Catrien Ross on Getting Out of Bed on the Positive Side

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 - 11 Comments

Have you noticed that how you get out of bed affects how you feel the entire day?

Get up grousing and you are likely to grouse for hours after.

Arise in anticipation and the day opens into a treasure house of possibilities.

So how about a 2010 goal to get out of bed in a way that supports rather than hinders your daily activities?

This morning I awoke to the brilliance of the first snow this winter.

Even behind closed curtains the sunlit whiteness of the mountains brightened the room.

A welcoming dazzle that urged me to greet the day’s untapped potential.


For several years now my before-I-get-out-of-bed routine has included stretching my limbs, breathing deeply, and clearing my energy flows.

Recently I have added smiling.

I peek from out the Japanese upper futon and I smile into the room.

Somehow this simple action connects me powerfully with my surrounding space.

It calms yet prepares me for stepping out into a new morning.

The profound effect of smiling from the inside out has been plainly confirmed by Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk:

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

You can support the flow of your natural rhythm before getting out of bed by taking a moment to:

  • Stretch
    First one side of your body, then the other. Take your cue from cats, who have perfected the art of stretching and understand how to harness its benefits.
  • Smile
    Forming your face muscles into a smile radiates the smiling effect throughout your whole body. You switch on your joy energy.
  • Clear Your Energy Flow
    For more than 5,000 years Oriental medicine has known how to work with the flow of life energy in the body. You can use a number of easy techniques to improve your energy flow for greater health and wellbeing.
  • Breathe
    Your heart pumps because you breathe. You need that breath of life, which comes free as one of nature’s many gifts. Deep breathing is food for your cells and gets you out of bed in peak form.
  • Think Thank You
    Better yet, say thank you aloud. A sense of gratitude can transform your perceptions. Problems might overwhelm, but find something in yourself or in your life that you can give thanks for. If you can’t think of anything at all, say thank you anyway.

So, how did you get out of bed today?

And what would you do to get out of bed on the positive side each day?

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11 Responses to “Catrien Ross on Getting Out of Bed on the Positive Side”

  1. I love getting out of bed. My stretching guides are my dogs. When I was young, I had asthma. Now, I don’t, and I’m thankful daily for my breath.

    I get up early or whenever I awaken. Sometimes, I dream myself awake. After 36 years of needing to be at my job on time, it is truly a luxury to awaken when I awaken to start a new day.

    Thanks, Catrien, for a cheery beginning to a rainy day in L.A. I’m always grateful for rain.

  2. Catrien Ross says:

    JaneAnne, thanks for your comments. You have such a naturally positive approach to life that delights so many, including me. Dogs are master stretching guides, too. When you dream yourself awake do you recall your dreams before waking? I am so glad to hear that you are luxuriating in your new life after 36 years of teaching. Much joy to you and your dogs on this rainy day in L.A. today. And a happy getting out of bed tomorrow.

  3. Barbara says:

    Those sound like very positive suggestions, Catrien. I used to wake up early to feed my kittehs, but they prefer to brunch and snuggle a while with me in bed. How can I argue with that?

    I have had trouble of late getting out of bed because of tight leg muscles. This morning I tried some stretches my physio showed me and I was certainly in a better mood to start my day. That was rapidly destroyed by one of my kittehs peeing on one of his brother’s sleeping places. Never mind that he had two clean litter boxes to choose from! I am living a Discovery channel real-life pissing contest between sibling male kittehs. So, after starting the washing machine, I went back to bed and closed the two of them out of my room. 🙂

  4. Sibyl says:

    Honestly, this is probably something I don’t really focus on, but I think it is an excellent suggestion. It is so important to set a positive tone for the day and by approaching the day with the right mindset we can improve how we experience it. Thanks for the great insight.

  5. Catrien Ross says:

    @Barbara: Thanks for stopping by again. I am glad to hear that getting out of bed was helped by doing some stretches. You seem to have your hands full with two rambunctious boy kittens right now. But how long were you able to close the two out of your room before you felt compelled to let them in and share your space? – I suspect not too long!

    @Sibyl: Thank you, I always appreciate your comments. How we approach the day really does affect how we experience its unfolding. Hope you will share your insights about setting a positive tone for the day.

  6. Faizal says:


    This is such a good topic to write on. How you start your mornings most of the time determines how your whole day goes. I like waking up and just getting “me time” for a bit so I can think about everything I’m happy to have in my life. I also think about how my day is going to be. Yes, and smiling does help the positive thoughts flow a lot easier.

    I find that getting enough rest also helps me start my morning off right.

    Thanks for the post!

  7. Catrien Ross says:

    Faizal, thank you for your comments and welcome to my blog. Your point about getting enough rest to help start your morning off right is excellent advice. It can be hard to enjoy a positive flow when you are exhausted or feeling stressed. A morning smile to you from Mount Fuji – wishing you a wonderful day.

  8. Hi Catrien,

    Pleased to “Cyber” meet you 🙂

    Lovely post, I read it yesterday and as I woke this morning I remembered it & stretched & smiled 🙂

    The way I love to start my day is by doing yoga- which is of course lots of stretching! I don’t always feel like doing it when I start, but when I do it I feel so much better!

    I love the beautiful pictures you have on your blog- stunning! I look forward to coming back here 🙂

  9. Catrien Ross says:

    Claire, pleased to “cyber” meet you, too – welcome and thank you for commenting. Starting your day off with yoga must give you a smiling connection with your day. I appreciate your honest comment about not always feeling like it when you begin. It’s amazing how just doing something we know is positive, even when our mental noise grumbles otherwise, can work inner and outer magic in our daily lives. Please do come back – I look forward to seeing you here.

  10. morag says:

    hi sis,

    I usually start the day with a smile and get it over with !!


  11. Catrien Ross says:

    Hello there, Morag. You must find it easy to start your day with a smile when your cat is there, smiling alongside you. Lovely to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by.

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