Friday, November 25, 2011

Give Thanks

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day yesterday. Traditionally, the holiday is spent with our loved ones (family and friends) and we all give thanks for the many things in our lives that we are grateful for. But what happens the day after? Do we still say thanks for the great things in our lives? A lot of people go right from being thankful to pushing and shoving in lines at stores to buy "things" that aren't really necessary (they are wants not needs).

Instead, why not keep the feeling of gratitude going by giving to those who have less than we do? If you are off today, why not donate your time and energy at a soup kitchen, food pantry, or nursing home? You may also consider helping out a neighbor or family member with things on their to-do list. Helping others is a great way of passing on our gratitude. It keeps the holiday season positive and full of hope. And isn't that what the holidays SHOULD be about?

Until next time, keep it clean!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Benefits of Smiling

There is nothing like seeing the smile of a friend or loved one. It gives us a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. We feel better when we smile at others, too. It brightens our day and the day of those around us. Did you know that there are also health benefits to smiling? Oh yes! Not only does it require fewer muscles to smile than to frown but it helps keep us healthy. Here are a few health benefits than can be gleaned through the simple act of smiling.

  • Smiling makes us more attractive. Let's face it, who wants to talk to a frowning, scowling person? Smiles are far more inviting and makes us more approachable. Give it a try!
  • Smiling changes our mood. Next time you are feeling down in the dumps, try smiling. It will raise your spirits and when that happens, things can turn around for you.
  • Smiling is contagious. It really is. Try it. Next time you are in a room with friends or family, smile a bright sunny smile. I betcha others will start smiling more, too.
  • Smiling relieves stress. This really goes back to the idea of smiling boosting our mood. Same concept. Smiling makes us feel happier and being happy releases more endorphins that help us manage stress better.
  • Smiling lowers blood pressure. When you smile, there is a measurable drop in blood pressure. Don't believe it? Give it a try. Use a blood pressure monitor and write down your pre-smile pressure. Now, smile for one minute and take your blood pressure. I betcha it's lower!
  • Smiling can help boost your immune system. This could be because when you smile, your body is more relaxed and being relaxed is less taxing on your body. This helps stave off colds and the flu.
  • Smiling helps you stay positive. Try this test: Smile. Now think of something negative and see if you can hold that smile. It's hard to do!! When we smile, our body is sending a message to our brain saying that everything is a-okay! That's much better, don't you agree?
Some of the best ways to put a smile on your face are to spend time being with the people you love and doing the things that you enjoy. Take time out to watch a TV show that you find funny. Laughter really IS good medicine! Reflect on happy memories by flipping through photos. And one of the things that helps me smile is being with my dogs. Pets can do so much to brighten up your life and they are an endless source of smiles and laughter.

Hope this helps make you smile! Remember - we all have plenty to smile about. Focus on those things and it will make your days that much happier. Until next time, keep it clean!!