Are you a Smile away from a stress free day?
Welcome to our weekly explainer series on the Dagara Medicine Wheel. Each week we show you how one of its five distinct energies called Elements transforms, clears, amps up, or balances the energies in your own life. This week’s #Water Medicine brings in: balance, the ability to go with the flow, removing obstacles, creating boundaries and peace. It works in the realm of feelings and emotions.
In a recent study, scientists found people show biological signs of stress when they start anticipating the workday. Other Research says most workers don’t smile until about 11:16 am on Mondays(!)
If you haven’t found anything to make you smile yet today…hey it’s almost lunch time, so take a break and do something that will get your inner giggle going.
Start planning that dream vacation, or a special Monday date night. Stream a half hour episode of your favorite TV comedy, or do some online shopping – it’s cyber Monday after all! Knocking a few gifts off your list might make you smile.
Be intentional. Make it a Monday Practice to remove one obstacle that's keeping you from finding your flow.
While ‘just smiling’ seems simplistic, we are here to let you know that it counteracts some of the same chemical reactions that that trigger the Monday blues. Without it it’s shown you might only manage three and a half hours of productive work on today.
...But it's important for your health, too.
Emotions may originate in the brain, but the muscles in the face either reinforce or transform those feelings. Recent studies have revealed that through the enhancement of positive emotions -- or the suppression of negative ones -- with facial expressions, a person's mood begins to align more strongly with the emotion his or her face is communicating.
Even fake smiles do the trick.
While some researchers insist the benefits of smiling can only be rendered from a genuine expression of happiness, others have found that a forced smile can still make you feel happy, even when your existing mood and surroundings suggest otherwise. It only takes smiling for a brief period of time to experience its benefits -- no matter how contrived it feels initially. In this case, maybe it's OK to fake it a little.
In a 2012 study published in the journal Psychological Science, University of Kansas psychological scientists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman studied 170 participants who were told to hold chopsticks in their mouths in three formations, making them smile to various degrees without realizing it, after performing a stressful task. The experiment revealed that subjects who smiled the biggest with the chopsticks experienced a substantial reduction in heart rate and quicker stress recovery compared to those whose expressions remained neutral.
Guess that old song ‘Smile, Smile, Smile!’ was right after all! So, today, don't just grin and bear it...smile!
© 2015 Living Your Gifts, LLC | All Rights Reserved.