Friday, January 9, 2009

Quick way to beat the Winter Blues

[Let me introduce myself as a realist, a positive realist.
I am skeptical of too much TALK about positivism. I rather believe in positive thoughts being followed by positive actions supporting the initial energy of the positive thought.
This as an explanation why I favor an active (as in action) approach in general.
I am not very thrilled with " The Secret" which appears to me like a QVC style commercial shallow version of esotherics.
The Laws Of Attraction are real, though].

During my time as a psychology student at the University of Bremen I was intrigued with a theory which implied that facial expressions can affect our mood.
In other words, reverse the causality of emotions and facial expressions.

In simple words: A forced smile can actually make you feel happy (!?)

This older New York Times article gives a short summary of research findings and scientific opinions for further reading.

I tried it. It works for me.
What easier way to conquer the common New Year's Blues can you think of?
You can even go further and act as if you were happy. Go outside when you really just want to hide from the world, put on make-up when you see yourself as an ugly and sick duck, get some work done when you are the least motivated.

Sometimes we need time to wallow in a less than perfect mood, we are humans and we feel depressed at times. When these time-outs last too long or happen too often and interfere with our functionality or life quality, than a pro-active approach is in order.

Remember, start with a simple smile:)
There is nothing to lose when you pull those mouth muscles up.
Maybe it will work for you, too.
(Now go and smile...)

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