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  • Focusing on the positive aspects of the day can help train the brain to be more optimistic.
  • Taking the time to consider how to respond to stressful thoughts can also give people more control over their emotions.
  • Keeping morning routines simple make them easier to follow through with.

Asking yourself three simple questions every morning, before checking social media or even brushing your teeth, could set the tone for a positive day. 

Michelle Wax, happiness coach and founder of the American Happiness Project, spoke with Well + Good about what small but significant steps people can take to start their days off strong. 

Wax emphasized three questions people should ask themselves every morning:

  • What can I look forward to today?
  • What has the potential to cause me stress today and how will I respond to it?
  • How do I want to feel at the end of the day, and how do I make that a reality?

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These questions have the potential to help empower people to start their day on their own terms and better focus their energy.

“I ask myself these questions before looking at my phone—or even brushing my teeth—so that I’m starting my morning on my own terms, instead of giving energy to other people, the news, or social media right away,” said Wax.

Stress can dictate a person’s day, which has been a significant challenge for most Americans in the last year. The American Psychological Association said 2020 has revealed significant sources of stress for adults, many of whom have experienced loss of life due to the pandemic, disruption to their work, education, health care and more.

Wax’s simple morning strategy could help people focus on the positives and learn to take the time to consider how to respond to stress. Ultimately, Wax argues this can teach people to be more optimistic while also putting them back in control of their emotions.  

Wax also emphasized that having a simple morning routine can make it easier to commit to.

“I intentionally don’t beat myself up if I do a super-short walk one day, or decide to skip a meditation. By keeping my morning routines simple and straightforward, it removes the sometimes-daunting aspect of it.”


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Published on Oct 27, 2021