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How to Increase Your Chances of Smiling During the Day

How to Increase Your Chances of Smiling During the Day

They say a smile is a human’s most powerful gesture. Seriously, research shows that if you smile, your mood actually improves. When you activate this specific set of muscles in the face that work to create a smile, you are signaling the emotional centers of the brain that tell you how happy you are at that moment in time. So, why don’t we take the time to smile more often?

For me, I get so caught up in day-to-day chores and tasks that I forget to take a moment to look at the “big picture” and just “be” in the moment. I’ll spend hours focusing on an article or project and, the next thing I know, 3 hours have gone by, and I’ve just spent that time staring at a screen with a bored expression on my face. Perhaps if I had taken a moment to make a conscious effort to smile, I would have been more productive.

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Next time you’re at work, or even running an ordinary errand like grocery shopping, try to remember the tips below. I promise, one of these is guaranteed to make you smile:

Tell a joke.

Laughing is contagious, so go ahead and abuse that proven fact. Use Google to find a really funny joke, share it with a co-worker or friend, and feed off of their joy. Think about it: have you ever told a joke with a serious face? Unless you’re Serious Cat, you probably won’t be able to NOT laugh while sharing that hilarious joke you found on Google with your best work bud.

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Do a good deed.

Cliché, I know. But how can you not smile after seeing the reaction of someone you just performed a kind gesture for?

Tell someone how much you care about them.

For this one, I’m not talking about telling your significant other, or even your immediate family that you care about them. Go out of your way to send a quick text or video message to that grandparent you rarely call, or even your kid cousin. If they’re anything like my relatives, they’ll most likely respond with something corny and ridiculous that will bring a big goofy smile to your face, similar to the smile you used to make as a kid after realizing your mom was pulling into the McDonald’s drive-through.

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Think about your best friend.

Remember that time when you and your bestie could not stop giggling about something? Think back on that moment, and try to relive that distant catalog in your memory.  Warning: this may cause an actual LOL moment. Make sure you’re not in a public setting that is super quiet, like on a bus or in an open-space working environment. You’ll definitely benefit from the loud laughter by smiling uncontrollably, but people might look at you like you’re an insane person.

Take time to breathe and take in your surroundings.

Next time you’re annoyed by something, take a moment to do a few breathing exercises and look around at everything around you. A long, deep breath increases the mood enhancing power of smiling. Take a second to breathe and notice the beautiful weather outside, or the detail in a piece of artwork nearby.

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Think about fluffy animals doing super cute things.

Or, even better, look at images of fluffy animals doing super cute things. How can you NOT smile after going through this gallery of cute animal photos. It IS called The Happiness Generator after all.

Envision your Happy Place.

Where do you find yourself smiling the most? It doesn’t have to be on a private beach resort where you’ve shared margaritas with a friend; it can be your living room or perhaps your favorite local bar. Thinking about a place that you associate with good times will make you smile. But yes, a place that involves a good beer or whiskey sour doesn’t hurt.

Find a way to laugh at yourself.

Are you stressed about a way you handled yourself around a new boss? Try and look past the awkward situation and choose to laugh at yourself instead. Trust me, it will make you feel a million times better about that awkward hand gesture you made, or lame advice you shared earlier that day.

So the next time you find yourself having not smiled for a good chunk of time, try and refer to this list of happy tips. By taking the time and making the effort to try and put a smile on that straight face of yours, you’re hacking your way to happiness, one facial muscle at a time.

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Last Updated on May 15, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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