17 Ways to Start Your Day with a Smile

Jul 08, 2015, by Dr. Becky Coats

Mornings are ToughMornings can be hard, but if you do it right, they can become you favorite part of the day. Even if you’re not a morning person, try these tricks to make a beautiful morning.

Open the Curtains

Waking up on your own will make you feel better: you’ll get up at the end of a natural sleep cycle, instead of being jolted up by your alarm clock. Especially in the summer, opening your curtains will let in natural light to help you get up before your alarm.

Get to Sleep Earlier

If you get more sleep, you’re more likely to wake up on your own–and wake up well-rested and happy. If you find that sleeping more isn’t making you more rested, talk to your doctor about sleep apnea–you might not be getting as much sleep as you think!

Sleep on Your Right Side

Believe it or not, sleeping on your right side can make you more likely to have pleasant dreams. Also, sleeping on your side can reduce the severity of sleep apnea and may even keep you from snoring.

Breakfast Bouquet

Flowers make you happy, and not just because your beloved gives them to you. The sight and scent of flowers improves your emotional wellbeing.

Fresh Orange Juice

Another scent that can have a positive effect on your mood in the morning is fresh-squeezed orange juice. Orange essential oils released during the squeezing can calm anxiety, and the blend of vitamins in the juice can boost your mood, too.


Relying on coffee to get out of bed is a bad sign, but that doesn’t mean you should banish it from your morning altogether. Caffeine can boost your mood and your memory. And just the smell of it drip-drip-dripping in the kitchen can pull you out of bed. It’s actually good for your teeth (as is tea) and the staining can be removed with teeth whitening.

A Little Bit of Sugar

Adding a little sugar to your morning will help you with your memory during the day. Not too much, just a teaspoon is all it takes.

A Glass of Water

Fasting overnight no only makes you hungry, it dehydrates you. Coffee and orange juice help, but because coffee’s a diuretic (it makes you urinate), the gain is marginal. Add a tall glass of water to get your water balance right.

Eat a Protein-Rich Breakfast

Eating on the go is bad for your mood and bad for your body. Make yourself a breakfast that includes at least 20 grams of protein. It will help you feel full all morning, and may even help you lose weight.

Be Intimate

Taking some time with your partner in the morning is a good idea. Everyone’s testosterone peaks in the morning, so it’s a good time. And the physical contact releases oxytocin. Morning lovemaking will help you feel happier, loved, and more confident in your body.

Cuddle Kids (or even Pets!)

You can also stimulate oxytocin and feel better about yourself by cuddling your kids and pets in the morning. Besides, sneaking in and looking at your teen or tween while they’re sleeping will remind you of how angelic they used to be.


Cardio exercise can get your heart going and boost your mood. And stretching before you exercise not only keeps you from hurting yourself, it works out the stiffness from the night before.


Take some time alone with your thoughts. This will help you gather all the great ideas from the night before and gives you time to count your blessings while the day is new. Some people find music helps with this. Others prefer silence.

Postpone Decisions

Your day is probably full of things waiting to overwhelm you. They can all wait. For now, be in the moment, and don’t decide anything.

Don’t Get Online

Speaking of things that can overwhelm you: social media can get your heart racing. There are all kinds of triggers designed to set you off, not to mention those vacation posts from your super-cool classmate whose life has gone up and up and up since college. And once you’re online, you might be tempted to check work emails.

Brush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth will make your mouth clean, which will banish morning breath. Inflammation related to gum disease can also contribute to low energy, heart disease, and maybe even depression.


When all else fails, just make yourself smile. Smiling isn’t just something we do when we’re happy–it actually makes us happy.