The final intentional activity from The How of Happiness is taking care of your body. Recall from my earlier blog that it’s these intentional activities and habits that can account for as much as 40% of our happiness. The first intentional activity was expressing gratitude, the second was deliberate optimism, the third was to stop overthinking and comparing ourselves to others, the fourth was practicing acts of kindness, the fifth was social support, the sixth was coping with stress, the seventh was learning to forgive, the eight was increasing flow, the ninth was savoring the positive, the tenth was committing to your goals, and the eleventh was practicing spirituality and religion.
Dr. Lyubomirsky suggests that taking care of your body can be done through meditation, physical exercise, and acting like a happy person. Most of us can’t meditate or exercise at work, but we can act like a happy person.
Smile. It is the easiest way to act like you are happy. People will respond to you differently, more positively.
Today in class I was explaining a concept and got myself tied in a knot. A student called me on my explanation. He knew I confused the issue, and so did I. Thirty pairs of eyes were on me, and inside I was feeling the anxiety mount. There was a tiny voice of experience in my head that told me this is a critical moment – don’t blow it!
I smiled. I chuckled and cracked a joke about myself. And instead of trying to escape the tension and brush off the question my student posed, I just stood silent, smiling, until I found a way out of the knot I had tied myself in.
My class smiled with me. Almost all of them wanted to see me untie myself, and smiling with each other through those uncomfortable moments helped us work through it.
Live above your circumstances and choose to smile a lot at work today. You will feel better, and so will those around you.