If the needle on your internal mood barometer is pointing towards gloomy, just move it to the bright forecast and feel how those dark clouds of despondency begin to lift.

Unless you are a master of control who denies your face the liberty of expressing your moods, your facial muscles are usually the first to tell your story. But research shows that owing to the feedback loop between muscles and brain, we can kick start the reversal process of any mood we are experiencing by changing our expression as facial muscles affect brain activity.

So, if you are down with a frown, by lifting the corners of your mouth you will send those messages scurrying back to the brain saying “Hey, it’s not that bad!” while also helping to release endorphins. Michael Lewis Ph.D. at Cardiff University maintains that the use of those muscles is part of how the brain evaluates mood, and even in pain, it’s possible that people feel less pain when they are unable to express it.

Try it for yourself. If you are facing an unpleasant situation that you cannot change, rather than wasting energy on denial or victimhood, smile as you voice your acceptance out loud …. I accept that my mother-in-law is Mrs Spiteful. A soft, half smile will also do. With practice you can reach a peaceful state of acceptance and the realisation that Mrs Spiteful’s opinions are exactly that, hers, not yours, and fuelled by her own insecurities and lack of self love.

Peace begins with a smile.  ~Mother Teresa

 

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