The Stress Buster - Pleasure
Research has shown that smiling can reduce stress levels in a persons body. But what if you don't feel like smiling? There is good news....approximately 50% of a person's ability to feel happiness ( and therefore feel like smiling) depends on their biological make up or natural disposition. The other interesting statistic coming out of this research is that 10% of feeling happy is dependant on a person's circumstances. A whopping 40% was determined by their intention to be happy and smile.
So if you are feeling stressed, why not DECIDE to be happy and smile? It's a lot healthier. But seriously, when life seems all up hill, making that decision can be a daunting task.
To increase your base level of contentment it is essential to choose pleasurable activities or thoughts. These activities will need to suit your tastes and values making them tailor made to you. Can you identify pleasures or passions? Often people get so caught up in life they forget what used to make them laugh, smile, or feel happy.
What delighted you when you were younger?
Noting what made you happy and gave you pleasure as a child can give you clues about what to seek now because those activities spoke of who you were before being influenced by social pressures.
When do you lose track of time?
Reading a good book, shooting hoops, gardening? Think back to a time when minutes, or perhaps hours went by without your awareness. Identify your timeless moments to guide you toward activities that will bring you pleasure.
What experiences elicit feelings of longing?
Do you feel envious when you see someone curled up in a chair with a cup of hot chocolate and a novel? Do you find yourself wishing you were in their shoes when you see someone getting a shoulder massage, riding a bicycle or walking down the street hand in hand with another person? Give yourself permission to do what ever that experience is that you are longing to do and see how much better you feel.
Deciding to feel happy enough to reduce your stress means taking a few moments each day to change your focus. Perhaps each day you could take five minutes to answer one of the following questions:
- What was your favorite moment of the day?
- Think of a memorable sensual moment (think sound, smell, taste, sight or touch).
- What about your home or office gives you pause to smile? (If the honest answer is nothing....you may want to consider a change.)
- What made you laugh recently?
- How often are you hugged or touched with kindness?
- What opportunity have you taken recently to show others that you care?
Stress can not be avoided. In fact some stress is healthy and motivating. But when life begins to run amuck and stress is building, PAUSE, and smile....it will make people wonder what you've been up to and help YOU feel a whole lot better about life.