Stress Tip: Smile for a While

 How was your week? Was it a productive week or was it one filled with frustration and stress? If I had to guess, more people experienced frustration than enjoyment. I hope that is not true for you, but I know in our culture there is a tremendous amount of stress.

I believe stress is really a code word for fear. When I say that I am stressed, it usually means I am fearful something isn’t going according to my blueprint for life. Stress (fear) can lead to all sorts of physical ailments. I have seen people worry themselves into an ulcer and even heart attacks.

So, if you had a stressful week or even a stressful month (maybe even a lifetime of stress), I have some simple solutions to improve your attitude. These solutions are so simple they seem almost silly. The only side effect is happiness or less stress. This is not better living through chemistry! No medication is involved.

A few years ago, there was a study that took clinically depressed patients through a treatment for 30 days and at the end, they had a 100 percent cure rate. They had clinically depressed patients stand in front of a mirror and smile for twenty minutes a day for 30 days in a row. Now it had to be a big smile, but that was all they did. (Sounds crazy or too good to be true!)

The key takeaway is “motion can lead to emotion.” Think about it for a few seconds. If I asked you to describe someone who looked depressed, what would they look like? Chances are they are slouched over slightly, face downcast, and not slow moving. We have all experienced this state of emotion. Now, consider someone who is excited or happy. What do they look like?

Try a little experiment. Make yourself looked depressed for a minute or two and see how it makes you feel. Now, try making yourself look happy or excited. How did you feel? Could you notice any difference even slightly? So, something as simple as paying attention to your body can change your mental state.

I have a challenge for you this week. Simply stand in front of a mirror and smile—a big smile—for about three minutes a day. If you have a big meeting, maybe before you go into it, smile for a while. I know it sounds crazy, but what do you have to lose? Let me know how you do!

If you want to take a deeper dive into this subject and other ideas for healthy living, take a look at my e-book, The Caleb Journey. Here’s what people are saying:

This was a productive, useable, comfortable plan for me to follow. This plan is obviously based on successful personal and professional experience and knowledge in the medical, nutritional and sports fields, as well as in the spiritual well-being realm.” —Harry Brewer

This 3-week challenge focuses on your spiritual walk, teaches you about your own body, and offers recipes and actionable tips to help you not only lose weight, but also find true happiness again.” —Shayla Eaton

Wishing You an Amazing Life,

Dr. Curtis Brown