How to Heighten our Mood, Attitude & Awareness throughout the Day.
When things are going really well, we often walk around with a smile we can’t wipe off as we think to ourselves, “Just another day in paradise!”
Alternatively, when things seem really sh*tty and nothing is going our way, our thoughts veer toward a “when it rains, it pours” mentality.
But guess who is the puppeteer of the weather? We are.
Throughout times of internal struggle, external frustration, and moments of “why did that have to happen to me?”, it’s hard to remember and recognize that we are in control of how our environment is treating us, for how we treat our world is how the world treats us.
When we approach our days with awareness and good intention, we are no longer filled with thoughts of “today is not my day.” Instead of going into a downward spiral, our days begin to effortlessly flow with opportunity and wonder—an “is this real life?” attitude.
From the moment we wake up in the morning to the time we go to sleep, there are little things here and there that can remind us to breathe, to love, and even to not be so hard on ourselves.
I have picked up some of these practices from conscious beings I’ve met along the way, and I’ve created some of my own that have helped me discover a noticeable difference in my daily (and long-term) relationships with myself and others as well as an uplifted attitude shift in my overall perspective.
Just a few seemingly small changes in our thoughts make big changes in our reality.
Throughout our day, there are ways we can take action to heighten our mood, gratitude, attitude, and awareness.
1. Use the alarm as motivation.
These days, most of us use our smartphones as an alarm. It’s rare to meet someone who doesn’t have their phone plugged in right next to their bed.
This is the first thing we interact with in our day. We can grunt, “Ugh, shut up!” to the alarm, or we can sigh delights of “I’m alive.” For those using phones to wake up in the morning, giving it an inspirational title can change the few first thoughts—or the whole mood—of the day.
For me, it began by naming my alarm as a specific activity which corresponded to an early morning activity that I was waking up for. In 2010, I had an early 4:30 a.m. wake up call to be down at the dive shop in town to get ready for the day’s adventure. In an effort not to press snooze and turn over (and complain about getting to go scuba diving?!), I named my alarm “It’s DIVE TIME fool” followed by about six fish emojis, reminding me of the beautiful underwater world I would soon be experiencing.
For a 3:15 a.m. departure for a volcano hike in Hawaii, I named it “Aloha Volcano Sunrise” with all appropriate emojis—they really do help make it just a little easier.
Since then, these alarms have morphed into “Choose Love,” or “Say Yes”—one of my favorites is “You are blessed—Don’t complain today.” Some evenings, I determine the morning warrants a “Try not to be a b*tch.”
Before we go to bed, we can figure out what bit of support or positive push might be necessary the next morning. Alternatively, we can find a mantra and make it be the first thing we see in the morning.
Waking up with motivation instead of mumbling can alter the course of our entire day.
2. Ditch all things digital for the next hour.
When our phone is already in our hand from turning off the alarm, it’s tempting to check texts, open Facebook, send an email, or see what overnight love we got from Instagram.
Morning is a great time to connect with ourselves, our breath, our state of mind, and our surroundings. Checking our notifications and updates before being clear and present has the possibility of triggering an immediate mood change, and before we know it, our blood is boiling from Twitter’s political drama before even looking outside the five-foot vicinity of our bed and realizing that we’re awake.
By delaying digital socializing, we set ourselves up to face the day with a calm and clear headspace. One way to get in the habit of this is to put our phones on airplane mode before bed, so when we look at it in the morning to turn our alarm off, there’s nothing there to distract us or call us to immediately check. The “do not disturb” option is also convenient for scheduling times you don’t want to see notifications, and even provides the option to choose certain phone numbers or messages that are allowed to come through in case of an emergency.
Your eyes and mind (and lack of early a.m. drama) will welcome the screen break.
3. Act as if everything can hear you.
I start off with a big, full body stretch and a “Good morning everyone!” I wake up and talk to my teddy bear (“Thank you for the cuddles, Teddy!”), my Buddha wall tapestry (thumbs to third eye and a “May all beings be happy and free”), the earrings on the dresser (“Which of you is speaking to me today?”), a quick “Bye apartment, thank you, see you soon!” when I leave for work, and whatever else may be around.
It sounds silly, but I’ve found it to be a useful tool.
Becoming interactive and engaging from the get-go with physically non-reactive items—ones that have a permanently blank slate, but are still forms of energy—can set the tone of how we will interact with the people and circumstances we encounter throughout the day.
When I sit outside with my morning coffee, I address nature: “Good morning trees, good morning birds, good morning beautiful budding flowers! I acknowledge you, I appreciate you, I respect you, and will do everything in my power to protect you today.”
By practicing this kind of interaction, we become more aware of the little things throughout our day—all of a sudden noticing the paintings on the office walls, how beautiful the landscaping is outside a friend’s house, and other beauty we might overlook on a daily basis.
Starting a verbal conversation with our surroundings creates an unconscious relationship with them, and we’ll start to treat everything around us a little better than we did when we ignored their presence.
4. Create a morning ritual to clear your mind.
Finding a few minutes (even just five!) in the morning to clear our minds can help us take on the rest of the day.
