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10 Bedtime Things to Do to Wake Up Feeling Happy
Happiness is something that most people enjoy working for. We save money so we can enjoy a nice vacation, we marry someone we love so we can live a happy life (we hope so anyway!), and we even look for just the right pet so that we can enjoy their company and feel happier.
There are really no direct routes to happiness, however. Marriages go sour, vacations turn into disasters, and pets are sometimes a nightmare. However, there really is something lovely and magical about knowing that we can’t have instant happiness, and that we need to follow paths to reach it, and in the meantime, we experience the richness life has to offer.
Despite all this, there are some things that you can do to help to encourage a happy outcome. It’s often the little things that make us happy. Sometimes all it takes is a little routine, a habit or two, to make your life easier, and therefore happier. This can be true of mornings. Mornings for most people are a headache: rushing around, trying to get some things together and not forget other things and still get out the door on time so that you arrive at work ready to go.
Well, there are a few things you can do ahead of time that will go a long way towards waking up happy and ready to start your day, and not all of them are organizational tips. Keep reading and find out the top 10 things you can do before you fall asleep so that you can start off the day happy and hopefully keep that feeling going all day long.
1. Prepare in Advance
There is no way around it– one of the best things you can do before you hit the hay is to be prepared for the next day. This can vary from person to person, but for many people this means having lunches made and ready to go in the morning, setting up the coffee maker (with a timer if you have one!), choosing which clothes you will wear and what other items you might need (raincoat? umbrella?), putting necessary papers or other items in your briefcase or computer bag and setting your keys right next to the door. Whatever it is that you will need to have ready in the morning, do as much as possible the night before to avoid unnecessary rush and stress.
2. Think and Review
As you are brushing your teeth, or just before you climb into bed, take a quick review of your day. This isn’t the time to feel regret for the things you said or didn’t do, just take a minute to think, in general, about the day, without judgment, and feel proud of what you did accomplish that day. If things went really badly, then consider what you could have done (or not done) that would have made the day go better and tell yourself that you will learn from this day. Then move on.
Now be grateful for today. Say thank you for whatever kind of day you had, as some people did not get the privilege of having lived another day, and simply the fact that you did is enough to be grateful for. Make a small mental note that during the next 24 hours, you are going to be the best that you can possibly be. This doesn’t mean that you are going to be perfect, you are not even going to attempt that, but rather, that you will simply be the best you can be that day.
3. Organize the Room with Feng Shui
Even if you are thinking, “What a bunch of baloney,” seriously, what would it hurt to do so? What if it actually worked? Many people find that once they arrange their room according to Feng Shui principles, they sleep better. Where your bed is located is of particular importance. Feng Shui says that it should be right where you can see the door but not in the direct path of the door. This helps people sleep with a certain sense of security. What can it hurt?
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4. Create Your Sankalpa and Recite It
A sankalpa is a Sanskrit word, which would be similar to an oath or a resolution. It’s suggested that your sankalpa be short and phrased in a positive manner. Some good examples of a sankalpa might be “My life is exactly how I desire it to be” or perhaps, “I am free from all worry and addiction.” You might even try “I am strong and healthy in mind and body.”
When we make these types of resolutions and say them out loud, we are training our brains to become more flexible and focused on making the changes that are necessary to bring about these types of results in our lives. Recite your sankalpa three times before you head off to bed, or say them just as you lie down.
5. Things to Avoid
In order to get a good night’s sleep there are some things you really should avoid the night before. One way to ruin your sleep is to upset your tummy before bedtime. This means you will need to avoid red wine, chocolate, and coffee at least 4 hours before bedtime. Research shows that these three items upset the stomach and disturb sleep more than anything else.
6. Don’t Go to Bed Angry
It’s an old piece of advice that you might have heard from your grandmother, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Don’t go to bed angry at your partner. If you want to guarantee a terrible night’s sleep, never, ever go to bed angry or upset with your partner. Even if you can’t settle your differences at that time, at least agree to discuss things later, then give then a good night’s kiss and tell them you love them.
7. Make an Intention to Remember Your Dreams
Our minds are powerful and trainable tools. If you have ever meditated, then you know how you can gain better control over your mind and keep your thoughts more focused, allowing you to live in better harmony with the world. Although some people are able to remember almost all of their dreams easily, most people need to train themselves to do this. One of the best ways is to begin thinking about it as you are lying in bed. Tell yourself as you are closing your eyes something along the lines of, “I am going to sleep and dream now. I will be more aware of these dreams and I will remember them clearly when I awake.” It might not happen overnight, but with a little practice you will start remembering your dreams. Then you can work with those dreams in any manner you choose.
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8. Stop the Noise
By the way, New Scientist Magazine says that you are shortening your lifespan by the noises you hear at night. Noise while you are trying to sleep has an effect on your heart rate and waking up several (or more) times during the night puts your body and heart under a great deal of stress. Wear some good quality earplugs that cut out certain noises but still allow you to hear your baby monitor, or your alarm clock. Or try some white noise machines, which are usually very good at blocking out all sorts of noises.
9. Deep Breathing
Now it’s time to quiet your mind and prepare the body for some real relaxation and sleep. So take a few deep breaths and as you are exhaling, imagine yourself throwing away all your worries and actions of the day out to the wind. Imagine the wind picking them up and carrying them far away from you. Imagine that you are pulling everything negative out of your body and throwing it to the wind, so that all that is left inside you is a calm peacefulness. You can imagine that you are now floating on a lake or lying in a meadow, whatever works for you. And just before you drift off, one last thought…
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10. Send Out Some Love
Give the world, as well as yourself, a loving thought. You could imagine that you are filled with a white light and you send it off to the world as your last thought of the night. You could imagine yourself throwing kisses from a balcony that is showering your loved ones below with loving thoughts and kindness. Tell yourself that you are wonderful and imagine that those sheets or blankets are loving arms that will hold you all night.
Is there anything better than to fall asleep knowing that everything has been taken care of and feeling at peace; filled with loving, warm thoughts? Who wouldn’t wake up happy in the morning after a night like that?!