The way your day begins will ultimately define it. We have all experienced those mornings where we wake up and things just don’t go our way. That feeling of having gotten off on the right foot stays with us all day, and it brings negative energy into our day we would all do well to get rid of.
There are times when this simply can’t be avoided. You can never really know how you’re going to feel from one moment to the next. You could wake up with a cold or headache, or you could walk outside to find your car has a flat tire. There are so many ways to get off track.
But you can do things to help get rid of this negative energy. In the end, the way you see the world is part reality and part perception, so there are things you can do to change your perception that will affect how you see what’s around you.
Everyone will have different ways of building positivity into their day, but for me, the best way to do it is to plan for it. Setting up routines and structures in your life that resonate positivity will get you jumping out of bed with the attitude you need to be as productive and positive as possible.
Here are some ways to help you set yourself up for a positive day:
Make a realistic to-do list
A lot of resources that promise to improve positivity will talk about making a list. There’s good reason for this. The sense of satisfaction we get by crossing something off a list is quite strong.
However, I like to take this one step further and talk about realistic to-do lists. One of the reasons we get frustrated with ourselves—and frustration is a huge source of negativity—is that our expectations don’t line up with reality.
Managing expectations does not mean limiting yourself. Always remember that you can accomplish whatever it is you set your mind on, but there’s a chance it may not happen tomorrow. Being impatient with yourself is not a good mindset to be in.
So to set yourself up for a positive day, start the day before by making a to-do list. You can start broad by putting down all the things you’d like to do in a day. Then, next to each one put an estimate of how much time you think it will take. After you do this, increase each time allotment by 20 percent. When we’re planning, we tend to account for maximum efficiency. We forget that our phone will ring and distract us, that we need to go to the bathroom, that we’ll get pulled away by social media. These distractions are unavoidable, so plan for them a bit.
After you inflate the times needed to do each task, you should have a good idea of what you can and can’t do. Make a new list of the things you realistically expect to do, leaving those that can’t or don’t need to be done the next day for some other time.
This activity makes you feel more confident about your day, and it also sets you up for success, which will only increase your feelings of positivity and confidence moving forward.
Have a quality breakfast
We’re all familiar by now that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But far too many people take this to mean that any breakfast is a good breakfast. It’s not.
Fried eggs and bacon everyday is not good for you. It may have lots of protein and energy, but it’s not providing your body and your brain with the appropriate nutrients they need to function at their highest level.
Always make sure to include some fruits (and even veggies) in your breakfast. Juices are great as they allow you to mix lots of different fruits, but consider making them yourself, since most of what you buy in the store will come with lots of added sugar.
Oatmeal, whole grains and granola are all great sources of carbs and proteins that will help fill you up and energize you throughout the morning. If you drink coffee, keep the sugar to a minimum (or avoid it if possible), and make sure you’re drinking freshly roasted coffee. Most supermarket coffee is old and has little to no nutritional value, whereas the fresh stuff, like that which you get from coffee subscription services, gives your body a huge boost both now and in the future.
The important thing with breakfast is to try and find something you like but that also helps your body. You should be waking up and feel excited about eating breakfast. Give yourself some time to relax and enjoy it. You’ll soon find that this quiet time for yourself, nurturing your body with good food and drink, is a great way to get your day started in the right direction.
Meditate before doing anything
Taking some time to calm your mind and center on yourself is a great boost of energy. It allows you to better understand the sources of stress and negativity in your life. Meditation teaches you to observe these emotions for what they are but not to engage with them, helping to ward off negativity and promote positivity.
For many of us, though, finding time to meditate is tough. Once the day gets going, it’s very hard to find even just thirty minutes to sit down and be with ourselves. Yet when we do, we can feel how this positively affects our day. The solution to this: make meditation the first thing you do each morning.
Wake up a little bit earlier and before you shower or eat, meditate. Remember that meditation is intense concentration and focus, so if you fall back asleep, you’re probably not doing it correctly. It should actually even perk you up a bit, making your breakfast and morning shower all that much more enjoyable.
If you have time in the day to meditate again, great. But if you don’t, do it first thing in the morning so that you can carry that positive energy with you all day.
In the end, we are a combination of our habits. If what we do breeds negativity, we will be negative, and this will hurt our health and well-being. Introducing some habits that set you up for positivity will help make sure each and every day is full of good energy, peace and harmony.
About the author: Cassie is a freelance writer. She makes her living doing marketing and content creation, but in her free time, she likes to learn about different ways of injecting positivity into her life. She likes to meditate, do yoga, play music and spend time with like-minded people. Since she believes positivity is a choice, she likes to write about ways people can change their own outlook on life.