Smiles are contagious.
Every time you smile, you start a feel-good party in your brain. Your brain starts throwing out neurotransmitters, dopamine, endorphins and serotonin like confetti. When other people sense your smile party, they want to join in too. Before you know it, your infectious smile has spread. People all around you have contracted your contagious smile. Scientist and spiritual teachers alike agree that smiling can transform you and the world around you. Current research (and common sense) shows us that a smile makes you appear more attractive to others. It lifts your mood as well as the moods of those around you, and it can even lengthen your life. So slap a smile on that face of yours. Who knows who you will spread your case of the smiles to?!?!
How to play:
- Smile at someone, anyone. It can be the cashier at the grocery store, your mom, a baby or the mail man.
- See if they smile back.
- If they do, hooray! You get one point.
- If they don’t, boo hoo. You lose one point.
- The goal is to get 10 points.
- This can be a contest between multiple people to see who gets to 10 points first or a race to see how quickly you can get to 10-points on your own.
My family has a blast playing this at the grocery store, at home with each other, at school…any where.
Have fun and may the smiling odds ever be in your favor!
I love this time of year. The beginning of a new year. New goals. New aspirations. Excitement. Optimism. The start of something new brings the hope of something great! We set goals to eat healthy, exercise more, lose weight, quit bad habits, be more productive…
Why do we set these goals?
Is it because it’s the “right” thing to do, what we think we “should” do? Or, is it because doing these things will make us happy?
I challenge you, this year, to stop “shoulding” yourself and set your New Years resolutions based upon your soul’s deepest desire: HAPPINESS.
Take a moment to reflect on your life. What moments do you remember with a smile? Is it busting your butt on the treadmill at 5am or is it that afternoon that you hiked through Tooth Fairy Forest with your family?
This year, instead of setting goals for things you SHOULD do, write a list of all the things that will make you HAPPY. Then, resolve to spend more time doing those things.
Resolve to choose happiness above all “shoulds”.
I’m definitely not saying go hogwild on the fried chicken at Country Kitchen buffet or spend the year sitting on your couch laughing at reruns of Seinfeld. Those activities might make you happy in the moment, but when December 31, 2016 rolls around are those the moments that you will remember?
Resolve to create moments worth remembering.
I am certain this resolution will lead you to your HAPPIEST year yet!
What are your resolutions to create happiness? I’d love to read them!
A few of my resolutions to create happiness:
- Having FUN makes me happy…Spend more time playing, laughing and being silly.
- BALANCE in my life makes me happy…balance my time between work, play, relaxation, relationships, me-time, charity.
- SUCCESS and accomplishment makes me happy…Take daily action towards my life goals.
- Spending QUALITY TIME with my loved ones and friends makes me happy…have parties, celebrate everything, host more happy hours, lunch dates, put down my phone and Be present with people, snuggle my family and puppy.
- TRAVELING makes me happy…plan vacations, take road trips.
- Feeling HEALTHY makes me happy…walk the dog, walk with friends, do yoga, plan healthy meals, cook with my family, meditate.
- MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION makes me happy…spend time daily talking with my kids about topics beyond “how was your day”.
- INSPIRING others makes me happy…write inspiring blogs, public speaking, write inspirational book, practice affirmations.
- Being KIND and HELPFUL makes me happy…continue working as a pediatric OT, volunteer at kids’ school, volunteer on HOA board, do lots of random acts of kindness.
- Being CREATIVE makes me happy…write some more books (maybe with my kids), launch the Comfy Cup.
- Having FREEDOM and FREE TIME makes me happy…So I vow to practice saying “no thanks” to thongs and things that don’t make me happy! (haha, typo that I decided to leave in–because thongs don’t make me happy…I much prefer a cozy booty-covering underpant). No thanks to thongs that ride up my crack! Also, no thanks to any THING doesn’t create FUN or FREE TIME or HAPPY AND MEMORABLE MOMENTS.
Each year, I choose a “word for the year”. Several people have asked what my word is this year.
This year, my word is HAPPINESS.
What is yours?
Although the high temp in Lenexa is 56 degrees today. (Woo Hoo!) It’s officially winter. Yes, winter is here and spring is just around the corner. From now on, the days will gradually lengthen. I love this time of year. It’s a time for reflecting on everything you have. All the things, people, and experiences you are grateful for. This is the time to look forward to a new beginning. It’s the time for setting goals and intentions for the new year.
Amidst the buzz of the holidays, take some time to quiet your mind and do these five things to prepare yourself for the new year:
1. Make a list of all the things you love.
2. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for.
3. Answer these questions and set your intentions for 2015.
-When are you the happiest?
-What is something that you can share with others to improve their lives?
-Where do you see yourself one year from now?
-What is your personal mission statement?
-What are your values?
4. Make a vision board.
5. Take time to play. Be silly and have fun.
The greatest gift you have is the gift of creation. You were born to create. You are constantly creating and you probably don’t even realize it. You create thoughts, love, kindness.
You create your own future…what will you create in 2016?
As a parent in a busy household, one of the wishes I have each day is for just a few moments of peace and quiet and solitude. As a mama also aspiring for enlightenment– a few moments of meditation would be equally awesome. But, let’s be honest. Finding peace and quiet is a rare commodity in a busy household–unless you wake up at the crack-of-dawn and disappear to the solitude of the basement before those little feet pitter-patter down the hall squealing, “I’m hungry”.
5. Do not attend to any knocking, hollering, barking, ringing for 5-minutes. Imagine that your body is not a solid mass, but instead that it is made up of millions of tiny atoms (because it actually is). Feel the space between the atoms expanding and filling the room (kind of like a fart).