11 May 2017
A year or so ago, I read this book. It introduced me to the concept – which I have since read about in a number of places – of smiling to improve one’s happiness.
What if the act of smiling enacted a change in our brains, and rewired our emotions, to change the way we experienced the world? That’s the question this study asked, and it turns out they were right. We can actually affect our own moods simply by smiling our way to happiness. I love this. It turns so much of what we expect on its head.
Among other things, it means that our moods don’t have to be dictated by what it going on around us. And, that we don’t have to think our way to happiness. Positive self-talk is all well and good, but if we can take a short-cut to happiness and an improved mood – why not?
It dawned on me the other day, as I wrote about treasuring the present, that the very act of writing about it, changed my day. My outlook was noticeably more positive, and more glowing all day. I felt acutely aware of all the beautiful little things that surrounded me: the shape of the tree blossoms out the window, the “eyes lit up” smile of my son, the gift of a day off with my kids.
I had a great day. And I know it was a result of stopping to process the positive and take notice of the everyday beauty surrounding me.
There are myriads of ways for us to harness our happiness, and affect our deep sense of well-being and positivity. We all need to find what works best for us. If you, too, are a writer, I suggest doing what you know.
Write your smiles. Don’t wait for something wonderful to strike you. Set out to create the happiness in your day, by writing it into being. Even if you don’t believe it when you start (even if you can’t think of anything positive to write about your day), start writing. Write your smile.
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