THE POWER OF A SMILE AND THE KEY TO BEING HAPPY.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

When you walk down the street in your hometown and make eye contact with strangers, are you the kind of person who smiles or says hello? Or are you one of those people who stare intensely as you walk by but your mouth doesn't move an inch? One thing I've noticed since moving to Australia is that people here are a lot friendlier and have a warmer approach. Every morning when I walk to the gym I frequently hear 'how you goin!' from people passing by and end up having conversations with people as I wait for the traffic light to turn green or when I'm sunbathing at the park. It's something so simple, but I find just smiling at people who I cross paths with (not in the city, or I think my muscles would be permanently stuck like that) has a positive effect on my day and mood. 

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So are Australians just happier people in general and that's why they're like this? Surely it's because there's constant sunshine, Tim-Tams and lots of money to go round. Then again, I have been to places in India and the Philippines where the people have 1/4 of the luxurious that we have, and they have the same positive, smiley outlook to life. So what is the key to being happy and smiles all round? 

I think the main principles are accepting yourself and those around you, being mindful and kind to all living beings and the most important but hardest one - being content with what you already have.

We grow up always wanting the latest gadget, trainers, expensive cars and annual trips to Disneyland and sometimes when we can't afford those things or they're not in our grasp we get all sad and in a hump about it. We become envious of people who have all those things and make the mistake of placing our happiness in the hands of things instead of experiences. 

Whereas when you look at communities in Asia, for example on my trip to India. The kids looked so happy just playing football with us and just being amongst friends and family. I shed a tear when I brought some chocolates for them and one girl wanted to give me half of hers. Obviously they have their share of hardships and not being able to pay rent or your bills is depressing and will no doubt make you sad. But I think living within your means is the key to being happy. I'm currently earning half of what I was earning last year when I had a full-time job back home, but I'm still feeling content and investing my money in things that actually bring me joy (like more trips and festivals). There are some other simple ways to feel more content with life.

1. Spend more time doing things you actually like doing. 


And with people you actually like spending time with. If meeting up with someone for coffee seems like more of a chore than a fun way to spend your time, then don't go. If you feel most 'alive' on the weekends when you're on the dance floor, then go out every weekend - who cares what anyone else thinks. As long as you're not harming anyone! 

2. Help out. 


Fulfilling your own personal goals is all fun and stuff, but have you ever done something to help someone out without getting anything in return? Feels good doesn't it. Whether that's volunteering to build schools in Africa, or helping your friend move out of their house. It feels good to make others feel good. 

3. Get rid of limiting beliefs. 


Can you tell I've been reading a lot of self-help books recently? Limiting beliefs are the reasons you tell yourself you can't do or achieve something. "I'm never going to lose weight" "nobody loves me" "I'm a pain in the ass and nobody wants to be around me". The sooner you cut those out and start believing in yourself and what you are capable of the better you will feel about yourself. Or as the books say, 'raising your frequency and energy'. 

4. Let things go. 


I know, there's nothing more annoying than when people are late, cancel last minute or take your food from the fridge after you've been thinking about getting home and eating it all day. But it takes so much more energy to be annoyed at people or situations that you can't really do anything about anymore. You can't change what they did, but you can change how you react and how you let it affect you. 

5. Stop complaining. 


How many times have you said 'urgh I can't be bothered to go to work' and even though most of us would rather be sunbathing on a beach drinking mojitos, keeping a positive outlook and state of mind is key. Instead think of all the good things that might happen today. I might meet a really nice customer. I'm going to earn X today which means I can justify buying tickets to X. If that doesn't work, you'll have peace of mind knowing it will be over in 8 hours and you can go home and watch Netflix in bed. 

I hope by the end of this post you'll try at least one of these things, or if not just go and smile at yourself in the mirror and say 'today is going to be a good day. I've collaborated on this post with The James Clinic who are helping everyone have a smile they are proud of by offering cheap cosmetic dentistry

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* This is a collaborative post but all words and opinions are my own *


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