Smiling Create Motivation

Scientists have proven that flexing the 26 muscles that it takes to smile, generates positive chemicals in our bodies. The resulting positive feelings may help you create greater success.   Happy moods lead people to be more venturesome and more open to others.  Happy people are also more highly motivated and more willing to tackle tough projects.

If you’re trying to get yourself to tackle the task that you keep putting at the bottom of your list, smiling may give you the push you need.

 

Smiles Motivate Others

Smiles are a free social currency.  As Author Les Giblin has said,   “If you’re not using your smile, you’re like a man with a million dollars in the bank and no chequebook.”

Smiling shows people that we are friendly and approachable – thus making us more desirable to do business with or work with.  Smiling people are judged to be more sincere, sociable, competent, and attractive and a genuine smile shows self confidence.

Smiles also motivate others. Louise Armstrong knew that smiles are contagious:  “When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.”

 

Smiles Increase Productivity

 

If you’re a manager trying to jumpstart productivity, a salesperson working to close a sale, a teacher trying to engage your students, or a parent coaxing your kid to finish their homework, a smile can inspire the behavior you are looking for.

To others your smile is a gift of encouragement, inspiration, acknowledgement, and caring.  And to you, your smile may be the gift of success.  So in this new decade, don’t forget to: Smile Your Way to Success.

We’ve all heard about repeating Positive Affirmations to help us think more positively, attain our goals, and lose weight.  What you might not know is that there are techniques you can use to more deeply ingrain your Positive Affirmations so that they have an even greater impact on how you think, feel, and act.

Americans tend to live the opposite of a Zen lifestyle. We rush, multi-task, complicate, continuously move, crowd, and accumulate. We’re driven by calendars and to do lists. But even if we cannot fully embrace a Zen lifestyle, we can benefit from devoting regular time to live more like a monk. It could be a day, a week, an hour a day, a week a year, but any time you devote to the following these Zen Principles will bring you more peace and less stress.

    1. Devote time to sitting. In the life of a Zen monk, sitting meditation (zazen) is one of the most important parts of his day. Meditation is practice for learning to be present. Sit silently for at least 10 minutes a day.

 

    1. Live simply and have only what is necessary. There is little in a Zen monk’s life that isn’t necessary. He doesn’t have a closet full of shoes or the latest in trendy clothes. He doesn’t have the latest gadgets, cars, televisions, or iPhone.

      O.K., well actually he does have an iPhone, as we discovered on our trip to Buhtan. But that’s all he has, I swear! He’s wearing worn leather sandals and a piece of red cloth for goodness sakes!!!! Maybe he’s raking the sand in his iZen Garden!!!Let’s get back to the point: less is more. Give away the extra kitchen gadgets and sports equipment. They are cluttering your house and your mind.

 

  1. Do one thing at a time. When you’re eating, just eat. When you’re gardening, just garden
  2. Do it slowly, deliberately, and completely. Rushing takes the Zen out of the moment. Take your time. Move slowly and deliberately. Focus your mind. First cut the peppers, then cut the onions. Don’t move on to the next task until you are finished with the first one.
  3. Do less. If you fill your day with tasks, you will rush from one to the other. The truth is, almost every project can wait and if you did less, the world wouldn’t end.
  4. Put space between things. Don’t schedule appointments and tasks close together — leave room to finish and breathe in between.You’re wearing out the tread on your tires by never letting them cool down. Small changes make a big difference. So whenever you can, “Live Like a Buddhist Monk”.

 

Want to live more like a Buddhist Monk?  My team and I can support you with Life Coaching that will help you incorporate these principles into your life.  Contact me today for a Coaching Consultation.

 

 
“All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears — of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark . . . ” Dave Barry
 

 
O.k., I’m not proud of it! Those of you who’ve been following my journey to overcome my fears, will note from this picture that I took a step backwards recently.
 
At our dinner at The Palm in Caesar’s Palace, the waiter brought our lobster for a visit before the cook dispatched him.
 
In my defense, I was brave enough to touch the lobster, but every time I did, the waiter made it jump at me. Yes, I squealed like a little girl, but the thing was a bit slimy and it’s tail was fluttering.
 
Afterwards, I was a bit disappointed in myself, having the week before petted a Great Dane.
 
