How to Wake Up Smiling: 5 Daily Habits That Made Me a More Positive Person

“You create your future based on your energy in the present.” ~Unknown

I’m usually a pretty happy person, but about a year ago—perhaps due to a lack of social connections and laughter—I experienced a few dark months. I spent most my day (and nights) surrounded with negative thoughts.

The next morning I was angry and had negative thoughts all day.

Luckily, I didn’t have many opportunities to spread my negativity to others because we were in confinement.

While getting ready for work on one of those blue mornings, I watched a clip of a spiritual coach that a good friend suggested to me.

Halfway through the video, he said, “Humanity is ascending into more loving and conscious states of being. You are becoming more of who you truly are, which is love.”

The moment passed quickly and I stared in dismay at the reflection.

“I’m not ascending. I’m descending further and further into the ‘hell’ in my own mind.”

It was like my negativity was taking me out. But, strangely enough, it became addictive.

Since it had been escalating for some time (a few months by then) and had acquired a good bit of momentum, I really didn’t know if I’d be able to shift all that negativity into a more positive state of being. It was clear that it would become more difficult the longer I waited.

As I looked at myself in the mirror, the corners of the corner of my mouth were pointed slightly downward.

“If I continue like that, I’m going to get grumpy face wrinkles.”

Then I got up to make my bed. As the coffee was brewing, I grabbed my laptop and Googled “how to be a more positive person,” and I scribbled down a few ideas that resonated with me.

Later that day, after mixing and matching advice from different articles, I created what I called my “emotional hygiene routine.”

It’s a series of simple habits that I committed to doing most days of the week for an entire month (and still continue to do today on most days) and that, over that month, took me out of my depressive state and made me wake up smiling in the morning again.

I’d like to share them with you.

1. Fall asleep in the “vortex.”

Abraham Hicks is a good example of a positive attitude that I found in my search for being more optimistic.

“When you fall asleep, in the vortex, you wake up in the vortex. If you go to sleep NotIn the vortex you will wake up Not in the vortex.”

Being in the “vortex” refers to a state of pure positive energy. It’s quite simple: go to bed thinking positive thoughts and feeling happy feelings, and you’re more likely to wake up thinking and feeling positive in the morning.

This was something I had known for a fact. This was evident in my dreams of being unhappy. I would go to bed with angry thoughts and wake up unsatisfied.

It was time to do something. When I went to bed each night, I closed my eyes and scanned the entire day.

I could have thought about the delicious mocha latte that I drank that morning, the fact there wasn’t snow on the ground and that I was able to run outside in the afternoon, or a nice comment someone left on one of my videos.

Before moving onto the next, I took a few moments to remember a good moment. After scanning through the day I decided to do it all again. I tried to look for subtler positives and this continued until I finally fell asleep.

This is my number one tip to make your mornings more pleasant.

2. You have something positive to look forward too for the next day.

Another thing that makes me happier when I wake up is the fact that there’s something every morning to look forward too, no matter how busy my day may be or how little time I have.

Yet, to this day I still schedule at least one activity each night that gives me joy for tomorrow. This could be going on a walk with someone you care about, making cookies, or just watching the sunset. Sometimes it’s as easy as choosing my favorite clothes.

I find it fun and relaxing to plan one activity each day that gives me joy the next day.

It is also a sign of what the next day will look like.

3. Take in the positive ideas of the evening.

Our moods are affected by what we feed them. I don’t have a TV and don’t follow the news, but my Facebook feed is often enough to get me irritated. Instead of scrolling endlessly on Facebook, or at least less frequently, I made the decision to consume only positive content.

For the past few months, first thing in the morning and before going to bed, I’ve been reading a few pages of an inspiring book—usually something spiritual. Just finished the whole book. Earth Life book series by Sanaya Roman, and right now, I’m reading Wishes FulfilledWayne Dyer

I find peace in reading these books. If I take just fifteen minutes each day to read uplifting material, I notice a difference in my moods and stress levels.

You can also leave book suggestions in the comments.

4. Make a gratitude list—With a twist

After reading in the morning, I write down three to five things I’m grateful for—…and why I love everything.

I used to write gratitude lists of fifteen-plus items and do it very quickly—almost mindlessly—just to “get it done.” It made the practice sort of mechanical and not very effective.

I’ve found that writing fewer items on my list and taking the time to dive into the reasons each thing makes me happy intensifies the feelings of gratitude and makes the exercise more profound. Although I forget occasionally, I make an effort to do it every day. It can be a noticeable difference in my mood if I forget for several days.

The best way to cultivate a positive outlook is through gratitude.

5. When you open your eyes, decide what state of mind it is.

A piece of brain scientist Daniel Amen advice was the last thing that I found to be helpful. An interview with The School of Greatness podcast, he talked about the importance of setting a positive intention from the very start of the day to cultivate what he calls “a positivity bias.”

An affirmation he uses himself and recommends using is: “Today is going to be a great day.”

This is what our subconscious mind does when we say it in the morning. It then searches for evidence that things are actually going well to confirm that statement. This isn’t toxic positivity—ignoring or denying the negative. It’s training our brains to see what’s positive instead of focusing on the negative by default.

I’ve taken the habit of saying this affirmation (or a similar one) just after waking up and before opening my eyes in the morning. It’s a bit like choosing and declaring from the very start of the day what attitude you’ll adopt that day. It’s easy to do, and it sets the tone for the day.

In the beginning, I didn’t always remember to declare my intention until later in the morning, but it didn’t take long before it became automatic. As I get up, it’s easy to smile by just thinking about and mentally stating my intention.

. . .

Our lives don’t need to be perfect to wake up smiling in the morning; they just require a conscious effort to develop a positive attitude, which is what the five habits in this article have helped me accomplish.

If you decide to use them, I wish they were of benefit to you as well.

About Emilie Pelletier

Emilie is certified as a purpose and life coach and meditation instructor. She also works as a spiritual entrepreneur. She helps free-spirited minds to clarify their soul’s purpose, find their calling, and transform their work into play. You can get her free guide, “The Life Purpose Formula: The Easiest Way to Uncover Your Purpose and Calling,” or connect with her through her website

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