The Smilinggg Daily Practice
The Benefits of Smilinggg
Where do we begin?
Happier, healthier, a greater sense of all round wellbeing, and certainly more optimism and positivity...
The benefits of Smilinggg are vast, and it's only by breaking down the various key components of what makes up the Smilinggg Daily Practice, that we can begin to do it justice. So we invite you to read on and learn a little more about Smilinggg and the elements that make up the healthy, happy and positive protocol.
The Science Behind Smilinggg
The Smilinggg Daily Practice offers hope, provides purpose, direction and a simplified structured health and wellbeing solution to support an improvement in our health and happiness.
Whilst we cannot lay claim to any official scientific research displaying the direct benefits of performing the Smilinggg Daily Practice, we certainly can attest to our own positive experiences of implementing a consistent approach to Smilinggg. That counts for something right?
So if there's no direct science backing the Smilinggg Daily Practice, why on earth would one partake? Well fortunately for you and I, there's a plethora... yes that's right, a plethora of beneficial scientific research covering some pretty key components that make up Smilinggg. These wellness components have been scientifically proven to support an enhanced sense of personal wellbeing.
Personal Wellbeing Wheel
Smilinggg is what happens when you consistently combine physical exercise, a cultivated and intentional practice of gratitude and generosity, and share a smile with those fortunate people you pass. A simple yet truly effective feel good bundle. There's absolutely no denying you'll feel the benefits immediately but for a far greater long lasting impact, a consistent daily approach is most definitely advised! Think of your Smilinggg daily practice as a healthy, happy and positive prescription to be taken daily.
Our recommendation is to give it a try yourself. Just get started today and every day thereafter. Draw a BIG smiley face on your calendar each day you manage to perform your Smilinggg mile. Focus your attention on not breaking your smiley face chain. Observe how you're feeling before and again after. We're very confident you'll be a fully fledged member of the Smilinggg tribe in no time at all.
To help you build the Smilinggg habit, we've put together the Smilinggg Daily Practice Calendar for 2017. It's a free PDF download and well worth using. You can grab your Smilinggg Quest copy by clicking here.
So let's now break the key areas of the Smilinggg Daily Practice down into their separate parts.
The Benefits of Physical Exercise
This is the mile part of Smilinggg. To be consistent with the name we'll call it miling.
To stay healthy, adults should try to be active daily and aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week through a variety of activities. ~ NHS, 2015.
The average adult walking speed is around 3mph, so completing the one mile will take approximately 20 minutes. Performed everyday, you're already 140 minutes towards the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
We see both walking and the distance of a mile as the starting point when performing the Smilinggg daily practice. So what if you decide to jog or run?
In general, 75 minutes of vigorous activity can give similar health benefits to 150 minutes of moderate activity. - NHS, 2015.
A jog or a run that causes you to breathe hard and fast whilst struggling to say more than a few words without pausing for breath can be determined as vigorous activity.
The research and information above was obtained from the Benefits of Exercise page of the NHS website. There's also a really cool summary infographic on the health benefits of being more active, which can be viewed here courtesy of the Department of Health.
The Benefits of Gratitude and Generosity
Gratitude and Generosity
This is what makes up the three G's of Smilinggg. Well, two of the G's. The third G is Growth. Personal growth is a welcome by-product of what is attained when the Smilinggg daily practice is consistently performed. It is a dynamic process of positive change and growth.
"If [thankfulness/gratitude] were a drug, it would be the world's best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system." ~ Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy
Just as the Smilinggg Daily practice video states, expressing gratitude is as simple as making a conscious decision to actively consider and spend a period of time thinking about everything, and everyone good in your life, whilst appreciating the beauty that exists around you with each and every step.
The science behind positive psychology and the area of gratitude is full of interesting facts and benefits. So it might come as little surprise, that this simple gratitude practice in turn will likely put a smile on your face.
From personal Smilinggg experience, I found repetition and consistency key in both deepening and strengthening my respective gratitude and generosity 'muscles'. The more frequently I expressed gratitude and generously smiled and connected with my immediate circle of influence, the more optimistic and positive my thoughts were at various other times of the day. My gratitude delved deeper too. What perhaps started as 'surface level' gratitude, such as being appreciative of my house, clothes and other tangible things, soon became a deeper rooted appreciation with thanks for my heart, eyesight, legs and suchlike, things I've often overlooked in the past. I can only associate this greater gratitude depth with practicing both consistently and frequently.