But then I heard my coaching voice echo in my ears: the path to being the person you want to be isn’t always a straight one. We have missteps and back steps, but in the end we move forward if we are focused and truly desire to be the best we can be. Part of the journey is self forgiveness. And part of the journey is learning to love yourself – your foibles and all. By the way, for those of you with Lobsterphobia. You may think you’re safe with frozen lobsters, but Trufresh is planning to sell lobsters frozen in a -40 degree chemical brine that allows lobster revival. The company recently showed a video at the Boston Seafood Show with two undead lobsters squirming around after being frozen stiff!!!! Woody Allen and I will not be buying these lobsters any time soon!
 
 

 
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but those who focus on others, instead of themselves, tend to be happier and more positive.
 
Recently, neuroscientists discovered that when you are compassionate, your nervous system and the emotion control center of your brain, are positively affected, resulting in happiness. In addition, compassion releases oxytocin in your body, which calms stress and boosts immunity. So helping others and showing empathy will make you happier and healthier.
 

 
And helping others doesn’t have to be an overwhelming proposition.
 
Recently I was having a bad day. It isn’t surprising that I would have a bad day considering I am recovering from extensive surgery on my foot, ankle, and calf.
 
Feeling frustrated and helpless, I was stunned at the impact of one simple question my husband asked: “What can I do to make your day tomorrow a little easier?”
 
Just the utterance of the words touched my soul. And the little things I asked him to do made the next day so much better: “Can you put a trashcan next to my Coaching chair and can you move my lunch to the second shelf in the Fridge so I can reach it better?” It took him just a few minutes to respond to my requests.
 
A little compassion. A little effort. And not only did I feel better, but my husband’s frontal lobe lit up, while calming chemicals bathed his body and reduced his stress.
 
Imagine how much happier you could be and what a better place the world would be if we all asked that simple question more often:
 
What can I do to make your day a little easier?
 
 

 
A recent University study found that students who were given the assignment to give or get five hugs a day were much happier than those who did not receive the assignment. We all know that hugging makes us happier, but sometimes we get so focused on surviving our daily schedules that we forget to do simple things that make us happier.
 

 
Touch has been shown to be the greatest language of compassion. You do need to be careful in the work place, but when possible, giving just a pat on the back can greatly increase both your and the receiver’s happiness.
 
As a coach, I am constantly looking for small actions my clients can take to increase their happiness. I find that when my clients focus on one or two happiness actions, they become much happier.
 
So when the situation is right: Hug it Out!
 
 

 

 
New studies on Happiness have yielded these strategies to improve your mood and build happiness, no matter how tough the times:
 

  1. Buy experiences not things.  Purchasing objects is not show to appreciably increase happiness.  Buying experiences will invigorate you, mentally stimulate you, and bring joy into your life.  Try indulging in concerts, plays, sporting events, museums, and dinners with friends instead of a new pair of jeans.
  2.  

  3. Spend time with cheerful people.  We all know that negativity is contagious, but studies show that happiness is also contagious.  Life is too short, stop spending time with turkeys!
  4.  

  5. Keep a Dream Journal.  Just 10 minutes a week spent writing about your dreams and the steps you will take to achieve them will:
  • Improve your outlook
  • Help you be more resilient in the face of adversity
  • Train your brain to think positively.

 

  1. Sweat.  Burning just 350 calories a week through exercise is show to be about as effective as antidepressants in reducing depression.
  2.  

  3. Help others.  People who help others are more calm and less likely to be depressed.  And helping others doesn’t have to be a big burder.  The next time you see someone struggling with packages or with opening a door, help them!

 
It’s that simple to feel good in tough times!
 
 

 
Most of us spend a lot of time and energy avoiding things we fear, but fear actually makes life fun and interesting. And if you only do what’s easy or familiar, you’ll miss out on a lot.
 
This last year I’ve been on a quest to understand, overcome, and embrace my fear.  I believe that if I find greater command over my own fear I will be a better coach and better at running my business and life.
 
On our trip to Thailand, at Tiger Kingdom, I got the chance to face some real fear: getting into a cage with five baby tigers.  Petting tigers is definitely out of my comfort zone!  My close friends know that up until 3 years ago, I would run screaming from a barking Chihuahua.
 

 
It was a challenge to live by my rule:  “Don’t just do what’s easy, do what’s interesting in life,” but I was determined.
 
I gulped when they warned, “don’t turn your back on the tigers,” “don’t forget they have sharp teeth and claws” and “don’t pet their head.”  I didn’t need to be reminded about the teeth and claws and I kept wondering how I was going to avoid turning my back on five tigers at once.
 
In the cage, I was keenly aware of the tigers’ power and speed.  Their deep throated growling made my hair stand on end.  I could tell they weren’t looking at me as prey, but as I edged forward my anxiety intensified.   “Face your fear, reach for what life has to offer, embrace the experience,” I chanted to myself.
 
