By Lucas Spezzacatena
With 2015 well and truly into full swing (sitting at your desk and blissfully day-dreaming of still being on holidays), we’ve all most likely broken one or even all of our New Year’s resolutions. Yes, yes, those same pesky resolutions to which we solemnly swore to keeping just days prior. Broken. Shattered. Non-existent. Embarrassingly so, probably.
Possibly the most simple and modest of our suggestions, it is widely recognised that merely smiling (even forced smiling!) can move you to being happier and healthier. According to the science, the act of smiling activates the release of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine that in turn, help reduce stress and elicit positive emotions, as we start to actually feel happier. Strangely enough, much like yawning (which to quickly note, is not one of our thoughtful suggestions), smiling is actually contagious. Studies across Northern Europe show that humans can’t help but mimic the facial expressions of others which in turn influences their emotions! When you smile, you automatically appear more attractive, inviting, relaxed and sincere to those around you. The main takeaway: work your smile a little more – if you’re not sure how to react in a situation, a smile never hurts! Amy Cuddy provided a fascinating TED Talk on the profound impact of body language, including smiling, on our lives – give it a watch below.
Set Aside Personal Time
It sounds easy enough right? Well then how do we find ourselves never having a minute purely alone? Funny that! In an age where we are inundated with social media platforms and tech, it seems almost impossible to not be socially connected 24/7. Well, in 2015 we’re making a point (and perhaps, so should you!) of purposely setting aside time on our lonesome at least once a week. Lock up the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, even your LinkedIn (don’t fret, those lucrative job connections will still be there after an hour) and be fearless in kicking your shoes off and enjoying the company of someone you haven’t for quite a while – you! Hey, you may even decide to revisit an old hobby from years gone by.
Uphold a regular health & fitness regime
Be gone with the funky diets and Biggest Loser – esque boot camps! It’s more than safe to say that we've all experienced these doing far more harm than good. Or is that just me? Anyway… the positive effects of simple routine and simple exercise are widely known – put them together and you've a foolproof way of sticking to a regular fitness regime. Whether it be regular jogging, walking the family pup, yoga (be sure to check out our Yoga blog in our archives) or even just running around the kids which counts as exercise in itself, you’ll see a steady reduction in stress as well as improvements in energy, mood and sleep. In fact, studies cited in the Harvard Business Review cheekily point out that healthy – looking individuals are perceived by others as better leaders than even ‘intelligent – looking’ people.
Don’t commit to unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions
Not to be tossing negativity towards the idea of New Year’s Resolutions – hey, some 45% of Australians make at least one each year – but what spurred us writing this blog was continually seeing myself, work colleagues and countless friends shamefully unable to keep to our resolutions each year! And then subsequently lamenting our woes to each other for the next week at least. Our tip is to keep your resolutions relatively broad and hone in on one particular resolution at a time. You may just find that the success of fulfilling one resolve unconsciously spurs you to fulfil another!
We’d love you all to share your own New Year’s Resolutions or even your hilarious failed resolutions on our Facebook page or Instagram!
And cheers to a resolutions – filled 2015!
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