I teach people to live in the present, appreciating today rather than ruminating about the past. But for me this has been a week of reflection. Which is alright, really. As long as we don’t get stuck in the past, some reflection can be a good thing. Continue reading
This isn’t the first time I’ve touched upon the incredible happiness smiling can bring, but it’s a topic worth revisiting every day!
Today I fell upon a TED Talk posted by Louisa Jewell of Positive Matters that I’m excited to share with you. In it, Ron Gutman likens smiling to a superpower that studies have shown can confer a variety of health benefits, from reducing the effects of mild-to-moderate depression, to increasing life expectancy and lowering blood pressure. In fact, according to Gutman, “Smiling stimulates our brain reward mechanism in a way that even chocolate, a well regarded pleasure inducer, cannot match.”
At roughly seven minutes in length, this video is the perfect lunch break (or any break!) pick-me-up.
Here’s a link to the video as presented on TED’s website with a full transcript of Gutman’s talk.
Today, make an effort to take inventory of the good that surrounds you rather than the bad. Take a moment to reflect on what you’re thankful for. If you’re still feeling down, “fake it till you make it” by smiling anyway. You might be surprised by how your mood improves!
image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Here is a lovely poem by Veronica A. Shoffstall that I found on Barefoot In the Burbs:
“After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to understand
That kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head held high and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
You learn to build your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much,
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong
And you really do have worth.”
–Veronica A. Shoffstall
Source: Barefoot In the Burbs