“If life feels hard, remember: nothing lasts forever. Someday this will all be behind you. Someday you’ll be smiling again.”
This quote made me think about how a smile represents happiness. I wonder, “Can we be happy, even if things aren’t perfect? Is there a way to speed up the process of getting our smiles back?” I am happy to announce the answer is a whole hearted, “Yes!”
Neurotransmitters are chemical messages sent within our brain to create various changes. Sometimes those changes are related to the way we feel. The neurotransmitters responsible for our happiness levels are Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Endorphins. They are activated by different, naturally occurring situations we encounter. When we learn to intentionally unlock these “smile creators,” we get to choose our own happiness levels.
Here are 4 simple ways to get your smile back.
1. Break Projects into smaller pieces.
Dopamine is linked to our feelings of pleasure and motivation. To our brain, a win is a win no matter how small. By breaking big projects into smaller pieces,
we create a series of wins and the brain repeatedly releases Dopamine. This boost increases our happiness and desire to take action again. To generate a consistent experience of pleasure and motivation, create a new goal just previous to finishing the current goal and celebrate every win.
2. Re-live happy experiences.
Serotonin is responsible for keeping feelings of loneliness and depression at bay. Since the brain has trouble telling the difference between what is reality and what we imagine, we can create a flow of serotonin naturally, by reflecting on our previous successes and achievements. It is also helpful to notice and give recognition to the things that we are grateful for. These reminders of the good things in our lives, and the mental pictures that accompany them, create a release of serotonin.
3. Strengthen your relationships.
Oxytocin provides us with the foundation for feelings of intimacy, trust, and relational strength. It is also considered the antidote to depressive feelings. Oxytocin has been called the “Cuddle Drug” because inter-personal touch instantly raises oxytocin levels. For a quick boost of this neurotransmitter, just give a loved one a hug or a kiss. If you are looking to strengthen a relationship with someone at work, just give them a simple little gift, as receiving gifts also raises oxytocin levels.
4. Use exercise and laughter.
Endorphins help to alleviate stress and anxiety. During exercise, endorphins are released to alter our perceptions of pain and allow the feeling of a “second wind.” Laughter is another great way to create a flow of endorphins. Even the anticipation of something that will make us laugh is enough for an endorphin release. Planning to go see a comedy or forwarding a funny meme or video to a friend creates an instant boost. To enjoy a consistent flow, take several small breaks a day to feed your laugh and keep it healthy.
Are you tired of waiting for your “someday” to come so you can feel happy again and get your smile back?
If you find it difficult to create change on your own, I would love to help.
Go to ideallifehealthcoaching.com and book your discovery session with me. In this 45-minute session, I’m going to lead you through a process to help you:
• Uncover what’s been slowing you down or keeping you from happiness.
• Develop a powerful vision for what getting your smile back will mean for you and your life.
• Discover which foods and lifestyle habits sap your happiness... and what to do about it.
• Get crystal clear on a step-by-step plan to let go of your distress in 90 days or less.
If you’re ready to uncover what’s been stopping you, slowing you down or keeping you from finding your smile, then NOW is the perfect time to schedule a private session with me.