#335 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#335

Smile

When was the last time you smiled without a reason? It turns out that the practice of smiling – randomly for no actual reason – actually increases happiness. The muscles stimulated by smiling triggers a release of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins – the chemicals that, when activated, allow us to feel happy.

In a landmark study with college students, Kraft and Pressman (2012) validated that students who produced a smile were able to recover from stress more effectively than students who were instructed in the opposite. This concept has been further probed by leaders in the Positive Psychology field and substantiated. We know that the more people smile, the better they are to cope with stress and that they report higher in life satisfaction.

Especially interesting is that we don’t have to smile spontaneously for this effect to be present! Indeed, just the act of smiling produces some affect.

The goal then, is to make an effort to smile more often whether you feel like it or not. Smile in the car on your way to work. Smile in the shower or while you are dressing. Smile at strangers just for the heck of it (many of them will smile back – perhaps initiating the ripple effect). Smile for a full 60 seconds before you get out of bed in the morning and notice the difference.

I assign the task of smiling to The Elevate Class students and they report overwhelmingly how surprised they are when it really does make a difference. It’s like a water soluble vitamin though… it’s only in your system for a day or so after you take it…  you have to smile every day for the effect to be in place.

Experiment a little and for no particular purpose…

Smile.

Let me know how it goes! I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo on Foter.com

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