Okay, fine, so you can't see that yet. You are still in the suffering of your own shell, thinking it's all about you. I'm not putting that down, because sometimes we very definitely need to stay in that pain to heal it. But stay there too long and you forget the meaning to life. If you can't heal, fix, get over, deal with, change your own pain, help someone else in their's. Putting your focus on someone else's needs can help boost your own happy hormones while helping someone else. Warning, however, this does not mean you can avoid your own pain that needs to heal forever, if you want true happiness, you'll have to deal with this also.
19Recognize that happiness comes from within. If you are feeling unhappy, it's time to address not the job, the person, the situation that is "making you unhappy" but what it is about yourSELF that isn't in balance. No person is responsible for your happiness. No one can make you happy, but people can certainly help you feel how happy you are, just as they can certainly help you feel how miserable you are.
20. Decide if you are the kind of person that will be happy. Some people no matter what just are determined to be unhappy. It is your choice.
Lastly, if you're not feeling happy, it's a good chance your body is telling you something is not right and it's time to look at your life as a whole, make some changes, and learn to adapt. IT can be scary, but it can also lead you to exactly the life you want.