Welcome to the second instalment of my new series; Words To Live By. If you didn’t catch last week’s post and want to know how the series came about you can check it out here: Words To Live By: A New Series.
Each week I share the words/quote/saying that we are displaying on our noticeboard at home to help us all have a better week. Something that speaks to us on some level and that we can directly apply to our lives throughout the week.
This weeks words come courtesy of The Killers:
Some days you just feel like crap. Some days everyone seems to be going out of their way to piss you off. Some days your kids get out of bed and decide it would be great fun to see just how far they can push you before you completely lose the plot. On these days it can be so easy to just feel resigned to a shitty day/get angry/cry/reach for the wine, but there may be another tactic you could try out first; smile.
As hard it can be when someone cuts you up at a roundabout, or your kid asks the same question for the hundredth time, believe it or not a smile can actually help. Not the kind of tight lipped half smile that doesn’t reach your eyes, a big beaming giddy smile that flashes all your teeth.
When we are stressed or anxious our brain thinks we must be reacting to some kind of danger and puts our body in fight or flight mode, but if we’re not actually in danger this just makes us feel even more anxious and stressed and creates a vicious cycle. On the other hand, if we smile a big beaming smile our brain realises that we couldn’t possibly be smiling if we were in danger so shuts off the fight or flight response and our anxiety is lessened.
I’m aware that this isn’t a cure all, especially for those suffering depression or anxiety disorders, but it may just help turn our mood around when we are having ‘one of those moments/days’.
Try it yourself now. Smile a big beaming smile like someone just told you you’ve won the lottery and hold it for at least three seconds. I bet at the end of those three seconds your smile actually gets a little bigger. If you’re finding it hard and can only manage a small tight lipped one try thinking about something that made you immensely happy or made you laugh. And don’t worry about looking daft. When we see someone smiling, far from thinking they must be loopy, we strangely feel happier ourselves too, so you won’t just be improving your own mood but the mood of all those who witness it too.
What do you think of this week’s words to live by? Did you manage a smile?