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how to smile more for health happiness and longevity

Loving-Kindness Meditation

We all know by now that meditation carries many benefits for stress management and inner peace. There are specific forms of meditation that bring additional benefits, however, and the loving-kindness meditation is one of them! This meditation involves visualizing yourself and others surrounded by peace and love (it may sound a little odd at first, but you get used to it). The extra peace-and-love component leads to greater feelings of social connectedness and even more of a tendency to build relationships—something that is strongly linked to health, happiness, and longevity.

Gratitude Journaling

Writing about what you’re grateful for in life can benefit you in a few different ways. First, it shifts your focus away from what is stressing or depressing you, and helps you to zero in not only on things that may make you smile, but on things that remind you of all the resources you have available to you, which can also be an antidote to stress. When you write regularly in a gratitude journal, you tend to get into the habit of seeking out things for which to be grateful, knowing you’ll be writing about it later, anyway.

Find The Joke

Sometimes there is humor all around us and we’re too stressed to see it. Other times you have to really work at shifting focus, but there are humorous ‘nuggets’ buried in many of life’s challenging situations. The idea is to work at maintaining a sense of humor when times get tough–or at any time, really. Studies show that laughter really does boost one’s health in several ways: list ways here. So taking a step back and having a good laugh when you feel more likely to cry can really give your mood a boost. This is sometimes easier said than done, but with practice, it can come naturally.