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20 Ways of Training Yourself to Smile More Often

If you’ve watched my video about smiling more often and you’d like to learn simple ways to develop this practise for yourself, you’ve come to the right place.

If you haven’t watched the video yet, here it is below. In it, I explain how smiling can make you happier by causing psychological and physiological effects that make you healthier mentally and physically. Once you’ve watched the video, read the rest of this article to discover how to nurture that habit in your daily life.

So here are my top 20 tips to help you smile more often, even when life is hard:

Title Icon: Do spontaneous thingsDo spontaneous things: Spontaneity triggers automatic smiles, because it’s exciting. Your brain is happy because it’s doing something out of the norm and that lights up all its neurons like a firework display. It helps your brain learn new things and form new neuropathways, all of which keep you healthy. So your brain rewards you with happy feelings and makes you smile to reinforce the idea that you should do this more often.

Title Icon: Watch funny movies, shows and performancesWatch funny movies, shows and performances: Obviously, watching things that make you laugh will also make you smile by default. But taking the time to watch something that makes you happy means you’re taking that time away from watching negative media. This is an effortless way to trigger your happy responses and get you used to smiling more.

Title Icon: Spend time with positive peopleSpend time with positive people: Because we have something called mirror neurons, we tend to mimic what the people around us do. It has something to do with our social history as a species. So if you surround yourself with optimistic people who smile a lot, you will end up catching the smiling bug without even realizing it.

Title Icon: Spend time with friends and familySpend time with friends and family: Whether they’re people who smile a lot or people who tend towards frowning, spending time with the people we care about the most makes us smile more.  Just be careful not to let any negativity rub off from the grumpy folks to the cheery ones. It needs to be the other way around.

Title Icon: Reflect on happy memoriesReflect on happy memories: Looking through keepsakes and old photographs has a way of making us smile. We all have happy memories, no matter how bad our current situation may be. Like I said in my video about gratitude, counting our blessings has a way of making us happier. Click here, if you’d like to learn some easy ways to be more grateful, even when it seems like you have nothing to be grateful for.

Title Icon: Be mindful and you’ll find things to smile aboutBe mindful and you’ll find things to smile about: When you consciously look at all the things around you, when you’re more aware of all the ways your life has blessed you, you become more ready to engage in a spontaneous smile. Like I said in my video about mindfulness, staying in the present moment and being intentional in everything you do allows you to savour life’s small pleasures. Click here, if you’d like to learn how to develop this practise easily, so smiling can become effortless.

Title Icon: Add more nature to your dayAdd more nature to your day: As I said in my video about spending time outdoors, studies have found that exposure to sunlight, plants and trees naturally boosts a person’s mood. So consider taking your cup of coffee in your garden. Take the scenic route to work. Check your emails at a local park. Just find more ways to spend time appreciating natural scenery. You’ll find it naturally brings a smile to your face. If you’d like more tips to help you spend more time in nature when you’re on a busy schedule, click here.

Title Icon: Find creative ways to exerciseFind creative ways to exercise:  Like I said in my video about exercise, staying active releases the same endorphins and dopamine as smiling does, which triggers smiles and starts the positive cycle. If you don’t have much time to work out, click here for some quick tips for busy (or lazy) people.

Title Icon: Do something nice for yourselfDo something nice for yourself: As I said in my video about self-love, we often spend so much time taking care of things for others that we forget to take care of ourselves. Doing little things for yourself, like reading a good book or taking a bubble bath, can lift your spirits and generate more smiles. If you find it hard to show yourself love and kindness, click here for some handy tips.

Title Icon: Do something nice for someone elseDo something nice for someone else: As I said in my video about showing unconditional love to people, doing a good deed can make you feel better about yourself, while also making the world a better place. It doesn't need to be something huge; you could make a small donation to charity, hold the door for someone, buy a coffee for the person standing in line behind you. Even little things can make someone else's day a little easier. If you’d like some easy suggestions to make showing this kind of generosity to strangers, click here.

Title Icon: Listen to uplifting musicListen to uplifting music: Listening to music that has a bouncy tune or inspirational lyrics can really affect you on an emotional and physical level. If you don’t have the time to dedicate just to listening to music, utilize your morning commute. Whether you drive or take the train or bus to work each day, make yourself a playlist filled only with uplifting songs and instrumentals. It can be a great way to pep yourself up for the day and keep you smiling for hours to come.

Title Icon: Eat nutritious mealsEat nutritious meals: Like I said in my video about the ideal diet, what you put into your body matters. It doesn’t just affect your healthy, but also your mood. If you have no idea what counts as healthy these days, because of all the contradictory information out there, click here to learn how to identify the ideal diet for your own body and lifestyle.

Title Icon: Stay off social mediaStay off social media: Like I said in my video about comparing yourself to others, social media can have a detrimental effect on your happiness. I’m not saying you should delete them altogether, just that you become more mindful of when, how and why you use them. They can be a useful tool, or a dreadful trap, so be wary. This article talks about some easy ways to avoid them, if you’re hooked.

