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3 Tips for How To Feel Happier From a Psychologist

yesSome days, you just wake up feeling “blah” for no reason (and that’s okay!). And while sometimes the best remedy is wrapping yourself in a blanket, plunking yourself on the couch, and leaning into your blah-ness, other times you want to turn your day around—you’re just not sure how.

We’ve been there, so we teamed up with sleep and wellness brand Tuft & Needle to ask an expert for tips on how to feel happier first thing in the morning (how to wake up on the right side of the bed, if you will ).

Unsurprisingly, emphasizing the importance of sleep was a common theme in the intel we received from Shelby Harris, PsyD, a sleep psychologist and clinical associate professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Because despite how obvious it seems, Harris finds that the impact of sleep on your health (and mood) is often underestimated.

“Sleep is the bedrock for so much of what our brain and body needs to function properly on a daily basis,” Dr. Harris says. “Not only is it essential for helping you feel recharged, alert and refreshed, it is also critical for proper brain health such as cognition, mood, memory, productivity, attention, and concentration.”

Consider that your cue to try to get a few extra minutes of shuteye (or take a nap!) the next time you’re feeling drained, and keep reading for more of Dr. Harris’ tips to implement at bedtime that can help you wake up feeling ready to take on the day—and kick that blah feeling to the curb.

Keep reading for more tips on how to feel happier when you’re in need of a little mood boost.

1. Prioritizing your sex life

According to Dr. Harris, you can experience lower libido from sleepiness, fatigue, and stress—which can lead to a lowered mood for many, which brings you right back to an even poorer sex drive. So how do you break the cycle? Start with your bed.

Give your bedroom a boost in the cozy, err, sexy direction by investing in a mattress that actually supports you and your partner (so you’re not waking each other up when it’s time for sleeping), as well as light, breathable bedding that will enhance the feel-good vibes when it’s time for, ahemnot sleeping.

Tuft & Needle’s Mint Mattress is topped with three inches of patented Adaptive Foam® with cooling properties—which is equally soft and supportive, and was designed specifically with two sleepers in mind to reduce motion transfer. Plus, it now comes with a removable cover, making it super easy to clean.

As for bedding, opt for linen sheets that will keep you cool (even when things are heating up) and squishy-yet-supportive foam pillows to complete the bed setup you’ll be excited to snuggle up in every night.

2. Establishing a sleep routine

As Dr. Harris explained, sleep is vital—so prioritizing eight to nine restful hours is huge for supporting your mood. And if you can keep the same sleep-wake schedule seven days a week? Even better, Dr. Harris says, because it will set your body’s circadian rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep on time and wake up feeling energized.

In addition to a consistent sleep schedule, a good mattress can be a game-changer for good sleep. “Your mattress needs to support your body and enhance your sleep without adding to any pain,” Dr. Harris says says. “It should keep your body in a neutral position and be fitted to your personal sleep style and preferences. Consider the materials, whether it is cooling, hypoallergenic all in your decision process.”

The Tuft & Needle Original Mattress checks all of those boxes with Adaptive Foam® that contours to your body and open-cell cooling technology that allows for more air circulation within the mattress. Or, go with the Hybrid, which packs in three layers of foam around two layers of coils for a slightly firmer feel, while still helping to regulate body temp. Bonus points if you position your mattress in a gorgeous wooden bed frame that will get you even more excited to hit the hay on time each evening.

SHOP FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S REST

3. Gratitude journaling

An easy, everyday practice that can help steer you towards joy is gratitude journaling, and it’s expert-recommended, too. “An hour before bed, consider writing down your worries or concerns in a journal to get them out of your head,” Dr. Harris says. “Cross out whatever is there that you cannot control or must let go of.” By releasing these thoughts before bed, your mind will be clearer as you drift off to sleep, helping you to sleep more restfully.

Round out your tranquil moment before bed with a calming pillow spray you can spritz to evoke even more Zen from your quiet time, and store it alongside your journal and pen in a cute-and-versatile nightstand.

After you’ve tried out one (or all!) of these nighttime tips, start taking inventory of how you feel in the mornings. If you’re waking up feeling awake, energized, and ready to pursue your passions, queue up your pump-up playlist and lean into the feel-good vibes.

SHOP JOURNALING ESSENTIALS

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