When were happy, we smile, but did you know it works the other way around too? Studies have shown that you can make yourself feel happy by smiling. So ask yourself, what makes you smile?
Improve Your Mood with a Fake Smile
Smiling and laughter release neuropeptides which reduce stress and make you feel happier. Endorphins then follow, giving an instant happiness boost; you can use it whenever you want positive emotions or a sense of well-being.
Faking a grin or putting a false smile on your face may seem like cheating, but psychologists have found that it does elevate your mood. Studies have shown that a simple smile can also:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve your immune system
- Help with self-esteem and reduce negative emotions
- Release dopamine and other feel-good hormones
- Reduce Cortisol, the stress hormone
But rather than simply faking a smile over nothing, allow yourself to smile and feel happy in situations you usually ignore.
Look around the room right now; you can find things that make you feel happy. Perhaps something triggers a memory, or there’s something beautiful, just something silly like a banana skin that missed the trash can. Whatever it is, let yourself smile about it. You’ll feel better if you do.
Smile When You Wake Up in the Morning
It can be tough to wake up early in the morning. You’re tired, cold, and unmotivated, but you must get up anyway. It’s easy to go about your morning routine like a zombie, but you’re missing all the opportunities to make yourself feel better. Remind yourself why you make yourself that cup of coffee every day – because you love it. So smile when you take that first sip and remind yourself how good you have it.
- Waking up before the alarm
- A cup of coffee in the morning
- Eating breakfast with your family
- The smell of your clean clothes
- The sensation of a hot shower
- Saying your morning affirmations
- Being awake before everyone else
- Deciding what to do with the day
- Completing your morning routine
- Making your bed
Make People Smile Outside
It’s time to get outside and start the day. Even if you’ve got a long journey to work ahead of you, you can find reasons to smile. As you look around, remember that if you were never born, you’d never see all these things. So even if you usually walk straight past them or think they are mundane, they can still make you smile.
Smiles are contagious, so use your beautiful smile to boost the moods of the people you meet.
- A blue sky
- The sound of rain on the roof of your car
- Buying a coffee to go
- Choosing a lunch you love
- Getting yourself a sweet treat
- A happy dog
- A happy memory from the same place
- Crisp fresh air
- Going a new route
Reasons to Smile At Work
If you dislike your job, smiling may not be enough to turn your life around, but while looking for a better career, you can make yourself feel better by just smiling about the parts of your job that you don’t hate.
Ask a colleague to join you and smile at each other. It will seem foolish, and you’ll both start laughing at first, but you” soon notice that making people smile makes you both happier.
- Lunch with a colleague
- Emptying your email inbox
- Completing a project
- Finishing early
- A five-minute break to unwind
- A satisfied customer
- Knowing you did your best
- Finding a solution
- Helping someone on their first day
- Bringing coffee or snacks for your team
Be Cheerful Wherever You Are
There are things to smile about wherever you go, so allow yourself to smile when you encounter them. Starting a journal is an excellent way to encourage yourself. As part of your evening routine, recount the day in your diary and describe how it made you feel. Then, the next time the same thing happens, you’ll recognize it immediately as something you can smile about.
- Seeing a familiar face in an unexpected place
- Seeing people working hard at the gym
- Watching your child walk out of school with their friends
- Remembering how you saw this place as a child
- Finding a sale at your favorite store
- Hearing birds tweeting
- A sunrise or sunset
- Purging your house
- Donating anonymously
- The smell of cut grass
Try to Smile in the Evening
The day is done, and you might be exhausted, but there is still much to be happy about. Your important tasks of the day are complete, and there’s nothing else left to worry about, so all that’s left is for you to enjoy the evening. Even if there’s no one else with you, you can smile to yourself and enjoy an evening off.
- Receiving a message from a friend
- Finding a new show to watch
- Coming home to a ready-made meal
- Coming home to a tidy house
- Soft music
- Lights against a dark blue evening sky
- Getting lucky with the traffic lights
- Knowing someone is waiting for you
- An empty gym
- A tasty dessert
Smiling Isn’t Always the Solution to Your Problems
Of course, you don’t want people to think you’ve gone crazy because you do nothing but smile all the time. But if you think of your smile as a tool you always have with you and can use whenever you need it, it will make your life easier.
There are problems that smiling won’t solve. Instead, you need action to shift your reality and make a fundamental change in your life. Making significant changes and working toward a better life seems daunting, but with a solid process, it’s simple.
Start with where you are, then outline where you want to be, figure out some goals and how to achieve them, and all that’s left is to work towards them consistently. I’ve helped hundreds of clients through this process, and you can read how to do it yourself in this article.