Life has its ups and downs, that's for sure. There are hiccups and changes and grumpy moods. There are rainy days, blah days, and days when everything seems stacked against you.
But wherever you are, whatever's going on, the things that you can control are your own thoughts, your own perceptions, and your own attitude.
It's not always easy, but finding a reason to smile - or at least a reason to hope a smile may be possible down the road - is an important step to feeling better, happier and more resilient.
Here are our tips and suggestions for finding a reason to smile every single day:
- Start with the basics. Did you get out of bed today? High five! Did the sun still rise? Things are going to be okay. Are you breathing? Winner!
- Watch a go-to film or video. Dogs, cats, comedies, TED talks - the internet is full of belly laughs and inspiration. Or choose a favourite old show. (Friends re-run, anyone?)
- Go for a walk. Being outdoors, even if it's dark, overcast or raining, can shift a mood and make you feel like you did something good for yourself.
- Notice your favourite things. Sometimes we overlook the lovely cup of tea we make ourselves, or a favourite photo or picture on the wall. Take a moment to really let the goodness in and bring a smile to your face.
- Give yourself a break. We can be extra hard on ourselves. If you're in a rut of self-blame or critical talk, try putting your negative thoughts on hold for an hour. Just an hour.
- Recall a lovely memory. That time your sister made you laugh, or that day you got happy news. Even memories that are a little bittersweet can still give you a little corner of a smile.
- Think of how you want things to be - how they're going to be. Sometimes, looking ahead to better times is the best way to keep us smiling. Dream that dream. Start feeling the happiness you will feel in the future that you're creating.
What's making you smile today?