Finding your smile
As a woman, a mother and a wife (amongst other things!) I know very well that some days, some weeks, some times of the month and some events can cause a ‘no smile’ day. This one day can leach into more and make you feel low, like you are the only one feeling like it, so loneliness can creep in too.
Lonely in your thoughts, your quest to fix what has caused the pain and loneliness in being the only one who truly understands the whole situation.
The loneliness feels like a heavy weight is on your shoulders, the feeling of a permanent frown giving you a headache and the tiniest of things making your blood boil. Like life is dragging you along, kicking and screaming.
Finding your smile on days like those is tough. Almost impossible.
Sometimes you may have to muster something to hide all the things that are weighing you down. Other days you will keep your head down, hide away and fume in private.
In this blog, I would like to share with you ways in which you can find your smile so that you can live a more positive life.
When you are having a ‘no smile’ day and someone tells you to ‘think positive’ it can make things a lot worse. I can recall times when I have said ‘But HOW?’. There was no way out of the well of sadness I had allowed myself to sink into.
I used to think that some days you need to go through the emotions and feelings of a ‘no smile’ day. And to a degree I still believe it because ignoring it or trying to bury it away only makes for a time bomb ticking away waiting to EXPLODE!
I have also learned that even on the darkest of ‘no smile’ days, relief from the cause, even for a short time, builds resilience and allows a foundational grounding like nothing else.
It can give you the break you need to step back, reset and go again with a clearer mind.
You can find your smile. You can be happy. Here’s how…
Finding your smile in the morning
The dawn of a new day brings new opportunities.
And every morning, particularly at this ‘fresh start’ part of the day, is a gift.
A small part of this morning can be a routine.
A ‘Finding your smile’ routine.
One that delivers something for you, only you and is your treat to yourself.
It may be a cuppa while sitting having a quiet moment before everyone else gets up, a short spell reading, a nice warm shower, a moment to paint your nails, rub your own feet or to meditate.
Allowing yourself that small amount of time in the morning only for you, a ‘set me up’ part of the day, it will not matter what life throws at you afterwards, as you have looked after you first.
Finding your smile, finding headspace and finding peace at the start of the day sets you in an optimistic frame of mind and makes you more resilient from the get go.
There is also a lot of scientific evidence that a boost in happiness can have amazing benefits physically and boost your chances of success, even in adverse situations.
Even if you have to get up that little bit earlier to give yourself this time for you, this treat, it is very much worth it.
You are worth it.
Finding your smile in stressful situations
Stress immediately says to me that there is a veil of grey / black tainting your view of the world. The levels of stress we can all cope with is different. The similarity is that when it gets ‘too much’ we can all start to feel it.
We react differently, but we can all sense when that tipping point is in sight. OR we have people around us who will point out to us when we are not ourselves and will ask if we are ok.
The important part here is to know that, in one way or another, there will be signals and we should not ignore them.
My top tip for finding your smile when you know these situations are coming to a head, is to have a photo on your desk or in your phone that you can go to that will remind you why you do what you do.
It may be family, friends or a holiday. Something someone has bought you, a message someone sent you once or a quote that grounds you.
And when you have looked at that photo, walk away for 10 minutes, breathe deeply and steadily, then come back to the picture for a few more minutes.
The 15 or so minutes this takes can diffuse many situations and is long enough to allow a personal reset to be more effective than thinking you can push through and the frustration building up.
Finding your smile ‘on demand’
I learned only a few years ago that I should not base my own happiness on others’ happiness. I used to say ‘I’m happy when you are happy’ to my husband.
Just like the phrase we hear in ‘Rio’ – Happy wife, happy life. Whilst no one knows the origin of this phrase, it is believed to have started from a real estate ad. And in earlier years it could well have been a good marketing ploy.
These days it would probably be written out due to the connotations the phrase could provoke vs political correctness.
But to a degree, I believe the sentiment could well still be true. Happiness can breed happiness, as long as it is not to the detriment of others.
So, back to finding your smile ‘on demand’.
To ‘own’ your own happiness is to feel empowered over your own mood. To boost your resilience against those things that threaten to unsettle your equilibrium. To give you a weapon to defend yourself.
How do I do this? I hear you ask…
You build a Happiness Bank.
A stock list of things you can do, instantly, to recharge your happiness levels and boost your chances of finding your smile quickly.
The things you include MUST be things you can do instantly.
Like listening to your favourite tune. Put on your favourite perfume. Paint your nails. Grab some of your favourite naughty snacks. Reading your favourite quotes. Watching your favourite comedy sketch.
Have fun building your very own Happiness Bank by creating a list on your phone, adding the links you may need and having it ‘on tap’ for when you need it most.
That way you are fully equipped to escape and boost your mood whenever you need it!
Finding your smile every day
By building in your own time at the start of the day, knowing how to reset in tough times or boost via your Happiness Bank whenever you need it, you are well equipped to find your smile every day.
One more thing you can do at the end of the day is to think about what you have appreciated or are grateful for on that day. You could call them your wins for the day. It could be a nice comment from someone, hearing from someone you miss or completing a task that felt hard.
Patting yourself on the back is a wonderful way of finding your smile, bringing happiness and a sense of achievement before you lay your head to rest.
Feeling fulfilled, happy and proud at the end of each day will also encourage a more peaceful and restful sleep, which will knock on into the following day by starting you off fully rested.
I promise you, building the above techniques into your life, creating these habits and practising regularly, will help you with finding your smile more readily.
If you would like help to plan your time and build these habits, contact me here.
As I have said…you are worth it.
Your future self and your loved ones will thank you x