Can you believe it’s just a few days until June? That means that we’re officially halfway through 2022. Crazy, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but usually around this time of the year I can get a little down thinking about all the things I haven’t managed to do that I promised myself I would. Or all those New Year’s resolutions I definitely haven’t resolved. And sometimes, if the year hasn’t gone my way, I can become discouraged that what’s left of it won’t either.

Let’s face it, it can be easy to find all the things that crown you with a frown and leave you feeling a little down. But even in these low moments, it’s important to try your best to think about the things that you can smile about. Sometimes these things are big, other times they’re barely noticeable.

No matter which category they fall in, if we can train our brains to remember the good stuff in the midst of the bad, we can shift our perspectives, build up our hopefulness and develop an attitude of gratitude that isn’t phased by life’s phases.

So, if like me you’re feeling a little under the weather at this time of the year, here’s a few things that might encourage you to search for that smile and use it to your advantage. And if along the way you think of things that are personal to you, write them down and save them for your rainy days.

1. Laugh a little.

Have you ever laughed so hard you cried? That gut-shaking, belly-aching kind of laughter is the very best kind! When I’m feeling low, I like to think about memories that made me laugh like that. I might not laugh as hard now that the moment has passed, but reminding myself of those moments makes me smile nonetheless. I guess there’s truth in the saying that laughter really is the best medicine!

2. Do something kind for someone else.

Did you know that there is scientific evidence that when we do something kind for someone else our brain releases serotonin and endorphins, giving us a natural rush of pleasure? Sometimes the last thing we can feel like doing when we’re having a bad day is help someone else. However, we might surprise ourselves with how that simple act of kindness can make us feel on top of the world. It also helps us shift the focus onto someone or something else which in turn distracts us from the things that are bringing us down. So, not only do we do a good deed, we get to feel a little bit of freedom from the things that feel like a bit of a burden. Win-win? I think so.

3. Remind yourself that you’ve done it before and you can do it again. 

Memory is such a powerful tool. Our memories can evoke emotions, good and bad, protect us from making mistakes and help us to make important decisions. But another thing our memories do which we may not always consider, is they reinforce a strength that got us through once before. Life is a crazy ride and I’m sure you’ve encountered a few twists and turns along your own journey. And even though those unexpected events don’t always go our way, they certainly make us stronger when we come out the other side. Next time you are faced with a situation, a thought or even a season that makes you feel like all your strength is being tested, remember that you have gotten through tough times before. Remember that you are stronger than you’ve ever been. Remember that you have more wisdom, more experience and more capacity than you did back then. And remember that just like you did the first and the second and fifth and the twentieth and the five-hundredth time before, you can do this.

Those may not seem like much and they may sound silly, but take it from me, a total skeptic at the best of times, they work. So wherever you are, whatever situation you’re in and however meh life feels right now - you will get through this.

Take that frown and challenge it with a smile - I’m willing to bet that the smile will win. You just have to get it into the ring.

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