Hello, my pretty little weirdos!
What do you do when you awake on a Monday morning?
If you are anything like I used to be then you probably drag yourself out of bed, but only because of the promise of coffee. After drowning in your preferred caffeinated beverage you will go on to shower, get into your uniform of “adult” and then proceed with your day. With the additional of horrors and embarrassments that often accompany Mondays.
What if you woke up and smiled.
“Fuck yeah! I’m gonna make Monday my bitch!” you say as you jump up. Put on some music (perhaps with earbuds if you wake up before sparrows fart) and smile and dance your way to that coffee pot. Have a shower like normal, but this time you leave your music going. Put on the music that you normally listen to when in a great mood and sing to that shit in the shower. Cliché right? Who gives a fuck? Sing your fucking lungs out! Get out of the shower and get into your “make Monday your bitch” gear. How fucking hot do you look, mother fucker?! Smokin. That is the level of hot you are right now. Then go do it. Do Monday like the god or goddess that you fucking are!
What is the difference? Same shit. Different day. Your attitude. Your smile. That is the difference.
I am one of those weirdos that you see in the grocery shop, pushing a trolley, headphones on, dancing and singing out loud. You know the one. The one that you kinda move a little further away from when you are forced to pass them in the aisle because they are standing next to your favourite brand of mayonnaise so you have to pass them at all. Yep. That’s me.
Got kids and grocery shopping? Still me. I get my kids to help. I get them to stand on the end of the trolley and we take a run up and ride that thang to the next isle. I smile. When they are stressing me out … I fucking smile. And if they seem particularly cray cray that day, I bribe the little cutie snuggle muffin buggers with candy or ice cream or video games because I’m their mum and I can. And then I smile and continue on.
I have depression and anxiety issues. I have struggled with these things for a long time. Probably since I was a teenager but my folks never took me to a doc cause I hid that shit like it was my pot stash. I have been on meds. I have tried pills for this and tablets for that. If they didn’t make me worse then they deffs didn’t make me better. Some made me physically sick.
Now, I am not a “hippie dippie chick” as my dad would call it. I don’t believe in aromatherapy, or acupuncture or homeopathy. But this is different and science can back me up. #boom #sciencebitches
I’m totes gonna link in some good science shit right here… cause yall know how much I love the science but I don’t speaky speaky typey typey the science well…
“Smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress. Neuropeptides are tiny molecules that allow neurons to communicate. They facilitate messaging to the whole body when we are happy, sad, angry, depressed, excited. The feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released when a smile flashes across your face as well. This not only relaxes your body, but it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
Finally, the serotonin release brought on by your smile serves as an anti-depressant/mood lifter (5). Many of today’s pharmaceutical anti-depressants also influence the levels of serotonin in your brain, but with a smile, you again don’t have to worry about negative side effects – and you don’t need a prescription from your doctor.”
Haven’t we all heard someone say something like “you shouldn’t bottle it up” or “venting is good for you” or “you should talk about your feelings”? Science can back me up about this too.
“But we have all heard that it is bad to repress our feelings—so what happens if a person intentionally suppresses his or her negative emotions on an ongoing basis? Work by psychologist Judith Grob of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands suggests that this suppressed negativity may “leak” into other realms of a person’s life. In a series of studies she performed for her Ph.D. thesis and has submitted for publication, she asked subjects to look at disgusting images while hiding their emotions or while holding pens in their mouths in such a way that prevented them from frowning. A third group could react as they pleased.As expected, the subjects in both groups that did not express their emotions reported feeling less disgusted afterward than control subjects. Then she gave the subjects a series of cognitive tasks that included fill-in-the-blank exercises. She found that subjects who had repressed their emotions performed poorly on memory tasks and completed the word tasks to produce more negative words—they completed “gr_ss” as “gross” rather than “grass,” for instance—as compared with controls. “People who tend to do this regularly might start to see the world in a more negative light,” Grob says. “When the face doesn’t aid in expressing the emotion, the emotion seeks other channels to express itself through.””
Smiling when you are not happy is not about repressing your feelings though. We still need to acknowledge when something is wrong and discuss it with someone, preferably with your bestie and with wine and cheese or at least tea and cookies. But we also shouldn’t dismiss the power of smiling.
I find it is a good way to, not just start my day, but when I am doing something menial. Like driving on my way to work. Have a look around (safely) at other people when you are in the car next. The majority of people in their cars look fucking miserable. Make an effort not to be one of those people. And imagine pulling up next to someone who is singing like a loony toon behind the wheel. Does it make you smile? It makes me smile. So if you smile and enjoy yourself, it will probably spread to someone else… Like a cheerful zombie strain without the biting and rotting.
Please, my pretty little weirdos, try it some time. Try it right now in fact. Smile.