When I first started on my path of personal development 17 years ago, one of the very first things that helped me transform my life was experiencing the power of a smile. Not just any smile, but a smile that engaged my full physiology.
You see, before I started learning about NLP, I was an extremely depressed individual, but one of the very first NLP techniques that I learned was a very simple- yet very profound one for me. Again, it’s very simple- and I strongly encourage you to do it with me right now.
All that you have to do is Stand Up and spread your arms out fully… Just like an eagle. I know, it sounds a little silly– but trust me… Do this very simple exercise and you will thank me.
So now that you’re standing up and your arms are spread out, I want you to look straight up at the ceiling and SMILE ear to ear!
OK, now I want you to do that again, only this time, when you have your shoulders back, arms out, staring straight up at the ceiling and smiling, I want you to think of something that would normally depress you but do not change your physiology in any way. Meaning, make sure you’re still smiling ear to ear, your arms are out and you’re looking up…
So long as you have your physiology in this manner, it’s almost impossible to feel bad! Your brain just won’t allow it. You see, your brain will simply think you’re smiling, so you must be happy, and it will release serotonin, and other “happy chemicals” that are normally released when you feel happy.
Of course this alone isn’t going to solve all or your problems, but it’s a great foundation to start with if/when you find yourself feeling down. As a matter of fact, for some of my clients that are going through some very unhappy times in their life, I have them set a kitchen timer for 20 minutes and just smile from ear to ear 3 times a day for 20 minutes each time. It’s a little tricky at first since your mouth muscles may not be used to it- but it’s a fantastic exercise.
And of course Smiling isn’t all that I learned from NLP, and this is very far from all that I teach during my NLP Training , Life Coach Training , and Hypnosis Training programs, but it’s a simple technique that to this day, I use and teach my one/one clients to help them during the inevitable challenging times we have in life.
Here’s a great TED talk on the science behind all that I’ve shared about smiling..