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How to Write Your Way to a Smile

How to Write Your Way to a Smile


    Sometimes it’s just one of those days — one those days where you’re just not “feelin’ it”.

    You’re usually pretty happy on a daily basis and there’s nothing really terrible wrong in your life but you’re just in a rut and your mood is reflecting it.

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    That’s how my day was going today. Mopey. Unproductive. Annoyed. I had to make a change.

    So I decided since I wasn’t getting anything else done, I would start writing down why I felt like crap. Boy, did that turn out to be some good therapy.

    When you already enjoy writing and then start noting your feelings, you can’t possibly feel more at home.

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    Here’s how I turned my day around and then got a blog post out of it. Hopefully this will make you smile the next time you’re feelin’ low.

    1. With pen and paper, start writing a list titled ‘Why I Feel Unhappy Right Now’.
    2. List anything you can think of, as long as it’s actually relevant to your mood. Does it actually make you feel crappy to think about it? Then it goes on the list.
    3. When you’re finished (hopefully with no more than 10 things, if that), re-read your list. But the key is to try to change your personality to a good friend. The type of friend that you would want around to complain to who would give you the responses you really want to hear. We need a real sweetheart here.
    4. As you’re re-reading as a positive, complimentary friend, cross out the complaints with a different colored pen (signaling another voice on the page) and write what your response would be as the supportive friend. Write what you would want someone to say to you.
    5. No re-read the responses as “yourself”.
    6. Smile. You just overcame your negative thought process with a much more beautiful one.
    7. Move on.

      I was actually laughing by the time I finished reading my positive responses. Mostly out of shock that it was actually making me feel better, but also because I solved one of my problems with it. (The runner-up name for this post was ‘How I Came Up With This Blog Post”.)

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      I find myself often thinking ‘people don’t understand me’, ‘why should I share my feelings with people who probably don’t care’, or ‘I really don’t know anyone that could make me feel better’.

      The reality of it is, as anti-social as it sounds, no one knows you better than yourself.

      So if you can be your own friend in moments like these that are more of a petty need than something more life-altering, you ultimately make everyone happier.

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      Especially yourself.

      (Photo credit: Man Holding a Paper Smile via Shutterstock)

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      Last Updated on October 17, 2019

      How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

      How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

      You see your partner every single day. They are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you kiss goodnight.

      But does seeing each other day in and day out equal a healthy relationship? Not necessarily.

      Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong. This means going above and beyond sitting together while you watch Netflix or going out for the occasional dinner. You deserve more from your relationship – and so does your spouse!

      What does quality time mean? It means spending time with your spouse without interruption. It’s a chance for you to come together and talk. Communication will build emotional intimacy and trust.

      Quality time is also about expressing love in a physical way. Not sex, necessarily (but that’s great, too!) but through hand-holding, cuddling, caressing, and tickling. Studies show that these displays of affection will boost partner satisfaction.[1]

      So how do you spend quality time with your partner? Here are 13 relationship tips on making the most out of your time with your partner.

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      1. Recognize the Signs

      If you want a healthy relationship, you have to learn how to recognize the signs that you need to spend more quality time together.

      Some telltale signs include:

      • You’re always on your phones.
      • You value friendships or hobbies over quality time with your spouse.
      • You aren’t together during important events.
      • You are arguing more often or lack connection.
      • You don’t make plans or date nights.
      • You’re not happy.

      If you are experiencing any of these relationship symptoms, know that quality time together can reverse the negative effects of the signs above.

      2. Try New Things Together

      Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language? How about skydive or ballroom dance?

      Instead of viewing these as solo hobbies and interests, why not involve your partner?

      Trying new activities together builds healthy relationships because it encourages spouses to rely on one another for emotional and physical support.

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      Shared hobbies also promote marital friendship, and the Journal of Happiness Studies found that marital satisfaction was twice as high for couples who viewed each other as best friends.[2]

      3. Schedule in Tech-Free Time

      Your phone is a great way to listen to music, watch videos, and keep up-to-date with friends and family. But is your phone good for your relationship?

      Many couples phone snub, or ‘phub’, one another. Studies show that phubbing can lower relationship satisfaction and increase one’s chances of depression.[3]

      Reduce those chances by removing distractions when spending quality time together and showing your partner they have your full attention.

      4. Hit the Gym as a Couple

      One way you can spend more time together as a couple is by becoming workout partners. Studies show that couples are more likely to stay with their exercise routine if they work out together.[4] Couples also work out harder than they would solo. One study found that 95 percent of couples who work out together maintained weight loss compares to the 66 percent of singles who did.[5]

      Join a gym, do at-home couples’ workouts, try couples yoga, hit the hiking trails, or get your bikes out. No matter which way you choose to exercise, these healthy activities can promote a healthy relationship.

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      5. Cook Meals Together

      Pop open a bottle of wine or put some romantic music on while you get busy – in the kitchen, of course!

      One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together.[6]

      Spice things up and try and prepare a four-course meal or a fancy French dish together. Not only is this a fun way to spend your time together, but it also promotes teamwork.

      If all goes well, you’ll have a romantic date night meal at home that you prepared with your four hands. And if the food didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you are guaranteed to have a laugh and create new memories together.

      6. Have a Regular Date Night

      Couples experience a greater sense of happiness and less stress when they are spending quality time together.[7] One of the biggest relationship tips for a healthy partnership is to include a date night in your weekly routine.

      The National Marriage Project found that having a weekly date night can make your relationship seem more exciting and helps prevent relationship boredom.[8] It also lowers the probability of divorce, improves your sex life, and increases healthy communication.

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      Some great ideas for what to do on your date night include:

      • Have a movie marathon – Gather up your favorite flicks and cuddle up on the couch.
      • Play games together – Cards, board games, video games, and other creative outlets are a fun way to spend quality time together.
      • Recreate your first date – Go back to that restaurant and order the same meal you did when you first got together. You can spice up your evening by pretending you’re strangers meeting for the first time and see how sexy the night gets.
      • Plan a weekend getaway – There’s nothing better than traveling with the one you love.
      • Dinner and a movie – A classic!
      • Try a new restaurant – Make it your mission to rate and try all of the Mexican restaurants/Irish pubs/Italian trattorias in your area.
      • Have a long sex session – Intimacy promotes the release of the oxytocin hormone which is responsible for a myriad of great feelings.[9]

      Here’re even more date night ideas for your reference: 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

      Final Thoughts

      The benefits of spending quality time together are endless. Here are just some of the ways it can contribute to a healthy relationship:

      • Improves emotional and physical intimacy
      • Lowers divorce rates
      • Improves communication
      • Reduces marital boredom
      • Bonds couples closer
      • Improves friendship
      • Boosts health
      • Reduces stress

      These are all excellent reasons to start making date night a regular part of your week.

      It’s easy to have a healthy relationship when you set aside dedicated time to share with your spouse. Try new things together, make your spouse your workout buddy, and look for innovative ways to be close and connected.

      These relationship tips will bring great benefits to your marriage.

      Featured photo credit: Allen Taylor via unsplash.com

      Reference

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