We all want ways to feel better and better every day, and this is best.
The verifiable truth is that the way we feel is not dependent on what is happening in our lives, but how we choose to use our bodies and minds.
And, the easiest way to use your body and mind to feel happier is to:
I know that seems ridiculously easy, and it’s also ridiculously powerful.
There was a study at UCLA some decades ago where they took patients who were clinically depressed, and all they had them do was, for 20 minutes a day, stand in front of a mirror and smile.
As it goes, all of the patients got much happier.
Scientifically, there are many physiological reasons why smiling changes our neurology—e.g. your sinuses cool the air going to your brain—but the easiest way to prove it to yourself is to smile more.
The physiological fact is that, it is impossible not to feel good when you are smiling, and doubly impossible when you are laughing out loud.
Now, like all mental hacks, there’s a nuance to this practice that most people miss, which renders advice like this COMPLETELY USELESS.
If you “try” to remind yourself to smile more every day, you will likely forget.
Instead, you want a practice that “wires” this habit deep into your brain. Here it is:
1. Sit back, close your eyes, and imagine something worth smiling about! It might be a person who makes you smile, a time in your life where you felt joyous, something that had you cracking up, and so on. Sit with this for a few minutes, really practicing the feeling, putting on a big smile, perhaps even laughing out loud.
2. With this feeling, take a few minutes to look back on yesterday. See yourself doing exactly the same things only smiling much, much more, feeling much more joyful.
3. Take a few minutes to imagine yourself smiling more today and in your future. See yourself doing what you will be doing, only smiling more, feeling much more alive, glowing with this energy.
Now, the trick to all learning is PRACTICE, and if you do this every day for a week or so, not only will you want to keep doing it, but you will be smiling more naturally 🙂