Reasons to smile even when you don’t feel like it
“A smile is the universal welcome”Mark Eastman
World smile day is just around the corner on the 4th of October to be exact. Many people right now are in the midst of mental and emotionally challenging times, Is it helpful to be reminded to smile?
Smiling typically happens when something pleasant catches our attention. But what if, in your world currently, there is nothing to smile about, now what? Read on for a few good reasons to take control of those facial muscles and I might add you don’t have to go around grinning like a Cheshire cat, whatever that is?
As an act of compassion
Smiles are contagious, have you noticed that? It is actually how we connect with others and let them know we are friendly and approachable. We are socialised this way are you friend or foe? Remember though when you are giving out those smiles that the person you are smiling at may not be in a place to receive. And as the meaning-making machines that we are, instead of maybe? judging them as a miserable bugger (because you feel rejected) we could choose to make it mean that maybe they have a lot going on in their world right now. Truth is our focus is determined by our internal state so they literally will not see it! If they do see it but not respond, it could be the single most important connection that person has today, even life-saving
Legal highs, you are your own chemist
When we smile we release the good feeling chemicals into our bodies (serotonin and dopamine) both of these serve us well as they increase the feelings of happiness and cause us to lift our low mood. You don’t have to save it for the “good times” you can choose to smile and laugh for no good reason. Ever heard of laughter yoga? check it out. Meanwhile just putting a pencil between your teeth to lift the corners of your mouth will still be telling your nervous system all is well because you are in effect smiling
When you have more good feeling endorphin chemicals in your body it means you are less affected by negative hormones such as cortisol. Cortisol literally wears out your organs I think of it like battery acid. Sorry for that image but I hope it serves as a reminder.
So if we are enhancing our immune system and improving the wear and tear on our bodies, guess what? we get to live longer, it is anti-ageing!
Smiley people are more attractive, don’t you think? We generally want to be around people that we deem to be positive. in no small part because everything we do in life is in some way we do to make us feel better (even if those actions don’t support us! but that for another time) We may end up with smile lines as we age and that shows for good reason. Our faces are a map of the emotions we visit most often, they really do tell a story. I am working towards a happier story on my face, are you?
Whatever happens to us we can access the choice to bounce back. Whilst I am not talking about burying your head in the sand and brushing things off that need to be addressed. It is vital that we acknowledge our emotional pain but not to stay there. I am saying that staying in a low place sometimes for years, even decades is a choice. Blaming others and situations for your low mood affects you way beyond what is healthy for you. You can build your resiliance muscle by learning to smile and appreciate other areas of your life. In time the lighter mood will overtake the shadow, one smile at a time is what it takes.
Tools for the job
Sometimes you need that extra help so be prepared, how you ask? it is more difficult to access your creative thinking when you are in a low mood. create a music playlist, a feel-good list that you can tune into often because it creates good feelings. Think of it as an emotional bank account and that you are consciously choosing to keep making deposits. Be warned that if you are really low then to put on something so far to the other end of the emotional range from where you are may only serve to annoy you, the distance is too far apart from your emotional standpoint.
Essential oils are natures helpers (if they are pure and organic and therefore not giving your system more to cope with) my oil of choice is either Wild Orange or the blend Citrus Bliss I only use DoTerra oils myself but do your own research to be confident in your choice. The benefit of essential oils is that they don’t care about your moods, they go straight into the receptor sites in your brain like keys into locks without anything hindering them. Nature is very clever! Making you smile without your permission. Use them in your home and infect everyone with the good vibes
Move your body! its is the last thing you “feel” like doing but it will serve to shift your state. Even 60 seconds of jumping around will confuse the hell out of those negative chemicals
So, in summary, don’t wait for pleasing things to come to you before you use your smile muscles. Build them every day one smile at a time. The conscious choice to do this will pay off in the long run and you will make others feel good in the process. And you will be more than ready when World smile day comes around again, why wait!
#mentalhealth #emotionalhealth #wellbeingintheworkplace #worldsmileday