Why You Need to CTFD and Smile More

Why You Need to CTFD and Smile More

Smiling is Seriously Good For You

Mindfulness gurus are out there telling folks to practice a hackneyed version of Lamaze breathing, but all that hoo-hoo-hee turns into “help me” when your lungs feel like they’re going to burst out of your rib cage like the Kool-Aid Man. It’s hard to breathe mindfully when the world is out to get you, and your negative brain isn’t any help — stupid negative self-talk hamster on the stupid rat race wheel.

Everybody needs to CTFD and smile more because smiling rewires your brain into more positive patterns. If you end up smiling creepily at a creeper and they run away scared, it’s a win-win situation.

It’s annoying when some stranger tells you to smile, especially men telling women, but there’s a positive science to smiling. You don’t owe anyone a smile but yourself, and when you smile, you make the world a better place.

Your brain logs the activity when you smile, and the more your lips turn upward, the more your brain effectively shuts down negative thought patterns and generates more positive patterns. Smiling more opens up small worldviews to see more positive possibilities and calms you the eff down.

Smiling Boosts the Immune System

Psychoneuroimmunology studies the connection between the brain and immune system. Depression adversely affects the immune system, but your immunity boosts when you smile. Dopamine, the happiness hormone, releases when you smile because the body reacts to the assumption that you’re laughing. One study found that those who had Botox injections, and consequently couldn’t frown, felt happier.

Even if you fake-smile it until you make it to happiness, it doesn’t matter to your brain — it’s too busy generating dopamine. So, when you’re feeling down in the dumps, whether you’re sad or sick, turn up the corner of your lips and let the magic happen.

The World Smiles, Too, When You Do Mouth Yoga

If you stop to think about it, smiling is really mouth yoga. You use between five to 53 muscles when you smile, depending on how wide that grin is. Science has yet to prove the adage that “the world smiles with you,” but mirroring is a social adaptation and survival skill that all humans participate in. When someone smiles at you genuinely, why wouldn’t you smile back?

There are many positive benefits to smiling as you go about your day. When you notice yourself feeling the positive energy, pause to appreciate the moment and maximize the benefits of soaking it in by smiling. You can’t help but grin when you see a little kid giggling and splashing in a puddle after a thunderstorm. Let that be you, and watch the world smile, too, as you spread cheer and smile in the face of jerks.

Smile When Toxic Pond Scum Stresses You Out

There’s only so much you can put with — and should put up with — but sometimes, you can’t cut jerks completely out of your life. So, what do you do when constantly confronted with their toxic pond scum BS?

Older folks tell you to smile as pretty as you please and “grin and bear it.” There’s something to that tactic.

When toxic pond scum stresses you out, CTFD by turning those lips skyward. One study instructed half of the participants to attempt a standard, neutral smile by trying to turn up their lips with chopsticks in their mouths to engage the necessary muscles without forcing it too much.

The other half weren’t told to smile, but their lips still made a smiling shape due to the chopsticks. All participants completed various multi-tasking activities during analysis. Smiling influences physical states as those who weren’t told to smile still experienced positive effects from the study, such as a lowered heart rate. Smiling affects one’s ability to recover from stress in tense situations and reduce the intense activity of stress hormones as they release from the body in these situations.

Smile to Live Longer and Thrive Socially

What’s the elixir of life? Smiling.

Those who smile more live longer and experience more satisfying relationships. Researchers gathered Facebook profile photos of college freshmen who smiled naturally and those who didn’t in their photos and found participants who smiled reported higher life satisfaction 3.5 years later during follow up. More students who smiled in their yearbook photos also reported higher life satisfaction during follow up at ages 27, 43 and 52.

When you smile, you let go of your mental, emotional and physical rigidness — your cells let go of their rigidity. The world smiles, too, in theory.

Meanwhile, toxic pond scum remains toxic pond scum, but you don’t wade knee deep in the polluted BS. When you smile, it’s like Gollum retreating to his caves to escape the glory of the sun. Leave the creepers and jerks to nurture their toxic “Precious.” CTFD, leave the field of fucks barren and smile more today.
Cover Image Credit: Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.

It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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10 Ways To Keep Your Workout Motivation According To A Personal Trainer

"ALEXA play 'Work Bitch' by Britney Spears."


Keeping your motivation for working out is one of the number one reasons why I think people fail to achieve their fitness goals.

Now I am no "fitness guru" by any means, and I have lost my motivation many times and worked back up.

No one is perfect when it comes to working out, and everyone can have different methods that are successful but from what I have seen, and talking to a few personal trainers, these are some of the best ways to keep your motivation and not lose track of your goals.

If you stick to these 10 ways, you will definitely have a better mindset when it comes to working out, and that will help you push yourself hard because you know that you are capable of much more than you think!

That is the last piece of advice I will leave you with, you are so much more capable of than you think. I recall so many times in the gym, I've thought I was gonna just collapse or crumble cause I was so tired, but time and time again I persevere and finish a set, and see that I can really push myself to the limits, and this is when I've seen the best results.

1. Talk about your goals.

You have to speak your goals into existence. Also speaking about them to others can help hold you accountable and you are working so hard for them, don't give up and let what you accomplished so far go to waste!

2. Get a consistent workout buddy.

This is something that I have found helps me out a lot, my roommate Jordan and I are always checking in on each other to make sure that we've worked out!

3. Want better for yourself, not to impress someone else.

This is also very important, if you have fitness goals solely to impress someone else, you will never be satisfied, or never feel like enough.

4. Want it more than you say.

You really have to want your fitness goals more than you are saying. If you have this goal that is driving you constantly in the back of your mind, your motivation will keep coming from within.

5. Have a scheduled workout plan.

If you have a workout plan that a professional or yourself has constructed, it gives you something to follow and not break. Having a plan for yourself will help keep yourself on track.

6. Take pictures every week!

Seems cheesy, but taking photos of yourself every week can hold you accountable but more importantly, you are able to see results, big or small, if you aren't seeing them in person, you'll be able to tell through the photos.

7. Know what your plan is before you go to the gym.

You should know what your plan is before you go to the gym, try not to just wing it. If you are winging it, who knows if you are really pushing yourself and constantly challenging yourself every gym session.

8. Try your best to maintain a healthy diet during the week.

This can be difficult of course, meal prepping is someting that can always helps! BUT if you don't have time to meal prep, then just go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of healthy snacks to eat throughout the day to keep your motabalism working. Get foods to fuel your body so all your hard workouts don't go to waste!

9. Stick to a plan, it'll be hard at first, but it only gets easier.

Once you get into the swing of things, get into a routine, you'll get used to it. And then you will truly enjoy it, feel great, and have more energy!

10. Surround yourself with others that also have the same goals as you.

As cliche as it is, you do pick up the traits of the people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with overachievers, hard workers, who have the same fitness goals as you, you'll all work hard together and encourage each other along the way!

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