– Thich Nhat Hanh
It is summer and we have just had a scorching heatwave. Just like the turning seasons there are good days and there are bad days. You aren’t alone in experiencing this. Life can be tough and it can be hard sometimes to see any sunshine.
How can we harness the positive and be kind and compassionate to ourselves? How can we achieve balance?
It is not always the easiest thing, but we can shift our thoughts to positive thinking, which can become a habit, simply through one little act. This secret power? SMILING! 🙂
- Smiling relaxes the muscles in our face.
- Smiling relieves stress naturally, by triggering the release of endorphins.
- Smiling can boost confidence as it makes us appear more friendly and welcoming, attracting others to us and increasing connectivity to others.
- It can help us relieve a bad mood. Chemicals are released in the brain when we smile which give us a boost and can lift our spirits, so prescribe yourself some happiness and treat yourself to a grin.
- Smiling is powerful. When we take control and smile we are taking back our power and our autonomy. By consciously making an effort to smile we are developing and reinforcing new habits of responsibility and positivity.
- Oh, and a little secret, it is contagious. Just try smiling at the world, you may find it starts smiling back.
One tip to help us smile may be to create our own scrapbook or notebook of cheering, comforting or meaningful images or quotes. Let your creativity explode in a rainbow of sketched or doodles, poems or wise maxims that can help give revitalization when feeling stressed or sad. Collect things from day-to-day which stand out and speak to you positively. Anything that leaves you warmed, strengthened or happy.
You don’t have to stop at a scrapbook, collect positive coping strategies which can help relieve or express negative thoughts. Whether it’s walking, nature, computer gaming, free jumping, mindfulness meditation find something which acts as a release valve for you.
Positivity and tenderness to ourselves can also extend to being open and honest with others. Let a trusted friend know how you feel about their support or kindness. Write a letter of appreciation to yourself, or to them: remember that the darker the night the brighter the stars.
Written by Natasha (Westmeria Counselling Counsellor)
We'd love to hear from you
We’re always looking for people who are willing to share their story in relation to counselling and mental health or to volunteer for the charity, if you’re interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org