“When I wake up, the first thing I do, in my mind with my eyes still closed, is think, 'I love my silk pillowcase. I love my side-sleeping pillow. I love my mattress. I love my silk duvet. I love all my pets,” Swart explains. 

Essentially, she says, start the day with gratitude: Remind yourself how much you love little or even larger aspects of your life. You could also write down a list of what you're grateful for (depending on how much energy you have in the early hours of the day). 

Or you can even add a bit of structure to it, if you know that will help you stay committed to the practice. Rather than simply listing off what comes to mind, you may designate specific categories: Write, for example, one thing you love about your home, one thing you love about your personality, one thing you love about your friends or family, one thing you love about your job, one thing you love about your daily routine, and so on. 

For those who dread early morning wake-up calls, this practice might remind you that getting up (although it’s not always enjoyable) doesn’t have to be filled with dread. In fact, gratitude is associated with some pretty significant brain health benefits.

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