Research shows that smiling can immediately boost your mood. You may have heard this before. “The reason is simple,” says Michelle Toglia of YourTango. “It’s harder to stay angry when you’re grinning. The act of smiling actually evokes positive feelings and often sparks a positive reaction in others.”
But it isn’t always easy to smile, especially if you’re in a stressful situation with your partner, like traveling. Toglia says in this post, “Slapping on a grin from ear-to-ear is easier said than done when you’ve been sitting in traffic for two hours. So how you can use smiling to overcome those aggravating situations that get the best of you and your significant other?”
She advises you try using a prop as a distraction, which I think is a great idea. If you’re traveling and things are starting to get tense from all the waiting around or walking or whatever, grab a postcard and put on a silly accent, acting it out. Or take a sip of your drink, grin and loudly say, “AHHHHHHHHH! REFRESHING!!!!!!” Anything to lighten the mood.
She also recommends mentally going to your happy place to foster a smile, practicing mindfulness to really take in your surroundings and keeping a healthy perspective by reminding yourself that things can always be worse.
Though I do agree that smiling does improve your mood, even if you’re “faking it til you make it,” one thing is for sure: you should remind yourself to smile before the tension and stress get so bad you’re full-on fighting. When things first start to get anxious or uncomfortable with your partner in difficult situations, that’s the time to get silly and smiley as a stress-buster. And yes, just the simple act of turning up the corners of your mouth really does work to boost your mood and lower the heart rate and blood pressure of you and those around you. I tried it on the subway the other day when I noticed my unkind resting face in the reflection of the train window and as soon as I adjusted the position of my mouth I felt instantly happier.
Happy smiling, lovebirds! Enjoy the summer fun!
Photo credit: iStock