Do you love to smile?
I love smiling!
In the words of Buddy the Elf (from the movie ELF), "I just like to smile - smiling's my favorite."
Today just so happens to be National Smile Day so that inspired me to write up a quick list of ways to help add a smile to your day. 😄
Isn't it wonderful to know that smiling is not just an automatic reaction to joy and laughter, but it's also something you can choose to do intentionally?
In the fascinating world of psychology, smiling, whether it's a genuine grin or one you put on purposely, is like a secret happiness weapon! It doesn't just make you feel better ... it does wonders for your health, mood, and can even sprinkle a little positivity on the people around you!
Let's dive into the joyful science of smiling and discover 5 simple ways to easily spark a smile and brighten our days.
Yup, I said jiggle!
Stand up and shake your body. It can be a wiggle, a jiggle and dance or a shake. It doesn't really matter which choice you make.
First, it's silly.
Second, it moves your body.
This is a power packed smiling combination. Scientifically, the movement releases "feel good" hormones like serotonin and dopamine. When we move our body this serge of happy chemicals lift our mood, and the silliness just adds to the fun!
Go ahead and give it a try. Stand up and jiggle.
2. Happy Memories
It doesn't matter how long ago it was ... remembering a happy moment takes your brain back to that time and place regardless of how old you are or where you are right now.
The power of visualization has been widely studied and can be a powerful tool to add more joy and smiling in your life. Imagining calming and serene scenes can help us relax and manage stress levels. Remembering a favorite experience can add joy.
Do you want a joyful feeling or one of peace and contentment? Choose any happy memory and relive it in your mind.
The longer you replay your happy memory, the more this experience will tap into the emotions you had that lovely day and makes your body feel as if you are there right now.
Have fun playing!
3. Acts of Kindness
A simple compliment can brighten someone's day. Because smiling is contagious, when you pay someone a compliment or show a simple act of kindness eliciting a smile, you will too.
It's a win-win!
Random acts of kindness are simple, spontaneous, and often anonymous gestures of goodwill and compassion that brighten someone's day or make a positive impact on their life. These acts are not driven by an expectation of reciprocation but are instead rooted in the desire to bring joy or relief to others. And because of our mirror neurons in our body, smiling is contagious.
This can be as simple as holding a door or sharing a kind word. Random acts of kindness can be spontaneous or planned and they can make a lasting impact, even creating a ripple effect in communities. These gestures remind us of the power of empathy, compassion, and the positive change that can result from small, selfless acts of kindness.
Brighten someone's day and yours at the same time.
4. Contagious Laughter
There are so many benefits to laughter. It's contagious because of our brain's mirror neuron system, so seeing someone else laugh naturally puts a smile on our face. Laughing increases our oxygen intake which increases the release of those happy, feel-good chemicals like endorphins in our body. Channel the silliness of your inner child and think of some people that make you laugh, give them a call or set up a date, tell some dad jokes ... they may not all be good, but they'll still make you smile regardless of if they are funny or ridiculous. Not a good time to call or connect? Google contagious laughter and see what silliness arises. Bonus, the added benefits of simulating our lung and heart muscles through laughter is that it also boosts our immune system and relieves tension and stress ... Sign me up!
I love a good belly laugh, do you?
5. Plan a ME Day
Planning a "me day" is a wonderful way to prioritize self-care and rejuvenation. Think about a relaxing day just for yourself. Choose to go to one of your favorite spots in nature, set up a spa appointment, read a book, anything that makes you relax and feel good. They day will be amazing, but the anticipation of something you're looking forward can also put a smile on your face right now. What are some things that you enjoy?
My intention is that in reading this little blog, you've put a smile on your face.
Sending you so much joy today!