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Minutes a day - Smiling

Welcome to the pages of Minutes a Day™, a series of pages dedicated to bringing you free information on a range of simple techniques that could improve well-being, health and happiness. Each can be carried out in just minutes a day.

Smile!

Do you smile enough?

Did you know that the physical action of smiling actually produces an emotional effect and realises certain ‘feel good' chemicals in the brain?

If you find it difficult to smile, there are a number of techniques you can use to help:

Holding a Pencil or Pen between your teeth

  • Hold a pencil or pen between your teeth (across from cheek to cheek)… go on, try it now!!
    As you can see and feel, this simple action forces you mouth and face to smile, and bizarre as it sounds, holding the pen or pencil here for just 60 seconds, has shown to have a real effect on your emotional happiness levels!
  • If, you want to try the reverse, try holding the same pencil or pen between your top lip, and the base of your nose. As you can probably now feel, holding the writing tool here forces your face into a frown. Apart from feeling pretty silly, if you hold it here for a similar amount of time, it can actually have a detrimental effect to your current happiness levels!

Smile with your eyes

Have you noticed that when you try and smile for a camera, you're likely to suffer from a grimaced look of distress?

In surveys, respondents viewing images of only the eyes of subjects, could consistently recognise who was smiling, and who wasn't, regardless of their age, language, gender or race.

So next time you try and smile, feel the smile start around your eyes, and focus on smiling with your eyes, and not your lips (your lips and the rest of your face will follow naturally).

Smile at Someone Else

There's nothing more recognised across the world, regardless of the language spoken, than a smile!

Have you noticed when walking down a street, how catching the eye of a stranger and getting a nice smile, can have an uplifting effect on your own happiness?
You may or may not have also noticed, that you can have just the same powerful effect on others.

So try it!

Next time you're in a public place, or see someone looking a bit down, try smiling briefly to them, and then watch whether that simple act of happiness spreads to those further down the road, carriage, footpath, or office.

Smile at the mirror and your own reflection

How do you think of yourself when you try to imagine how you look? …

  • What direction is your hair, and what colour is it?
  • Do you have any freckles, moles or beauty spots: if so, precisely where?
  • What colour are your eyes?
  • Now, what do you look like when you smile? Do you know?

Here's something easy for you to do…

Every time you see a reflection of yourself in the mirror: smile!

More importantly, ensure that every single time you turn away from your reflection, the last image you have in your mind of how you look, is an image of you smiling. Extend this to when you walk past a mirror, or a reflective window, so that even when you see yourself out of the corner of your eye, you see yourself smiling.

The more you see yourself smiling, the more you will smile as part of your normal routine, the more likely you are to feel happy and positive about yourself.

 

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