You know those days when waking up is a chore, and right from that very second your eyes open, you have a terrible feeling in the pit of your stomach. Is it nerves, or is it dread starting the day ahead – or maybe it’s a matter of not wanting to face the world today because of so many things you have going on right now. I know the feeling – and it’s tough to outrun or ignore it. But, facing it is pretty dam scary. Sometimes feelings and emotions get the better of us. I’ve spent many mornings “psyching myself up” to face the day ahead, knowing all too well that I was petrified of what would occur. My most recent life-altering challenge was providing end of life care for my mum (with my sister). It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do on all levels, and it took vast amounts of strength, courage and tenacity to tackle all heartbreaking obstacles that lay ahead. What if you could turn this around – & face the challenge head-on and become ready for the day ahead? Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it – but I assure you it’s not! This very harsh feeling of dread is something I face most mornings. Some days more than others. The sheer anxiety of what lay before me was all too much. But, after trying many different options, I have finally discovered some specific and practical activities anyone can do. It may require a little bit of habit training on your part, but for what it gives you in return – you will never miss a day from hereon end. Let’s get into the four ways to courageously take on the day ahead and boost your levels of happiness. Key One: Get up early in the morningMornings may be challenging for some people, but I can slowly prepare my nervous system and body for the day ahead when I get up early. So I take the time to enjoy my workout, making my breakfast, taking a shower and getting my well-deserved coffee before work. Some days It may even take my fur child for a walk too. Even though I spend a lot of time awake, I like to give myself as much time to warm up to the day, just like anyone appreciates the winding down towards the day’s end. It’s a ritual, and taking my time helps me create the much-needed space to develop clarity for my work tasks and tap into my creative ability whenever I need it. I no longer face myself with writing or creative blocks. Key Two: Exercise to strengthen your body and mindI exercise every single day, even if it’s long laps in a local park. It helps me warm up my body and mind well enough to take on anything head-on. I don’t believe I’ve prepared myself fully for a very productive and positive day ahead without exercise. In addition, those feel-good hormones that exercise produce is very addictive, and it’s something I crave to lighten my mood and boost my level of happiness. I choose to exercise, even when things aren’t going well, or something unpleasant happens in my life. Tough times should give you more of a reason to get moving and do something. If it’s not lifting weights, then it’s walking as much as possible. Find a type of exercise you enjoy, and stick to it for life. You will need it more so than most days when the going get’s tough. Key Three: Listen to positive audiobooks, podcasts of Youtube videosIf you are in a bad mood or perhaps feeling a little low and under the weather, a positive pick me up will do the trick. I listen to Napoleon Hill, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins and Les Brown. If these powerhouses of motivation don’t warm you up and leave you with a heart full of hope – I don’t know what else will! I store audiobooks of all these giants and refer to them during my morning and daytime walks. It’s the lift I need when my mood starts to become glum. So try it out, and I guarantee you will see these people as your instant positivity coach! It is that powerful – but only if you listen every single day. That positive re-enforcement will change your mental attitude and mindset. Key Four: Take a walk in the morningI have to walk every single morning – and regularly through the day. It’s become my only means for meditation, creating clarity in my mind and allowing me to tune into myself and extract what’s hidden beneath any frustrations or perhaps something that I can’t seem to work out. Walking is so powerful, I almost think of it as a form of meditative state – just like running or swimming. It could be the fresh air, sunshine, birds chirping, or perhaps it’s the sun hitting my skin. Anytime something is bothering me, whether it’s emotional or I need some mental clarity, walking seems to provide me with the much-needed space and peace to find a way through it. These beautiful habits I’ve ingrained help me get out of my sad state and back into the person I want to become – positive, of service to my clients and, best of all, tackling the day with an intent of getting things done to the best of my ability (and then some more!). You will be shocked when you automatically start telling yourself certain positive things – rather than going down the rabbit hole of despair. It takes practice, but I guarantee it will work if you keep at it daily.