I forced my hand out to pet the tiger’s belly.  It’s black and auburn fur was silky soft.  It’s breathing fast, as it cooled itself in the humidity.  “This isn’t so hard” I thought. But then it’s tail swatted the air and I nearly jumped into the air.  Luckily I caught myself and remembered not to startle the tigers.
 

 
I calmed my breathing.  It was thrilling to be near the tiger’s majestic, powerful, energy and to see the absolute beauty of these animals.  I felt vibrantly alive and watched them play with each other with great fascination.
 

 
I can attest that the fear intensified this experience as I was hyperaware.   And I’m so glad I overcame it!
 
Whether we know it or not, we often let fear rob us of exciting experiences (we distract ourselves, make excuses, and avoid opportunities).   It could be small things like going to a party or concert, or trying a new recipe or restaurant.  Or it could be big things like interviewing for a new job, starting a new business, taking a trip to an exotic land.  We may tell ourselves we’re too tired or busy or that it’s too risky, but really we’re letting fear keep us from the thrill of petting tigers.
 
Here’s my New Year’s challenge for you:
 

  1. Set three stretch goals
  2.  

  3. Do three fun things you’ve never done before

 
Remember, there’s nothing like a coach to get you thinking outside the box and moving out of your comfort zone.  I’m here to help!
 
 

 

Austerity

 
When I was young, my father led us in a family activity that helped me create a healthier relationship with money.  It was called: Austerity Month.
 
Austerity is an act of self denial as an economic measure.  For Austerity Month we spent as little money as possible.  We bought inexpensive groceries, we didn’t go out to eat, we used the spare change in the couch to go to the movies, and we didn’t purchase anything except the bare necessities.
 
My husband and I have continued this family tradition.  In January we pick two months during the year to be Austerity Months.
 
In our young lean years we ate home-made refried beans, tuna casserole, and macaroni and cheese.  I have to admit that over the years we’ve been a little easier on ourselves.  During our Austerity Months now, we still go out to eat once a week, but we go to an inexpensive restaurant.
 
We get creative about doing things that are free or inexpensive.  We go on picnics, walk on the beach, go to the museum on the free days, have friends over for simple food, watch the sunset, or go to the Arboretum.  We enjoy what we already have:  a nice yard, a comfy sofa, an eclectic collection of CDs, and good company in each other.
 
Through the Austerity Month process, we’ve learned that when you wait a month for a purchase, you often don’t want it the next month.
 
Austerity Month helps us spend less money overall for the year.  But the most important thing is does is re-calibrate our relationship with money.  We get in the habit of spending less all year.
 
We become more aware of the extravagances that creep into daily life:  the lattes, the pre-cut cantaloupe, the extra magazines, sushi takeout, the salad before the entrée, the chic purse, the fancy sunglasses, the ninth lipstick.  We learn that we don’t need things to be happy.
 
We remember what’s really important: good friends, connecting with family, and just being together.
 

Image Credit : creativedoxfot/FreeDigitalphotos.net
 
 

 
Cutting Costs on Shopping

     

  1. Any Item:  Go to Froogle.com (created by Google). Type in any item and it will give you the lowest online price.
  2.  

  3. Prescriptions: Get discount drug coupons by going to:InternetDrugCoupons.com or the specific drug company website (just type in the name of the drug).
  4.  

  5. Groceries:  Have your groceries delivered (Albertsons.com) to avoid high-cost food temptations.
  6.  

  7. Travel:  Expedia.com
  8.  

  9. Greeting Cards:  Send electronic greeting cards
     
  10.  

  11. Low Cost Dining Tips
  12.  

    1. Eat at home, then go out for a drink
    2. Split a meal
    3. Hit a  happy hour
    4. Use discount coupons

     

  13. Low Cost Entertaining
  14.  

    1. Have a pot luck party
    2. Host an appetizer party
    3. Instigate a chili cook off
    4. Organize a neighborhood progressive dinner

     

  15. Low/No-Cost Entertainment
  16.  

    1. Play Frisbee at the park
    2. Take a walk in nature
    3. Play Crazy Eights
    4. Visit a museum on Free Friday
    5. Take a picnic (Perrier, Dove chocolates, salami, cheese, crackers and grapes)
    6. Pop popcorn and watch a movie at home
    7. Dust off your bike and take a ride
    8. Plant some impatiens
    9. Window shop at Sharper Image
    10. Go on a photo safari (take pictures as you walk around your neighborhood or in nature)