Title Icon: Keep smile-inducers nearby at all timesKeep smile-inducers nearby at all times: We’re all different. What makes me smile might not be something that makes you smile. You know yourself better than anyone, so make sure to keep things that make you smile close at hand. Whether you’re at work, in the car or at home on the couch, figure out a way to always have something in your line of sight that will make you smile when you look at it. It could be photos of your loved ones, drawings your children made or birthday cards from friends and family.

Title Icon: Smile at certain cuesSmile at certain cues: Alternatively, you can create cues to smile. This can be done using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques  and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Whenever your hand turns a door knob (which will effectively mean you smile whenever you enter your house after work), or when you see a person with a certain colour shirt. Pick whatever cues you think sound fun and use them as reminders to smile. If you’re a more auditory person, choose something that you hear often during the day to be your “smile cue.” You might choose a sound like a phone ringing or an email notification beep. Click here to figure out what your lead representational system is. If you absolutely need to, set a reminder on your phone to go off at certain times in the day and actually remind you to smile. It sounds silly, but it works. Soon it will train you to smile whenever any reminder goes off on your phone and at those specific times of the day that you set the reminders for.

Title Icon: Sign up for funny deliveriesSign up for funny deliveries: The internet is a blessing when it comes to this. You can visit websites dedicated entirely to funny content. You can even sign up to newsletters or apps that deliver jokes, funny pictures or funny videos to your inbox as regularly as you like. If you’re old-school, you could even purchase a daily tear-off calendar.

Title Icon: Chat with people (even strangers)Chat with people (even strangers): Like I said in my video about socializing, humans are happier when they’re interacting with other humans. If you’re socially awkward or shy, click here to learn easy ways for introverts to socialize.

Title Icon: Keep a smile journalKeep a smile journal: Take a couple of minutes at the end of each day to write down a brief description of every time you smiled and why. Over time, you’ll start to notice a pattern and begin to recognize the interactions and occurrences that bring a genuine smile to your face. Maybe you saw a cute puppy on your way to work. Or an old friend called you during your lunch break. Once you recognize the things that make you smile, you can make a conscious effort to seek those things out in daily life. Another great reason to keep a smile journal is so you can look back through it when you're feeling low and remind yourself of individual instances when you felt happy. These could help you keep smiling when times are hard.

Title Icon: Start your day with smiling practiseStart your day with smiling practise: Start your day on the right foot and commit to practicing your smile in front of a mirror. If you're not the kind of person who smiles a lot naturally, this will get you used to what it looks and feels like and teach you how to replicate those sensations more naturally. Practice when no one else’s around, in the bathroom, in bed, in your car. That way, you’ll feel less self-conscious. Every morning, look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Concentrate on making the smile look genuine by slowly extending it to your eyes. A slight upturn of the mouth isn't enough. As you do it, remind yourself that you’re going to smile more often today. This will work your facial muscles and help your face to fall more naturally into a smile. It’ll also make it feel less odd, if you don’t do it very often.

Title Icon: Fake it till you make itFake it till you make it: Smiling more often might feel unnatural and fake at first. But the more often you do it, the more natural it will feel and look. When you’re starting out, make your fake smiles look more genuine by smiling with your eyes as well as your mouth. True smiles create a crinkling of the muscles around the eyes and come about a bit more slowly than fake ones. Even when you don't feel like it, try and force yourself to smile – you may find that a forced smile becomes genuine very easily. Smiling is a habit, so if you repeat it often enough, you'll smile without even thinking, which is what you want.

Try out these tips and if you’re still finding this advice hard to implement, ask for help in the comments below, send me a message, or book a FREE breakthrough session to see how I can help you through Skype.

You can find more Happiness Strategy videos on my YouTube channel, so subscribe to make sure you never miss an episode! I come out with a new one every single Sunday.

Until next time, remember: Happiness doesn’t require energy. It requires Strategy.

77 Responsesso far.

  1. Idoko Blessing says:

    People think am always angry or unhappy because of how my face is even when i am not angry but i don’t know how to just keep a cheerful face

  2. Pat says:

    I need help to smile

    • Happy and Authentic says:

      I hope this article helped you out a little bit. What in particular do you believe you need help with?

      • Neemas says:

        People used to say I had a beautiful smile, they used to tell me why are you always smiling. Now my life has turned and I forget to smile at joyous things, I feel depressed that I don’t want to smile no more. I guess their wish came true. I m hoping I can be my old self and smile more no matter how I depressed I feel.

  3. Mike Roberts says:

    I need help to smile more. I used to be a fun loving person to be around. Now, I am a person of sadness and isolation.

    • Happy and Authentic says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that, Mike. 🙁 I certainly hope my content can be of help in you managing to smile again.

  4. […] you work out a practical solution or plan; you’ll be able to give yourself a pat on the back, and smile at your achievements. Keep reminding yourself that you can do things, you do look great, and you […]

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