7 things that psychologists do themselves in the morning to cheer themselves up

How often do specialists follow their own advice? Psychologists and psychotherapists told Huffpost that helps them personally lift their spirits in the morning. We advise those who wake up in a depressed or anxious state to take a closer look at their life hacks.

Keep a diary
Jack Turban, a research associate in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine, said he starts his day by writing down all the plans in a diary to reduce anxiety.

«First of all, I write down my tasks for the day. This immediately dismisses the worry that I will forget something or not have time. Then I write down the mantra of the day — a short positive phrase that I will repeat to myself throughout the day. Finally, I add a few sentences, for which I am grateful for the day that has come.»

Daily diary keeping is comfortable because it gives a sense of confidence and removes worries about the unpredictability of life. It is not necessary to write the same thing that this particular psychologist does. You can limit yourself to a to-do list or just thoughts about a new day.

Take a walk outside for at least 10 minutes
«When I wake up in the morning, I usually take my dog and go for a walk. We walk together for about 10-15 minutes— that’s enough to start the day with activity and good decompression,» says Jessica Gold, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington Medical School.

Even a short time spent outdoors can instantly calm and cheer up. This has long been proven by scientists.

Focus on the present moment
«When I wake up stressed, the first thing I do is allow myself to enjoy the start of my morning without thinking about anything in terms of work and affairs,» says Neha Chaudhary, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital. — I focus on the sensations I experience from the morning coffee, from the smell to the taste and warmth of the mug in my hands. Sometimes I listen to soothing music in parallel

Scientists say that even 5-10 minutes, when you calm your mind and focus on feelings rather than thoughts, help to lift your mood a lot.

Read or listen to something inspiring
When you wake up, try to immediately see or hear something that inspires you and brings joy. It can be reading an excerpt from an inspiring book, or a podcast about a person who serves as an example for you, even an Instagram post from your idol.

«I set aside 10-15 minutes in the morning to read, which will set the tone for the whole day,» says Riana Alice Anderson, associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. «It can be a fragment of a biography of a person I admire, or a short video with a speech that motivates me, or even a reading of affirmations.»

To be stressed for a while
It may seem counterintuitive, but the secret here is to normalize this feeling.

«Every morning after waking up, I spend up to 10 minutes trying to feel any negative, heavy or stressful feelings that I may have during the day,» said Brittany Johnson, a psychotherapist from New Albany. «I try to visualize my thoughts and feelings as images that I then push away from myself.»

Do a breathing practice
Kristin Michoff, a therapist and co-author of the book «The Healing Guide», said that she just breathes deeply for a few minutes in the morning to get rid of stress. One of her favorite calming practices is called «alternative breathing through the nostrils.» The technique described below takes only five minutes:

Step 1. Press both nostrils with your little finger and thumb and hold your breath for four seconds.

Step 2: Open your right nostril and exhale for four seconds.

Step 3: Inhale through the right nostril for four seconds.

Step 4: Close both nostrils and hold your breath for four seconds.

Step 5: Open your left nostril and exhale for four seconds.

Step 6: Inhale through your left nostril for four seconds.

Step 7: Repeat for five minutes.

Soak up in bed
«Do not rush to jump out of bed, slow down. Hug someone or something – whether it’s a soft blanket, your partner, a pet, or a stuffed toy. Hugs help to relax the nervous system and reduce stress, says psychotherapist Caitlin Anderson. — this is how I «ground» myself before a restless day.»

The findings of scientists confirm the effectiveness of this method: after all, endorphins are released during hugs, which help to reduce anxiety and increase the level of happiness.

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