Keep Smiling – Six Top Tips for a Happier Healthier Day
Keep Smiling Tip No.1 – First Things First
A happy day should start with a happy breakfast. Oats are a perfect option; not only are they a low GI food, they’re also packed with B vitamins, which will keep your energy levels up and help boost your mood. Making time to prepare something, and then making time to eat it, can seem like a pipe dream for most of us. But by creating just ten minutes, you will have given yourself the best possible chance of ensuring the rest of your day, is the best of your day, and don’t forget to keep smiling!
So, whatever your usual routine might be in the morning, consider what tasks you might be able to do the night before. Ironing clothes can take twice as long when you tackle it first thing whilst still in a sleepy state. Doing it before bedtime, will not only take you a half the time, you’ve saved even more time by having already chose what you’re going to wear, and avoided battling with over filled cupboards when trying to locate the iron and ironing board. In my experience, you’ve already banked close to 20 minutes!
Keep Smiling Tip No.2 – Great Attitude = Happy Heart
Be positive and make every day count. I like starting my day by telling myself, “today, is going to be great”. Yes, it does sound cheesy, but at the risk of sounding unimaginative, I’ve got to say, this works.
Negative thoughts and feelings, can often be born from the unrealistic demands we make on ourselves. Instead of focussing on what we still have to do, celebrate what you’ve already done, and regard every moment as another opportunity for a positive experience. Start small and think big. Just smiling at someone, can have the most amazing effect, so keep smiling. Our thoughts and feelings influence our actions, but similarly, our actions influence how we think and feel.
Keep Smiling Tip No.3 – Let’s Stay With Smiling!
With over 30 years of research, it has been proven that a genuine, heartfelt smile, makes not only you, but those around you, feel happier. When we keep smiling, we send a message to our brain, telling us, we’re happy. When we’re happy, all manner of wonderful things occur, including the release of the happy hormone; endorphins.
I discovered myself many moons ago, the magic of giving and receiving a smile. It may seem a bit uncomfortable at first (especially if you’re not the sort of person who would normally smile at a stranger), but a little bit of exposure therapy is all that is needed here!
Start with baby steps. Practice in the mirror, get familiar with how it feels to smile wide, and get those facial muscles working! When you’re next in a situation that you would normally say thank you to someone (for example to the cashier at the supermarket checkout), slow the words down a little, and look at them when you say it. Your smile will naturally broaden, and so, the magic begins.
Smiling you see, is infectious. Try it for yourself. If you do one thing today, try smiling at someone you wouldn’t normally, and watch what happens.
Keep Smiling Tip No.4 – Full On Belly Chuckle
Laughing is an undeniable tonic. The moment we find something funny, we start benefiting. Our body experiences a number of pleasure inducing hormones, and at the same time, lowers the production of stress hormones. Bargain!
And whilst it is a double whammy, the benefits needn’t stop there. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, studied 20 men, all of whom, agreed a particular DVD was really funny. As part of the experiment, half of the subjects were told that they should watch the DVD again, in 2 days time. The results were astonishing. The ten men, began experiencing biological changes, immediately. On average, their levels of happy hormones, increased by a huge 27%. Just the anticipation of that full belly chuckle, in two days time, was enough to perk them up!
Keep Smiling Tip No.5 – The Futures Bright, the Future Is Sniffing Lemons
Scientists at Tel Aviv University, suggest that citrus fragrances, and particularly lemon, can lighten depression, and boost our mood considerably!
Keep Smiling Tip No.6 – Start a Cuddle Club
Cuddle parties, have been hosted by our American cousins, for quite some time now. As well as all the obvious positives of a bear hug, it can also help create a feeling of mutual trust, among those of us, lucky enough to have membership.
Even us Brits, who have a reputation of being slightly more reserved on the hug front, the phenomenon, is most definitely on the up. Cuddle clubs, come in all shapes and sizes, with some even having a strict dress code of pyjamas and warm milk. Some though, are formed with the novice in mind. Those who wish to experience something a little less intimate, can always start on the nursery slopes. Men and women are encouraged to express themselves and their feelings to one another, by practising high fives, moving on to big tens, and progressing to the man hug.