If I ask you to smile right now, would you? Could you? We can only smile sincerely when we are in a healthy emotional state. And if you ask yourself what causes you to go for a long period of time without smiling and laughing, if you're honest, it's often a level of depression or dissatisfaction with your state of affairs. And that may have a clinical cause, or it may also be a consequence of being unhappy with your circumstances at work and in life.
Time away from the things that provide fulfillment and satisfaction drains your positivity and can swiftly lead you into a state of depression. The more time that elapses between lack of enjoyment and having fun, the longer it will take you to get back to that positive state. And when you haven't done so for a while, the more difficult it becomes to smile. It's like learning to exercise a new muscle all over again.
That raises the question, "What are the factors that when combined over time could cause you to enter the modality of being depressed?"
If you stay in a prolonged state of work without positive feedback and reinforcement, you lose that thrill, you are not fulfilled, you're not satisfied, and you don't experience enjoyment. Any of those elements alone, or in combination, cause you to be further removed from living in an uplifting way. Being aware of these dangers to your state of mind, you need to be sure that you don't overwork, that your days and weeks at work aren't too long, and that you give attention to the structure, nature and intensity of your work.
This realization provides a strong justification for interjecting fun into your workday. Taking time out for consistent breaks to do something that makes you smile will infuse your day with positivity. Consider going outside and sitting on a bench, walking a block or two and absorbing a little sunshine. A little time outdoors can do wonders for your mood. Make time for being with a friend for coffee, or even playing with the kids for a few moments if you work from home. Almost anything done for five or ten minutes as an alternative or break from work will reinforce your smiling routine. Any of these little distractions from preoccupation with work will give you the renewed energy and positive disposition which makes it easier to laugh and smile. And if someone were to criticize you, you would be in a better frame of mind to receive and respond thoughtfully, and deal with setbacks more effectively.
Smiling is one of the most helpful practices you can develop for your health and your professional success. This comes from being in a positive emotional state, and it is reinforced by not taking yourself too seriously. It also emerges as a by-product of a well-developed sense of humor. Smiling releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides that help fight off stress. With smiles neurotransmitters are also fired up and act as pain relievers and natural antidepressants. And when you get these running through your brain and body, you're more likely to respond appropriately, positively and to lighten your and others’ moods.
Positivity, humor and smiling are habits worth exercising regularly and ones that you would be wise to initiate on your own. Relying on others for your happiness is like expecting the sun to revolve around you. Don't wait to bring joy back into your life. Today is the perfect day for positivity. Simply put, smiling is your secret success weapon.
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