Ready, set, SMILE!

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Ready, set, SMILE!

As of late it seems as though a “woah is me” energy is circulating through the atmosphere… as if everyone has been chugging life blows cocktails and then just sitting in their own “why me?” puke. Pardon my graphic explanation but the pity party energy swirling about is really starting to get me; my positive defense armor can only work so hard and it doesn’t seem to be working!!!

So, here it is… in black & white, 12 super easy, super active ways to silence your self-induced violin playing and turn that frown upside down, NOW! Ready, set, smile!

1. Slap yourself silly with reality. When you have a negative thought – any negative thought… write it down. Next to the thought, rate on a scale of 1-10 how realistic/accurate/true that thought is. For example, if your thought is “I’m a cow in these jeans.” Think about how true that statement is. Are you really a cow in jeans? That would be a ZERO on your scale. Oh, I know your trick, so you change it to “I look fat in these jeans.” Rate that. And seriously look at your statement – do you really look FAT? Fat as compared to what? Kate Moss? Umm… ok, then your reality measuring stick might need to be slapped itself. I think you get the point here. Realistic thoughts = realistic emotions.

2. LOL! Laughter has been proven to shake anyone out of even the darkest funk. So go ahead and rent yourself a knee-slapping, pee in your pants stand-up comedy DVD. Instead of watching the whole thing in one choke on your nachos sitting, pop the DVD in every morning for 10 minutes. Starting your day off with a laugh sends it in the right direction, not to mention if you have a snooze button addiction, this might cure it. Comedians to try: Frank Caliendo, Pablo Francisco, Mike Birbiglia

3. Laughter Yoga. In other laughter news, if you are bored with or were quite frankly never all that inspired by yoga, you may want to consider laughter yoga. Here’s the deal – the body literally “gets off” from laughter, but it can’t distinguish between humor-induced laughter and self-induced laughter – both have equally good effects. In a laughter yoga class you learn how to trigger laughter in yourself so you can reap its benefits.

4. Treasure hunt. Beautiful things all around you but when you are blinded by the blues, it can be hard to see them. So with this exercise your goal is to acknowledge three inspiring things, daily. These can be micro or macro – a child laughing, a favorite color, a good looking cupcake, an elderly couple holding hands, a blooming flower… whatever brings joy to you, counts! Stop and appreciate that item, sound, moment… as mindfully as you can to absorb its healing power.

5. Compliments. Mark Twain once said, “that the best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer someone else up.” And there is no simpler way to do this than to give someone a compliment… because who on earth couldn’t benefit from one of those!? In fact, I make this a daily practice of mine – to give at least 3 compliments per day. Bequeath them to those you know or don’t know, it doesn’t matter… there is such joy in watching someone receive an unsuspecting compliment. Plus, you never know, you might get one in return!

6. Dance in your car so people can see you! Sure you might do a little seat-butt dance to your local radio station, but this is not what I am talking about here. To collect the happy benefits of this exercise you need to dance out loud!

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Tristan Coopersmith

Marriage and Family Therapist

Tristan Coopersmith, M.A. MFTi
www.tristancoopersmith.com

Location: Hermosa Beach, CA
Credentials: BA, MA, MFTI
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