Smile~ Slightly raise the corners of your mouth while reading this. Even if you don’t feel happy. Go ahead, try it, you know you’re curious. What do you have to lose? Thanks:)
In doing so, I am demonstrating to you how to make yourself feel happy & relaxed by requesting it from your body. Those in drug or alcohol recovery are probably familiar with the phrase, “Fake it, till you make it,’ which means action sometimes precedes, &/or inspires, feelings or desire. In his Psychology Today blog, Smile: A Powerful Tool, Dr. Alex Korb, explains, by flexing our smile muscle (zygomatic major), our brain will interpret it as something good; a reason to be happy.
Smiling also activates the release of our feel good chemicals (endorphins, dopamine & serotonin), helping us to fight off stress & relax our body.
It’s universal & contagious. Everyone smiles in the same language which transcends any difference amongst us & communicates a sense of safety & unity. We often “return” a smile because we feel acknowledged, included, perhaps loved. At the very least, according to Recruiter.com, you are more likely to be hired or promoted over your blank or frowning face co worker. So it’s in our best interest to smile as often as we can to promote & maintain positive feelings towards ourselves & others. (Is there still a grin on your face?) Great! Ok, now will you please…..
2.) Sniff~ a flower….
Imagine holding one of your favorite flowers, lean in, take in a big whiff, hold it for a few seconds, noticing it’s fragrance, & then..
3.) Blow~out candles
Imagine blowing out a birthday cake full of candles & emptying out your lungs until each one is extinguished. Try it one more time, take a big sniff of your flower, hold it, now blow out your candles, emptying your lungs. This rids our body of natural waste (carbon dioxide) & quiets the mind, silencing our inner critic. The pace & depth of our breathing has a direct effect on the regulation of our mind & body. Notice the pace of your breathing during different activities throughout your day to determine if you tend to breathe deep, shallow, or sometimes even holding your breath. Regular deep abdominal breathing also…
reduces anxiety by engaging both sides of the brain.
stimulates our organs to function more efficiently.
oxygenates our skin.
enhances our creativity.
helps us initiate & maintain weight loss
sharpens our intuition.
If you are feeling relaxed, but would like to deepen the relaxation, try it one more time. Take a big sniff of your flower, hold it, now blow out your candles, emptying your lungs. Does your body or mind feel more relaxed? Not yet? Don’t give up! Practicing will help train your body & brain to automatically breathe deeply & restore calm and clarity. If you really want to get creative & individualize your breathing rituals, you can imagine “inhaling peace & exhaling chaos,” “inhaling clarity & exhaling confusion, inhaling confidence & exhaling self-doubt, or anything else you need more or less of in your life! Good Luck!
Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing!~ Mother Teresa.