What You’ll Do: For the entire week, you’ll focus on smiling more. You’ll develop a way to remind yourself to smile throughout your day and even force a smile onto your face periodically. Why? Research shows that if you smile, your mood actually improves.
How It Works: Researchers think that by forcing a smile, you activate a specific set of muscles in the face. That set of muscles is closely connected to the emotions of happiness and joy. By smiling, you are signaling the emotional centers of your brain to tell them that everything is good.
Get Motivated: Smiling more is a simple way to greatly improve the quality of your life. All you have to do is smile, and life will be better. Really. It’s that simple.
- Don’t look strange. Make your smiles natural, warm and sincere. You are trying to maintain an elevated mood, not look crazy. Even just a small, almost unnoticeable smile can alter your mood.
- Smile every time you think of it, not only when you encounter your smile cue.
- Think of something you really like when you smile – it will help make your smile sincere. Think of your favorite vacation spot, driving a brand new car or a good friend.
- Take a deep breath while you smile. This will help lessen any stress you have and give you a moment to enjoy your smile. A deep breath or two increases the relaxation and mood enhancing power of smiling.
- Place notes and reminders of this skill throughout your world to remind you to smile more. Put a note on the phone, send yourself an email message, or make a note in your calendar. Make sure that you have plenty of reminders to smile more often.
Taking smiling to the next level involves laughing. Figure out a way that you can laugh more this week. You don’t simply want to be amused – you want to be laughing out loud. Laughing out loud, much like smiling, creates an emotional state that relieves stress and lifts your mood. Search out things to laugh about every day this week. Read jokes, watch movies and talk to funny people. Think of the funniest stories you know and tell one each day this week.
Here is the whole program. Give each one a solid one-week try, and then come back and do the next one. If you want a reminder, sign up for the How To Be Happy E-Course. It is free, and you’ll get short e-mail reminders each day to help keep you on track.