The Rich Life Blog
Are you smiling because you’re happy... 
Or happy because you’re smiling?!
When we smile - even if we’re in a bad mood - using those muscles sends signals to the brain... And before we know it, all those little guys up there are running around screaming “Oh shit she’s happy! Quick people... Hit the happy button and release the happy hormones!”

I don’t believe in faking happiness to mask other unexpressed emotion, yet sometimes changing our mood requires conscious thought, willingness to put down the mood we’re experiencing and intentional action to create happiness. Sometimes, when I’m having a sulky day and moping around the house, I can actually feel my own unwillingness to allow myself to be happy - because part of me is enjoying wallowing in grouchy grump land...

Sometimes, the answer is to really go deep into the feeling underneath my unhappiness and fully express that emotion; literally set the timer and give myself 90 seconds to be as sad, lonely or pity-party-ish as I possibly can be. 
Other times, I just need to fake it til I make it - and grin at myself in front of the mirror til I “make it.” When those happy hormones start to flood my brain, I’m able to get control of my thought patterns again, and realize that a large part of my mood may be the habit of allowing something to set me off...

Some of those triggers for unhappiness for me are: dealing with a challenging person, forgetting to do something important and now feeling silly, having my integrity questioned, when ppl are unkind to me, feeling overwhelmed with tasks etc...

Getting in front of the mirror and grinning it out is like using a jumper cable when my car’s battery dies; it reminds my brain that what I’m experiencing - the internal story that’s making me sad or anxious - isn’t FACT. Just like my car battery, my happiness isn’t dead forever in those moments... But it needs a hormonal jolt to get moving again. And for my logical brain to realize I’m not a slave to my thoughts about myself...

Sometimes we’re smiling because we’re happy. And other times we’re happy because we’ve been smiling.
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