Breathe – Big Smile

It can be so easy to have a great day. All you have to do is start by taking a deep breath and smile. Smile big, smile bright, smile often.

Have you tried smiling your bad day away recently? I know I have had to. Just this morning as I was leaving out for work – on time and everything – the unthinkable happened. My bus that was scheduled to depart at 7:19 AM was there right when I walked out my house at 7:11 AM. Then I get to the train station and no train is in sight and over 150 people are standing and waiting. I wanted to scream, but instead I smiled and said to myself “it is going to be okay.” It is easy to just start yelling and saying “this is not fair” or “why did this have to happen to me?” or “could this get any worse?” or, in my case, blame the bus driver for speeding down the street and arriving early. I had no words for the train.

So even though things pretty much went south and had me late to work, I still reminded myself that maybe it was not meant for me to be on that bus. I will still get to work, I just will not arrive early as planned. There is nothing wrong with that. Letting all those negative thoughts leave out of my mind put me in a much better mood for the rest of my day ahead.

The best part of all this is every time I smiled, someone smiled right back at me. It made me feel good and I could tell the other person was in a good mood as well. It is amazing what something so small as a smile can do for you. So if you have not already done this today, put a smile on your face and enjoy the warmth of others smiling back at you!


The Power of Positivity


It’s a common concept that gets tossed around in numerous situations. With so many reasons to be negative, we have to find it in ourselves to be positive everyday and not let things get to us. It’s sometimes harder to keep positive on a regular basis, especially with all the crazy things that are going on in the world today. Why is it so important to keep positive? Well the energy you put out is the same energy you’ll receive back. If you emit positive energy, positive things will happen for you. Don’t believe me? Try it!

We constantly have a million and one thoughts going through our minds, not all of them are positive. So how do you change a negative thought into a positive one?

When that negative thought comes in your head, you have to immediately change it. Seems simple right? Not completely, not for everyone. Even I find myself having moments where I should have turned a negative thought into a positive one and instead I have just let it slide on by. However, with practice, comes the ability to really be able to succeed at this. Getting rid of the defeatist thoughts can be a challenge, but it’s very rewarding.

No more saying to yourself “I can’t do this,” or “the task is just too hard,” or “I’ll never get it right.” You have to say instead “I can do this, nothing is too hard for me, and I can get this task completed correctly.” One thing I always find that helps me to get rid of the defeatist thoughts is a scripture: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

That scripture is so powerful and it reminds us that we can do anything we set out to do with the strength of God through Christ. I also like to hum a tune in my head that sounds upbeat and sunny. Sometimes it’s a children’s song like BINGO or Pop Goes the Weasel, and other times it’s funny song I heard on YouTube. Either way it helps bring you out of your thoughts all together.

So give it a try and see the difference it’ll make in your life.


Mindful Breathing

I find that learning to breathe mindfully, is the first step to living a mindful life. It can be difficult when you’re just starting out, but it gets easier. The more you practice, the better you get. Mindful breathing helps you calm your mind. A calm mind is just the beginning to gaining a deeper understanding of yourself.

To make it easy I start with simply find a comfortable place to sit. You can also lay down if you want. In any case, make sure you keep your back straight. Get a timer, and set it to five minutes. While taking a deep breath in and letting it out, slowly close your eyes. To help you only focus on your breath; say the words “inhale” as you inhale your breath, and “exhale” as you exhale your breath. If at all your thoughts began to wonder, just bring your focus back to the words “inhale” and “exhale”.

Aim to practice mindfully breathing everyday for five minutes for a week. Pick a time of day, maybe after you brush your teeth in the morning and/or before you go to bed at night. It’s a good time frame to get you started. On the second week, you can extend your time frame to ten minutes everyday. The next week, fifteen minutes and twenty minutes by the forth week.