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SMILING THROUGH UNCERTAINTY

AMANDA BATE - 27.03.2020

At Laugh Alive we fully understand and promote the importance of maintaining a light heart and an open frame of mind. This principle forms the basis of our work and is something we ourselves, actively instil each day. And, we do this simply by smiling.

As individuals and particularly in the current climate, we may be fearing the unknown or worrying about our futures… Therefore, it is difficult to smile or stay in the moment and to trust that everything will work out in the healthiest and most positive way.

I am personally living my current life by the mantra: WHEN NOTHING IS SURE… EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE. This steers me through those scary moments of ‘What if…?’ and offers me the option of balance and inspiration.  It reminds me to be thankful for all that I am and to celebrate all that I have. It helps me to believe that balance will always prevail even after (and especially after) the extremes. It encourages me to let go of trying to solve or change the situation and in that moment of letting go and surrendering, I can fully exhale and explore the newly available psychological space in which to reflect, be creative and truly be WITH myself and my feelings. In this space of being open to ideas and a newly unfolding world we can have hope that we will not only survive but that also, we will greatly flourish. Even if we cannot yet fully believe it… merely having the WILL and being open brings forward this truth and allows us to believe.

Smiling to myself and at others, particularly when I don’t feel like it makes me feel in control and that I’m taking an active role in my own health and well-being.

The simple physical effort of using our facial smiling muscles sends a message to and stimulates the brain. In smiling, we send out the clear statement that we are feeling happy, lighter and more playful and that we are enjoying our life experiences. Whether that is the emotional truth or not, the brain immediately supports our actions by altering the chemistry in our bodies; activating our endorphins (our endo-morphine, the body’s natural pain killers) and the body’s coping mechanisms. We gradually feel brighter and more at ease with the world and ourselves. From a physical perspective we can encourage connection and brightness to those around us.  From a practical perspective we can bring in both motivation and productivity. From an inner perspective, in each smiling moment, we are helping ourselves to shine, respond and tap into our own source of joy.

We do not need a reason or a trigger for our smile to have an immediate impact and what we smile about makes no difference at all to the profound physical response.

So today, smile determinedly at least three times and smile especially if you don’t feel like it or don’t want to; whether you are alone, or feel rushed or sad or frustrated or stressed… (delete as necessary!). The following day choose to smile as many times as you can and whenever you think of it.  Make smiling part of your new daily routine. You might want to remind yourself with post-it notes, smile at ‘distancing’ passers-by, smile at the dog, the postman and even that sink full of dishes… as it might just give you the motivation you need.

Still unsure? Try this simple and quick exercise either alone or facing another person and just see and feel what happens. Or you could do this together sitting in a circle with your family. It is an amazing way to validate your smile, communicate your intention and to spread a little chuckle!

INNER TO OUTER SMILE – This exercise can take seconds but remember it sends an important note to your brain and that is that if you are smiling it MUST distribute feel good hormones around the body. Shortly after practising this exercise your smile becomes more natural and ready to shine throughout the day.

*Sit comfortably in a chair or stand in front of your mirror (or family members). Scrunch up your face to tense and relax. Then close your eyes (keep them closed throughout) and let go of all motion and expression on your face. Let go of thoughts, close your mouth, relax your eyebrows, eyes and tongue and take in a breath which you will release with a sigh as you allow your body to relax.

Then (still with the eyes and mouth closed) do these movements in order:

  • Slowly stretch the corners of your mouth out towards each of your ears

  • Slowly turn the corners of your mouth up towards your closed eyes.

  • Gently encourage your lips to open into a bright, broad smile which bares your teeth and creates a huge grin!

  • Allow your eyes to light up behind your closed lids, raise your eyebrows towards the top of your head and then open your eyes to YOU (and others) smiling brightly. This might create a little chuckle…

  • Relax your face to more resemble your natural smile and tell yourself (and others) how amazing you are for actively supporting your health, happiness and well-being.

    With love and hearty chuckles,

    Amanda

    "Laughter...it's on everyone’s lips!"

 

 

LOVE CHOCOLATE REGULAR WORKSHOPS and VENUES in Brighton, Teddington & Richmond

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NEW!!! Laugh Alive are spreading chuckles into chocolate!

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