Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Smile Until You Mean It

I came across another good list of happiness starters the other day. Like the one I posted a few months back, the emphasis is on small, simple things that can have a major impact on your mood.

A lot of them deal with the way we interact with others:
  • Talk about something new
  • Forgive someone
  • Spend more time with your happy friends
It’s a virtuous cycle – the more interesting, open and positive we are, the more we’re likely to draw other people like that into our lives and connect with them.

And then there are those which focus on basic physical actions:
  • Wake up the way you like it (the smell of coffee and relaxing music beats the jolt of an obnoxious alarm any day)
  • Rearrange your furniture (an easy way to refresh your living space and mind)
  • Smile on the outside (it’ll work its way inside eventually)
Scientific studies indicate that our physical movements don’t just express our emotions, but sometimes also influence them. Wired recently posted about a study of people taking the seemingly neutral action of moving marbles up or down between a couple of boxes while talking about their memories. When moving marbles upwards they were more likely to recall happy moments. When shifting the marbles down, however, sad memories occurred more frequently.

So keep your happiness flowing by harnessing the small stuff. And smile…