Are you finding that you are stuck in a negative rut and feeling stressed by your degree? If
so, follow these tips every morning to change your mindset:
1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier.
This is much more realistic than the radical advice often publicised, urging us already sleep-
deprived students to wake up at 5:30 am in order to have a productive day. Yes, if that’s the
time you like to wake up every morning then go for it, but this is simply not realistic for
students to still maintain a good 8-ish hours sleep a night.
This short 30 minutes will be a commitment you are making entirely for yourself. This
distraction-free time will be dedicated to improving your mindset for the day - so, put your
phone on aeroplane mode and start your day off right!
Now you have done the hard part of waking up slightly earlier, it is important to maximise
these benefits so you don’t persuade yourself into having some extra sleep instead.
One way to start the day right is by grabbing a pen and paper and writing down 5 things you
are grateful for. This means your immediate thoughts as soon as you wake up are positive
and appreciative, setting you up to look for the good things happening throughout your day.
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with
greater happiness. You can express gratitude for even the most overlooked things, like
having food in the fridge, if you are struggling to think of ideas. This is not a time-consuming
practice yet is an incredibly powerful tool in changing your mindset.
3. Morning pages
Morning pages are where you write down your stream of consciousness until it fills up 3
pages, continuously writing things down without pausing to think. The purpose of them is to
release any thoughts and emotions that would otherwise prevent you from living in your
present. Having an outlet for your thoughts via this method not only aids with clearing your
mind but also improves creativity.
To begin with, it can be really hard to write non-stop as you might not have anything that
immediately springs to your mind. And that’s okay. Don’t hesitate to write down things like “I
have nothing on my mind, I can’t think of anything to say”. And if something whilst you’re
writing one thought comes to your mind you can simply switch to writing about that other
thought. It does not need to be cohesive and grammatically correct - these are your raw
emotions so don’t waste time worrying about how it reads. Your handwriting doesn’t even
need to be eligible as you don’t need to read them ever again if you don’t want to!
It is really interesting to see what might come up, as you may not have realised the thought
was even something on your mind. Also, your writing doesn’t necessarily need to be positive as often it is the negative emotions consuming our thoughts. Although, it might be nice once
you have written down the thought to try and extract something positive from it if possible.
This is an extremely popular practice recommended all the time. The great thing about
meditation is you can choose to improve anything you specifically want to. Some examples
of practices are: staying calm, relieving anxiety, personal growth etc. The times you spend
meditating can range from literally one minute to hours on end, so find what works best and
is realistic for you! Some great apps include: Simple habit, Headspace, Calm, Oak, or
alternatively, YouTube has some great meditative videos.
Visualisation is where you picture yourself achieving your goals and this practice can be
completed in various ways. For example, close your eyes and picture achieving your goals,
making sure to feel the emotions of accomplishing them. This practice helps with maintaining
motivation levels and generating positive, uplifting emotions. Another method of visualisation
is creating a vision board (images of your goals), and spend time each morning looking at
the images. The benefits of visualisation are truly multifaceted and this powerful tool can be
done every morning in just 10 minutes.
6. Positive affirmations
I am beautiful.
I love you.
I am strong.
I am resilient.
I am confident.
All these are examples of possible affirmations that you could say to yourself in the morning
to break through your limiting beliefs about yourself. And yes, you’re likely going to feel silly
at first speaking these statements aloud. However, over time, these affirmations will
transform negativity within yourself and influence your subconscious mind to access new
Really try hard to say these affirmations genuinely, by smiling and standing tall when you
say them to truly experience the positive effects. Also, change negative affirmations like I am
losing weight, to a more positive statement like I am a really healthy weight, as it shifts your
mindset from focusing on loss to gain.
7. Be consistent
These tools listed above can truly lift you out of the negativity you’re experiencing.
Remember though, this is not a quick fix solution and must be consistently practised to avoid
falling back into negativity when you face challenges.
You got this!