How To Wake Up A Little Bit Happier

Saturday, January 17, 2015

If you're annoyed or having a bad day or need an extra boost of mental focus right before a big meeting or presentation, one quick way to get that boost of positivity is to smile — a huge, cheesy grin — for 90 seconds straight. Yes, get out your iPhone timer and make sure you hold that smile for at least the full ninety seconds. The trick here is that doing this sends a signal to your brain that whatever was just happening is not the end and it's already getting better. With this signal, the brain has already started to rewire itself into a better mood.

The trick to waking up a little bit happier — this is especially helpful if you've labeled yourself "not a morning person" or struggle with seasonal affective disorder — is to do the 90 second smiling trick within an hour of going to sleep the night before. In very simple terms, this allows your brain to process those new connections while you're sleeping, making them even stronger and ready and waiting for you when you wake up.

This obviously isn't meant to replace therapy or your blue light or anything else you may use, but it can be a useful brain hack to add into your routine as you try to navigate days or moments that seem to be a bit more challenging than others.

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