our #1 tip to feel better
Just SMILE is truly a great tip. It’s easy, fast, free, and the results are immediate. Read on for how and why this tip works. Then read our smile bonus tips further below.
It turns out that your body is so closely tied to your emotions that even if you fake a smile it will make you feel better. While scientists argue about the value of fake smiles most all agree that a genuine smile has real physiological and social benefits.
But what really matters is how smiling works for you! My personal experience is that repeatedly making big smiles to myself almost always helps improve my mood. This practice also makes it quicker and easier to smile at others which also affects your environment.
Here are some suggestions for practicing smiling at yourself:
- Practice making what scientists call a Duchenne smile, a genuine smile named for the researcher who first identified it. The muscles around the eyes are activated as indicated by raised cheeks, squinted eyes, and crows-feet wrinkles around the eyes.
- When you feel good, give yourself a big enthusiastic Duchenne smile.
- Every time you look into a mirror give yourself a giant smile. This is a good thing to do as you get ready in the morning.
- Luckily you don’t need to worry about looking stupid when giving yourself giant smiles. So, practice them on yourself and also practice improving the smile you want others to see. These two smiles may be closer than you think.
- Practice your smile when you need a quick “pick me up.”
- When you feel bad, practice making big genuine smiles to help turn your mood around. This often works for me.
- When you happen to think about it practice smiling. It doesn’t take any effort and builds the habit.
Here are some suggestions for practicing smiling at others:
- Make smiling a habit. For example, smile when greeting others, saying goodbye, saying thank you, when interacting with babies, and so on.
- Always be ready to smile back in case someone smiles at you.
- Observing the effects of your smiles on others makes for an interesting on-going experiment. One way to experiment is by smiling at safe strangers, such as a waiter or a friendly person on the street. Watch closely how others, especially friendly effective people, use smiles in their daily life.
- Give extra smiles as a gift to anyone who might need one. If in doubt just go ahead and smile. My experience is that even if people don’t respond the first or second time (they are surprised) they often eventually turn from glum strangers into smiling friends.
- Practice your smile in preparation for when you need to use it on someone important. Low-pressure practice makes high-pressure situations easier.
So, do yourself a big favor and give this smiling tip a serious test. Smile. 🙂
Bonus just Smile Tips
- Make a habit of smiling to yourself every time you notice something you like and every time you notice yourself feeling good. Start practicing a big easy smile, hopefully many times a day. It will improve your base attitude and make other people like you more.
- Make a big smile at yourself every time you see a reflection of yourself, e.g., in your bathroom mirror. After all, you should be your own best friend and friends appreciate your smile. You don’t have to be embarrassed to over do it since no one else will see … and it will eventually make it easier to make big easy smiles to others when appropriate.
Related Links top
- Tips Overview – More of our best tips
- Science Fair Project about discerning fake versus genuine Duchenne smiles.
- Stress Busting Smiles – Wall Street Journal Article
- Michael Anthony Self Confidence Tapes – Anthony says you can’t experience a negative emotion when you smile, even if it is a fake smile, due to the body-mind feedback loop.
- Top of Page, Index Page or Home Page