If you're tired and cranky this morning, "Real Simple" magazine has a few tips on how to become more of a morning person.
--Here are the top four . . . and you've probably heard one or two of them already.
#1.) Set Aside a Full Hour in the Evening to Unwind. And when you're planning things in advance, pretend you have one less hour than you actually do each night.
--People tend to overestimate how much they can fit into one evening. And if you don't give yourself some time to unwind, you end up staying up PAST your bedtime, which obviously means you'll be tired the next morning.
#2.) Reward Yourself for Getting Up. If you get up 15 minutes early, set aside some of that time for something you enjoy.
--Like reading the paper, MAKING coffee instead of spending five bucks on a cup, or even just watching a few extra minutes of "SportsCenter".
--When you're not rushing out the door, you'll start noticing that you feel less stressed out the rest of the morning, and a little less out-of-it in general.
#3.) Exercise Early. It's pretty tough to make it a habit, but it's probably the most FOOLPROOF way to wake yourself up. Even if it's just some light stretching or a walk around the block.
--As an added benefit, research has shown that exercising BEFORE breakfast burns more stored-up fat, and makes you lose more weight.
#4.) Don't Close Your Blinds Before Bed. Waking up when it's dark in the room is a lot harder than it is when you let more and more sunlight creep in.
--Or if you like your blinds closed for PRIVACY, you can get an artificial light-emitting box that works like an alarm clock. They go for as low as $50.
Air travel has never been safer. As of today, your odds of dying in a plane crash are down to one in 45 million. There were only 23 crashes worldwide last year, and only 475 deaths. No commercial flight has had a fatal crash in the U.S. in four years, and none of the major carriers has had a major crash since 2001. Meanwhile, your odds of dying in a car accident are one in 6,500.
If you think you're pretty much a happy person, see how many of these things accurately describe you. Here are six common traits of happy people.
#1.) They're Resilient. Meaning when something bad happens or there's a setback, they keep going and don't dwell on it. And when bad things DO happen, they're able to put it in context, and remember that their life is still MOSTLY good.
#2.) They Look for Solutions. So, instead of venting and just talking about their problems over and over again, they look at a problem and try to FIX it.
#3.) When They're Angry, They Don't Try to Hide It. Instead, they see negative emotions as a sort of internal wake-up call. And they use them as a guide to help figure out if they need to re-evaluate something in their life.
#4.) They Challenge Themselves. Meaning they look for things they like to do, then try to MASTER them. They're also realistic about HOW good they are at something, but they don't let themselves get discouraged.
#5.) They're Forgiving. When you WON'T forgive someone, it prevents YOU from moving on. So happy people tend to forgive minor slip-ups pretty quickly.
#6.) They See Themselves as Part of Something Bigger. It might have to do with religion, family, community or something totally different. But most people are happier when they feel like they're serving something bigger than themselves.