IMAGINE what it would be like if you could MAKE yourself happier in just five minutes a day.
This secret tip I’m sharing with you now, is free and you can do it ANY time, ANY where.
First, think about how you are feeling right now.
On the Happiness Scale below, circle the number best matching your level of happiness, right now.
Now, think about how you would like to be feeling after this exercise.
Be realistic. For example: If you have just experienced a trauma or are experiencing grief and loss etc. it is important for you to understand there are times when it is normal to feel sadness. If you need someone to talk to, learn how I can help you further. If you need to speak to someone right now, call LIFELINE 13 11 14.
This exercise is a tip for when you just need a lift, a shift in your mood to get through your day. Like that meeting with a client/boss or outing with friends.
When we’re happy we smile. We smile at people when we meet them because we are feeling happy. We talk to people more, we are more likely to participate in things we enjoy – sports, hobbies, socialising, work.
But what do you do when you are feeling sad?
What if you are not feeling happy?
What if you just feel blah?
Let’s say you rated yourself on the above test at a 1. Okay, so you’re feeling pretty unhappy right now but, you are going to meet up with friends and just need to shift your mood before you arrive. You don’t want to be the one to bring the mood down. You want to feel happier. Makes sense, we all want to be happy. So here’s how.
On a scale of 0-10 (0 = very sad – 10 = happiest you could ever imagine feeling)
You now have learned a valuable neuro-skill you can practice wherever and whenever you need.
I love this exercise; it’s one of Mark Waldman’s recommendations and top neuro-tip for shifting your mood. It’s a fun exercise to do in the car while driving to work.
NB: ignore the frowns from the other drivers.
I like to think of it as – Fake it ‘til you make it!
In short, there are two reasons this neuro-skill works:
The facial feedback hypothesis states that facial movement can influence emotional experience. For example, an individual who is forced to smile during a social event will actually come to find the event more of an enjoyable experience.
Jacqueline Hogan, 2016
Strack, Fritz; Martin, Leonard L.; Stepper, Sabine (May 1988). “Inhibiting and Facilitating Conditions of the Human Smile: A Nonobtrusive Test of the Facial Feedback Hypothesis”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 54 (5): 768–777. doi:10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1248. PMID 3379579.