Smile Trial: You’ll Like It!
It is amazing what the simple act of smiling can do for you physically, socially and professionally. Allow me to summarize.
- Releases endorphins/natural painkillers
- Releases dopamine and serotonin which relax the body by lowering blood pressure and heart rate
- Increases your attractiveness
- Promotes productivity
- Makes you more trustworthy and approachable
These are all great reasons to smile. By waking up with a smile, you are more likely to set a positive tone for the day. I like to add a simultaneous stretch and congratulate myself for a good night’s sleep. What? You didn’t sleep well and your alarm clock is blaring? Read on.
Like a camera, you can choose the settings for your focus: close-up, normal range, or wide-angle view. Taking a few steps backward to shift from a close-up to wider angle view can make negative thoughts seem more neutral. Some examples of reframing such thoughts are shown below.
- I slept terribly!
- I’m exhausted!
- I feel like crap!
- My head is going to explode.
- I have so much to do today. I will never get it done.
- That wasn’t the best sleep I’ve had.
- I’m awake. Time to get up.
- Glad I am not running a marathon today.
- I feel pressure in my head.
- It will be a challenge to get all of my chores done today.
“Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.”
Take a Step Back
We often magnify our problems by making them more important then they really are. I recall being depressed about a breakout. I was thinking that I wasted two years of my life. Someone told me, “If you live to 80, that’s only 2.5% of your life. That’s nothing.” That comment stuck with me. Below are some more shifts to the big picture examples to try.
- Avoid imagining the worst by considering a wide continuum of outcomes.
- Stop blaming a problem on a single source and look for alterantive explanations.
- Don’t think in terms of all or nothing. Imagine a compromise instead.
I love the concept of reframing your mind. When I think back, people have been suggesting some version of this my whole life.
- “Take a deep breath.”
- “Let it go.”
- “Weigh your options.”
Now I hear them. My suggestion is to adjust your focus. Start the day with a smile.