Pumpkin photo, by Mike Guilbault.
You can alter your mood with a smile, even when you don’t feel like smiling.
In fact, studies on the science of smiling tell us that the act of smiling (even if it is an act) can lift us out of a funk.
Laughing, good humour and smiling have a long history of lightening moods, relieving stress, breaking the ice, increasing your energy, improving relationships and taking away thoughts of anger, anxiety or distress.
Being caught on the job smiling has even been directly linked with career success.
Recently, I found myself in an absurd situation, which called for a mood alteration.
At a BellyFit class that my daughter and I attended, we had a substitute instructor. We were going to get a “real” CardioFit class from an exercise tyrant with a perverse interest in squats.
At one point, the instructor came over to work next to me, to improve my form.
She demonstrated and I followed. She put her hand behind my bottom and told me to back into her hand. My bottom didn’t get close enough and she yelled, “You’re not doing it right!”
She found a chair and told me to pretend to not sit on it. I made a frustrated attempt and failed to meet her expectations – again.
I was embarrassed. She yelled, “You have to do this!” From the squat position rose my Inner Crazy Woman. I yelled back, “Stop it! I don’t have to do this!”
Outraged, I picked up my mat to leave and remembered that Avery, my 12 year old, was also in the class and needed a ride home.
My angry mood swiftly changed when I saw Avery’s astonished look of uncertainty. I whispered into her ear, “If you want to stay, I’ll wait for you in the car.”
Avery said she would rather leave with me, so we exited together. As we escaped to the parking lot, we were in hysterics with laughter.
Later, watching Avery reenact, for family and friends, “mom doing squats” strengthened my smile muscles considerably!
Have you a “SmileFit” story? Do tell.