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Tuesday, December 4,2012

Ask Dr. Happy

By Dr. Bob Nozik, MD  


Dear Dr. Happy,

I’m generally a pretty upbeat guy, but lately I seem to have morphed into a morning grump. My wife, June, gets up early, 6 a.m., feeds the kids (boys, 6 and 7), and makes my breakfast; and she does it all cheerfully, too. I get up at 7 and am crabby already. I get dressed…resentfully…gulp down the coffee, eggs, and toast that June prepared all the while doing my best not to scream at her and the kids before dashing out the door to work. Evenings are better, but then, it starts all over again the next morning.

What’s wrong with me?

Dear What’s Wrong,

You have developed some bad morning habits plus, maybe, some job stress, as well. I don’t know enough about you and your job, so let’s stay with the morning habits. Here are some suggestions:

1) Get up an hour earlier, 6 a.m. instead of 7 a.m., but before you get up, smile; yes, smile. And, not just a polite little grin, make it a big, full-faced, toothy smile and hold it for a full 30 to 40 seconds. I think you’ll be amazed at how doing just this will improve your mood.

2) Next, do 10 to 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation. You can do it sitting on a floor-cushion or a chair, whichever is more comfortable. Close your eyes, breath slowly and deeply, and simply observe your thoughts without judging them.

3) Finally, have a leisurely breakfast with your family. Enjoy them and make it a point to really taste the food. Rising an hour earlier will give you plenty of time to do all this. And, I’ll bet it’ll help you break free of your morning funk.



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