Today’s #40DaysOfSelfCare tip is simple – Keep Smiling! Smiles CLEANSE stress from the body and mind.
Yesterday was a cacophony of work related stress that seeped into my personal self-care time. My scheduled workday was hijacked by modem and router problems, so all plans went out the window. A bunch of items from my “to do” list remain unchecked. My sweet puppy got the “hurry up and pee” walk instead of our usual beach stroll. And, I had organic canned soup for dinner.
Thankfully I practiced some smile therapy, which saved the computer from getting tossed out the window. I rarely have high-stress days. But when I do, I have an effective protocol.
I have my Great Aunt Ruth to thank, as she shared with me a most effective stress busting therapy. The “Keep Smiling” purple card in the photo used to be on her refrigerator. She lived through the depression, being widowed in her 40’s, getting cancer in her 60’s and then again in her late 70’s. She said it was seeing smiles on faces at school, the grocery store, church, or park that kept her going through her family and health troubles. The card on her fridge reminded her to keep smiling, so as to be a source of comfort or hope to others. Also, she said smiling always made her feel good.
It’s so true! Smiling (and laughing) cleanses stress from the nervous system by releasing serotonin and melatonin, hormones that have a calming effect on the body. Other benefits of smiling are relaxed facial muscles and lower blood pressure. Smiling also releases natural pain killers, which I definitely needed whilst in router-modem purgatory.
When encountering stress today, pause and smile. And keep stoking the smile curves until stress loosens it’s grip on your nerves.
Today’s Self-Care Adventure: Watch a clip from your favorite silly movie. Or if you have time, make a snack and watch the entire movie. A few of my favorites are: What About Bob, Ghostbusters, The Princess Bride, and The Ladykillers (1955 with Alec Guiness).