National Smile Month has been a great opportunity for us to chat about eating less sugar, the brilliance of xylitol and ways to keep our gnashers gleaming, but we also thought it would be a great time to share some tips on happiness, staying positive and of course, smiling. We caught up with good friend and mindfulness guru Jody Shield, who told us her best tips for maintaining a positive mindset, even when you or your friends are going through a rough patch.
On a day when you really don’t feel like smiling, is there anything you tend to do to help you feel more positive in the short term?
1. Express gratitude
Gratitude is a great place to start. It alters the body’s chemistry, so if you’ve woken up in a negative mood then try to find 3 or 4 things that you are grateful for. Write them down, in a journal or a diary first thing in the morning and this will really help you start your day on a high.
Breathing gently and slowly is another simple yet useful tool. Not breathing properly when we are feeling down is a really common. Try to concentrate on each individual breath for a few minutes before you start your day.
3. Use positive phrases
Boosting your positive energy is so important as it changes your energy charge to positive. When you’re feeling negative the best way to change up your energy is to use 3 or 4 positive phrases. Positive phrases carry positive words and create positive energy. Saying these out loud can really boost your energy change and help you to smile.
4. It’s a choice
Even if you wake up and don’t feel like smiling, it’s all about choice. We can choose to stay in a negative space or choose to stay positive. All of the above tips will help you to make that positive choice.
When friends are feeling down do you have any advice on the best way to help them?
1. Be neutral
Naturally we love getting sucked into drama, so watch out for getting involved in other people’s drama. Try to keep a neutral space and hold a neutral opinion.
2. Support them
It might sound obvious, but make sure you’re supporting them in the right way. Send them flowers or do nice gestures, try not to push them to talk about their emotion. Let them talk to you when they feel like it. Don’t show up with too much of your own emotion – if they are suffering they don’t want to hear ‘I know exactly how you feel’. It’s much better to comfort them by saying things such as ‘Thinking of you’.
3. Provide nourishment
Often making them food and helping to keep them nourished when they are going through an emotional situation is the best way to show them that you care. Letting them know you are there for them and keeping neutral emotion will help them open up when they feel that it’s time to talk.
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