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The Surprisingly Simple Hack for Having a Great Day

Friday, September 30, 2016.

When you get up in the morning, what's the first thing you do?

If you're anything like me, you roll over, snooze your alarm four times, and slowly crawl your way out of bed. On the off chance someone has the courage to try to wish you "Good morning," you'll probably respond with a blank stare and a mumble that attempts to pass as "You too."

Although many chalk up a dislike for mornings to a simple physical preference, could it be that our dread for mornings is actually setting us up for bad days?

In a number of surveys, it was found that those who wake up earlier than their peers reported feeling more optimistic and proactive. A second study of undergraduate university students showed that those who preferred mornings often received higher marks than their late-rising classmates.

Is this finding simply due to the fact that those who actually enjoy greeting the dawn are less prone to late-night partying and nasty habits of procrastination?

Maybe. However, it is also possible that the decision to wake up earlier-and to force ourselves to like it-is actually something we can control in order to better our daily lives.

From now on, choose to change up your habits so that it becomes a little bit easier to get out of bed each day.

Stay consistent with your wakeup time-even on the weekends-and don't hit the snooze button. Snoozing multiple times actually disrupts our REM cycles and hinders regions in our brain dedicated to cognition. Wake up when you plan to, think of five things to motivate you to get out of bed, and actually do so.

The trick to creating routine is developing a habit. Soon enough, you won't even remember how much you disliked what feels so natural now.

Yet, if you still have serious difficulty pushing back your wakeup time, fret not. It turns out that meeting the early bird halfway actually gets easier as we age; hormonal shifts and changes in our body clocks shift our circadian rhythms when we get older.

So, wake a little earlier, and try to love the dawn a little more. What good it brings may surprise you.