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Start your Day off on the Right Foot!

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and partner London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has responded to a study claiming the first 24 minutes of your day (from when you wake up) will influence whether the day will be positive or negative. They discussed a number of mood boosters that can help start your day off on the right foot.

CALM has set up a newspaper stand at the Newcastle Central Station, stocked with uplifting stories, headlines, and compliments. The study has shown the stall’s positivity has improved moods by 31%. While you can’t control if you get a compliment or not, you are able to brighten someone’s day.

The study included 2,000 adult Brits revealing they just need “three positive moments before 9:30am to set themselves up for a good day,” says LNER article.

The study provides valuable information on how you can increase your mood in the morning and throughout the day.

The world is processed by the brain. Chemicals regulate and change our emotions. For instance, two of the most recognise chemicals are dopamine and serotonin.

Healthdirect, an Australian national public health information service, says serotonin is a chemical that is “a natural mood stabiliser that controls wellbeing and happiness. Not having enough serotonin is thought to contribute to depression.”

Having low serotonin levels can leave you feeling low, contribute to memory problems, issues sleeping, negative self-perception, etc. Too much can have negative effects such as twitching, restlessness and agitation, headache, and confusion.

Dopamine, also recognised as the pleasure hormone, is a temporary chemical that “allows you to feel pleasure, satisfaction and motivation. However, you [can] start craving more of this dopamine ‘reward’, which is caused by many pleasant experiences… which is partly why people get addicted”.

If there is a dopamine imbalance, symptoms may include muscle cramps, spasms, or stiffness, digestion problems, trouble sleeping, fatigue, lack of hope, etc.

How do some of these mood boosting suggestions affect our seratonin and dopamine?          

1. Sunlight

    Pathways Health informs that sunlight increases serotonin. This is important because serotonin has lingering effects. Additionally, “the brighter your exposure to the sun in the daylight hours, the more melatonin you produce at night, which improves sleep”.

    Of course, you still need to be cautious with how long you expose yourself to the sun. For 5-15 minutes,  2-3 days, this will increase vitamin D. The times between 10 am and 4 pm the UV rays are at their strongest and a higher risk of sunburn.

    2. Excercise

    Positive PsychologyNeurological Benefits of Exercise, says, “exercise drops stress hormones and increases the number of neurotransmitters like serotonin.” Exercise also increases dopamine.

    The activity can be walking around the block or going for a run.  

    Harvard Medical School, 4 most important types of exercise, says, aerobic exercises, strength training, stretching, and balance exercises are key to good health. These exercises include knee lift, single knee rotation, squats, and marching.

    3. Listen to Music

    Music can reduce stress, release dopamine, and increase serotonin, writes Healthline. These mood boosters and stress reducers can set yourself up for a brighter day.

    4. Social Connection

    The Centers of Disease and Control and Prevention, says, “people with stronger social bonds have a 50% increased likelihood of survival than those who have fewer social connections.” As humans are social creatures (no matter if you’re an introvert or extravert) loneliness is deadly.

    The American Psychology Association informs loneliness can cause an individual to have depression, poor sleep, impaired immunity, etc. Loneliness is such a danger as it can increase your chances of premature death by 50%-84%. Loneliness can be felt in a crowd or when you are alone.

    Building dependable social connections can reduce or eliminate the effects of loneliness.

    You can build social connection by looking at Life Fm’s life diary, you can meet our Roadies, visit a church community, volunteer, or join a social club.

    5. Practicing Gratitude

    Brain Balance article on Gratitude and the Brain, says “gratitude can boost neurotransmitter serotonin and activate the brain stem to produce dopamine.”

    Practicing gratitude is relatively easy. You can start up a journal or show your gratitude to those around you.

    6. Good Night Sleep

    The National Institute of Health (NH), a medical research agency, says during sleep your body repairs itself. “There are certain repair processes that occur in the body mostly, or most effectively, during sleep,” they explained.

    “If you don’t get enough sleep, those processes are going to be disturbed.”

    Generally, most adults need good quality sleep for 7 hours. If it is a restless night, then the hours can increase. For school-age children they need a minimum of 9 hours and teens between 8 and 10 hours.

    The lack of sleep can affect us because the body doesn’t get the time to refresh itself. Stress is a factor that reduces the quality of sleep.

    The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention says connecting with others and caring for yourself is an effective way to reduce stress.  


    It is important to live a positive life. This does not mean there won’t be any negative times, but rather, you have a way to try and look at the situation with a positive perspective. However, having a good morning can start the domino-effect of having a good day.

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