I patted around on my nightstand until I felt my phone. I pressed the button and opened my eyes. 7:45am. A far cry from 6:15 when I wanted to start my day.
14 new emails overnight.
10 Facebook notifications.
Pinterest, Instagram, and more called out for my attention before I even sat up.
I need coffee.
With coffee in hand, I indulged my curiosity, and before I knew it, I was mindlessly scrolling through the feeds looking for some inspiration.
Oh, goodness! It’s 8:30. And I haven’t had Bible Time.
I tossed my phone across the bed, out of my reach, and pulled open my journal and Bible. I wrote the date and the chapter I was going to read.
From the other room I heard, “No! You can’t do that!”
“Yes I can if I want to!”
The argument continued as tones became more shrill.
Sigh. Pushing the covers back, I plopped my Bible on the pillow and went to break up the fight.
Back to the bedroom, I started to read.
knock, knock, knock
“Who is it?”
“What do you need?”
My littlest daughter proceeded to whine about some injustice she’d endured.
The bickering continued until I gave up on prayer time.
Coming in to the kitchen, I discovered an enormous mess!
“Kids, you know not to leave all this out! How long has the milk been on the counter?”
Inwardly chastising myself for not waking up and taking care of this, I cleaned up the mess.
By the time I finished cleaning up in the kitchen, they were all waiting at the school table and fussing about who gets what pencil and who drew over whose white board illustrations.
Apparently there was not going to be time for me to eat anything. I poured another cup of coffee and glanced at the clock.
Good grief! Where has the morning gone! It’s already time for the baby’s nap.
I carried him back to his room and headed back to my waiting students who were now belting out a parody of “Let It Go” alternating with giggling and arguing.
“God, help me. This day is not going well.” I prayed. And then I remembered,
The 30 Second Trick to turn your day around.
I sighed…I rolled my eyes…took a deep breath and…
I showed my teeth, I raised my eyebrows, I lifted my cheeks in a wide grin.
After a pause, I walked into the school room.
I looked each child in the eye, and she smiled too!
“Ok, let’s get started.”
Was I happy? No. Was I faking? No. How can that be?
Well, it turns out, we smile when we’re happy, but also, we get happy when we smile.
The act of smiling actually activates the happy zones in your brain!
You will become happier by smiling more!
It even works if you’re not really smiling. Studies have shown that you can change your mood just by holding a pencil in your teeth in a way that draws your mouth back into a psuedosmile.
(I’ve actually given that as a consequence to a child who was wrestling with a bad mood, just to snap her out of it. It only takes a few seconds.)
Go on, give it a try. Smile right now and see if you don’t feel a little lighter!
It’s not just the face, either.
As it turns out, the way you hold your body affects your mind as well. People who stand in a confident, or assertive pose for 2 minutes are more likely to take a risk or to accentuate the positive in a situation. On the other hand, people who sit in a closed or diminuative position may feel less self-assured, more meek.
Amy Cuddy’s TED talk goes into this in detail, and it’s fascinating to think of the possiblities.
What life-change would you make if you felt completely confident? Would you apply for a new job? Would you call your friend to ask about her at-home business opportunity? Would you start the ball rolling on that adoption process you’ve always wondereda about?
As it turns out, two minutes COULD change your life…not because of what happens in those two minutes, but because of what you chose to do when you feel just daring enough.
Try spending two minutes in a Wonder Woman pose and you may uncover the courage you need to take a leap.
By smiling in the middle of my bad day, I actually gave myself the mental ability to handle it. I became less discouraged!
When I walked in to the room with a smile on my face, the contagious expression spread to my children’s faces as well. And guess what? They became happier too!
Haven’t you noticed how one bad mood seems to spread throughout the family or workplace? Happy moods can spread too. You control the tone for your family. You can go about apathetic and overwhelmed, or you can crack a smile–even when you don’t feel like it–and lift the entire household!
In 30 seconds, you can change your day. With 2 minutes, you just might change your life! And it all starts by physically changing your face or body language! Now that’s news worth sharing!