I have an area rug with some floor pillows, crystals, candles, and incense about six feet from my bed, so I have no excuse not to have at least a few minutes of quiet time before I face the day. It doesn’t have to formally be called a “meditation;” it could be anything that you’re just taking a few minutes of conscious time to recognize and focus on.
It could be coloring, listening to music with your eyes closed, a few minutes of sitting on the patio listening to birds chirp, or even a quick yoga or stretching session—whatever works to help consciously connect before taking on the world.
5. Connect with your food.
I grew up saying a formal blessing before each meal, thanking Jesus for the food I had in front of me. As my spiritual growth expanded, these blessings began to include gratitude for the Earth. Through this mantra of appreciation for the meal in front of me, I created a connection with my food.
As a firm believer of “thoughts become things” (for example, sadness becomes tears), I’ve discovered that my attitude toward my food dictates how my body reacts to it. If we eat dessert and feel guilty afterward, thinking, “I can’t believe I just ate that,” our bodies will react accordingly, making us feel gross or even physically ill from it.
We can all pray to whatever our version of God may be; personally, I took “the Lord” out of my blessings and decided to appreciate the Earth for sustaining me. Before indulging, no matter what it is, I hover my hands over the plate and express a connection with my food. Whether it’s a full meal or a slice of cake, I acknowledge the energetic exchange with Mother Earth, the nourishment my body will receive, and the gratitude I have toward the hands that made it and the farms it came from.
As Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” Pausing before diving in creates a breath of space for recognition and acknowledgement instead of immediately indulging before we even have a glance at what is actually in front of us.
We can begin to notice just how deeply we savor and appreciate every bite, and our bodies will react the same way.
6. Give your phone or computer an inspirational facelift.
Along the same lines of naming the alarm in the morning, changing the password to our computer or bank login can help us keep ourselves together during times of digital stress.
Changing our password to something like “PayAttention” or “BeTheLight108” or even “StayFocused” can potentially help us in dealing with our coworkers, deadlines, or to-do list. Creating passwords which will remind us of our goals for the day, our higher purpose, or a mantra we’re trying to practice, we have an opportunity to overlook and move past those little things that may be getting under our skin.
The catch here is to find a platform where we have to constantly enter our password. So many passwords get automatically stored that it can be difficult finding something that we have to repeatedly enter. However, typing a short inspirational or motivating phrase a few times a day will likely have a more positive effect than typing our high school celebrity crush (I was completely obsessed with Usher growing up and only changed my password from that when I got to college).
Since many of us spend our days on our phones or computers, for work or otherwise, changing the background image to a photo of when we felt inspired can help us connect with our potential every time we look at it—which is probably 10 times more frequent than typing a password, as we see a screen when we receive notifications, check the time, and turn off the alarm.
It could be a photo of a place, a person, a graphic, or even a quote from Pinterest that connects to your authentic inspiration. Maybe it’s a favorite photo from a trip when we thought, “One day, I’m going to live here” or a photo from a wedding that can help us remember the feeling of being completely surrounded by love.
Every time we check our screen, we can remind ourselves of when we felt like our highest self.
7. Keep the bed a sacred place.
We can establish the space as a designated place for recalibrating, relaxing, and dreaming. Try to keep electronics, shoes, and clothes off the bed and in their appropriate spaces throughout the day.
It’s not easy—the surface of the bed provides an easy place to toss clothes as we’re changing or to quickly throw our keys when we arrive home. I’ve never been someone who makes her bed every morning and lays out 10 decorative pillows, but I do at least try to tuck the duvet up to the top, put Teddy out to see the world, and make it look clean.
I verbally thank my bed for providing a place to reset. Our sleep is sacred—not only for physically recharging, but also because it provides the opportunity to receive messages through our dreams, reset our mood, and clear anything that may have rubbed us the wrong way during our day.
Sleep allows us the opportunity to wake up “with new eyes.”
You know that euphoric feeling when you hit the comforter at the end of a really exhausting day? I try and consciously hit the hay like that every night, thinking, “Ugh, this is absolutely amazing,” as I crawl under the covers and nuzzle up with Teddy.
The more we acknowledge the rest our body needs and the dreams our subconscious creates, the more profound these activities will be for us.
8. End the day with gratitude.
I fall asleep every night listing the things I’m grateful for. I usually only make it about 30 seconds to a minute before I’m unconscious, but that small bit is enough to focus on the positives of the day.
So often, we fall asleep replaying a conversation in our minds, stewing on a work email, or just plain pissed off. By focusing on the good and not the frustrating, we are actually rewiring our brain to think more positively.
The 30-day no-complaining challenge is also a good, self infused way to rewire our brain for positivity.
Every day, there are hundreds of opportunities for us to change our thoughts, think more positively, and in turn, change—and create—our own reality.
I’m still in the process of approaching every action and thought with awareness and high intention. It isn’t easy, and sometimes I do just want to throw in the towel and give a good scream—and that’s also okay. It’s a practice, a learning process, and the act of raising our vibration is trial and error, as is everything in life.
We learn what works for us and what doesn’t. It’s all personal, and it all has potential.
Author: Elizabeth Gottwald
Image: Carli Jeen/Unsplash
Editor: Callie Rushton