A while back, I decided to celebrate--and bring to your awareness--the different well-known and obscure observances that are floating around the calendar. Because different groups worked hard to make October National [Whatever] Month, or a particular day National--Or International!--[Something] Day, and because many of these observed 'special days' can bring our awareness to different stress management topics, I think they're worth a little attention. (Read more about my reasoning in this blog post.)
Why am I telling you this now? Because October 3rd happens to be 'National Smile Day', and I wanted to be sure you knew about it! (Tuning in late? It's okay--you can be a rebel and celebrate it after-the-fact; I doubt anyone will call you on it: "Why are you smiling so much? Don't you know National Smile Day was last week?!")
And why am I telling you about it at all? Well, it happens that just the act of smiling can help your stress levels in significant ways! Even a fake smile can trigger neurochemical changes that make you feel better and less stressed, and can often evoke positive reactions from others, which can make you feel even better.
So smile at your kids when you see them today--seeing your face light up at seeing them will brighten their day. Smile at your loved ones, even if you're stressed. Smile at strangers and count how many times you get a smile back (or laugh to yourself at the occasional confused looks you may get if you live in a big city like New York City). See how your day is affected by the smiles you give and receive. Then try it again tomorrow!
Resources That Can Help You Smile:
- How to Be Happy
A fake smile may be good, but a genuine one is even better! Here's a step-by-step resource on how to be happy that should get you smiling.
- How to Maintain a Sense of Humor
Take your frustrations and turn them into 'good materiel' for a chuckle, guffaw or laugh shared with friends. Learn how to laugh in the face of stress!
- Positive Thinking
How does 'looking on the bright side' work in everyday life, and help you relieve stress? Find out here!
- 10 Reasons To Smile
From my friend and fellow Guide, Dr. Mark Stibich, learn more about the various benefits of smiling. (Hint: he's the Longevity Guide!)
- Take the Optimism Quiz
The results of this quiz may actually surprise you--many people who think they're optimists are actually pessimists, and are missing many opportunities in life. Take this quiz to see how full your glass is, and find resources to create many more smiles for yourself!
Share your thoughts in the 'comments' section, or post in the Stress Management Forum.
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