Sometimes I need a little on the spot quick fix when I feel myself starting to tense up, starting to get “hooked.” Here are a few tricks. Nothing you don’t know already, so this is just a reminder. I was surprised to find out, however, that there is an actual physiological connection. Studies show that there are certain things we can do with our bodies that have an immediate benefit on our moods.
Smile. We smile when we are happy, but in fact we can make ourselves feel happier if we smile. The movement of the facial muscles sends a message to the brain – feeling happy! Besides, look at yourself in the mirror while you alternate smiling and not smiling. I know my face looks much younger when I smile. Instant plastic surgery!
Take a deep breath. A slow deep breath sends calming messages to our minds. I’m often a shallow breather. A few deep breaths stretches my muscles and releases tension. And the extra oxygen makes my mind feel more alert. Instant coffee!
Do what your mom told you a thousand times and sit or stand up straight. Straightening our spine and neck opens up our energy channels. Good posture mimics the bearing of someone who is confident and feeling good. Just like with smiling, we can trigger the emotion with the motion. And my back feels so much better. Instant massage!
Experiment – Stand up straight, take a deep breath, and smile. Not only will you feel better, but the people around you will feel better, too. Instantly!
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There) is a program to help us develop habits to grow a joyful spirit. Many of us sabotage our happiness by habits that we might not even be aware of. Identifying and changing these habits can build a reservoir of well-being to enhance our happy times and sustain us during challenging times.
Friday, April 23, 2010
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So true! I recently watched a documentary called The Human Face, with John Cleese. He looked at a study done in Japan in which the Japanese, traditionally, work to control their expressions. And, that some Japanese people have started attending seminars to learn how to smile, because of Western influence. . . and because they could sell more products by smiling. Must make other people happy if they want to spend money.ReplyDelete
Some of the people in the film actually had to learn how to smile because no one in their households taught them how when they were little! Keep smiling. -Elizabeth