Research studies recently conducted showed that having a real conversation with someone...be it frog or human...can brighten up your morning significantly. They suggest skipping the small-talk about the weather and who did what on reality TV, and focus on things like family, upcoming trips, or the kid's schoolwork. Talking about things that matter to you, researchers found, will raise your level of well-being. Interestly enough, having flowers around your home and office is also a great way to make mornings better. Flowers, evolutionary psychologists say, plant a subconscious cue of safety...this is a good place, things can grow here. The sight of a colorful boquet in the morning can, they theorize, make you believe that everything is good. (Dare I say, coming up roses???) Another interesting fact, according to researchers, is that sleeping on your right side can influence your dreams. Studies show that people who sleep on their right side have mellower dreams with themes of relief, joy, peace, and love. They go on to say that right-side sleepers report waking up feeling better rested and less dysfunctional during their waking hours. Science tells us that sleeping exclusively on your left side can put pressure on organs like the stomach and spleen, which may lead to more nightmares and restless sleep. Another healthy, and tasty trick, is to have a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice. OJ is loaded with both vitamin B6 and folic acid...both of which have been found lacking in patients who suffer from depression. And you probably already know this one, but it does bear repreating: cardio exercise in the morning wakes up the heart and muscles, lifting your mood which can have lasting effects throughout the day (and may even lead to better sleep at night). Lastly, science says to never cry yourself to sleep. Perhaps it's an evolutionary mechanism, but sleep has been shown to make memories more vivid and lasting, especially emotional ones. The study conducted, showed disturbing images to their subjects at bedtime. The participants reported not only having strong reactions upon viewing the images, but even upon waking the next morning. The lesson learned here is, of course, to watch what you watch (or read) before going to sleep. It can affect you long after you shut off the TV, or put down the book.
Armed with all this great information, I have poured myself a big ol' glass of OJ and grabbed an uplifting book to read. But these will will have to wait until AFTER I have my morning run...er, hop!