What began as a set gratitude practice within the confines of my Smilinggg mile each day has since spilled over into more frequent times throughout each day. I find myself giving three simple "thank you's" on waking, after successfully completing a swim, bike or run session. After finishing breakfast, lunch, dinner or one of my many snacks throughout the day.
Who am I thanking? For me I'm thanking what I like to label 'nature' or the universe as it were, for you it might be something or somebody else. Whatever works for you. I'm certainly developing a habit for expressing gratitude for everything that is greater than myself and particularly beyond my control... you could even call it luck or fortune, yet expressing gratitude for what is, hasn't always presented itself initially as good fortune or a stroke of luck. However, with time, I've been able to at least appreciate whatever is thrown my way, knowing that my greatest lessons, experiences and growth has been in the face of adversity.
I just feel far more positive, grateful and abundant when I give respect and thanks to the sense of a connection to something greater than myself.
Gratitude and Generosity Research Findings
The following summary snippets have been taken from external sources. Please click on the link to access the content within its context via the website of origin.
- In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).
- A daily gratitude intervention (self-guided exercises) with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others). There was no difference in levels of unpleasant emotions reported in the three groups (Emmons Lab).
- Participants in the daily gratitude condition were more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem or having offered emotional support to another, relative to the hassles or social comparison condition (Emmons Lab).
- Recent studies have shown that generosity and gratitude go hand in hand both at a psychological and neurobiological level. Generosity and gratitude are separate sides of the same coin. They are symbiotic. Fortunately, each of us has the free-will to kickstart the neurobiological feedback loop—and upward spiral of well-being—that is triggered by small acts of generosity and gratitude each and every day of our lives. Why not practice a small act of generosity today? (Christopher Bergland, 2015 @ Psychology Today).
Further Reading on Gratitude and Generosity
- Psychology Today on Generosity
- Psychology Today on Gratitude
- Froh, J. J.,Fan, J., Emmons, R. A., Bono, G., Huebner, E. S., & Watkins, P. (2011). Measuring gratitude in youth: Assessing the psychometric properties of adult gratitude scales in children and adolescents. Psychological Assessment. [pdf]
- Emmons, R. A., & Mishra, A. (2012). Why gratitude enhances well-being: What we know, what we need to know. In Sheldon, K., Kashdan, T., & Steger, M.F. (Eds.) Designing the future of positive psychology: Taking stock and moving forward. New York: Oxford University Press. [pdf]
The Benefits of Sharing A Smile
I'm sure you've guessed it by now. The smile is the overall notion of Smilinggg as both the Daily Practice and overall philosophy.
"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." ~ Mother Teresa.
What you may not know, the third G - growth, was originally directly relating to the action of giving a smile to a stranger. For some, including me, this used to be quite an uncomfortable thing to do. What's the key component to personal development and growth? Being uncomfortable. Stepping out of your comfort zone, as cliche as it sounds, it certainly holds truth. There's a reason it's brandished about so frequently. I'll finish this paragraph with another cliche saying... What doesn't challenge you, won't change you.
Just like any habit, the action requires plenty of repetition to master. This is much less about the small gesture of giving a smile as it is, cultivating the virtue of courage. For every smile you give, it not only benefits the receiver, it also benefits you on so many levels as previously noted. But for me, the greatest behavioural change has been a strengthening of my courage 'muscle' in situations beyond the Smilinggg Daily Practice.
Decades of research bear out the basic truth: your mood is elevated and your stress is reduced if you plaster a big smile on your face, even for a short period of time. (Frowns have been shown to have the opposite effect.) The smile doesn't have to be based on real emotion- faking it works. And while the research details vary, I'd recommend going with a full, true smile that involves your eyes as well as your mouth. That's almost certainly a more potent mood changer (Roger Dooley, 2013 @ Forbes).
Stop Reading and Start Smilinggg
I hope I've provided you with adequate information to back-up the Smilinggg Daily Practice.
I hate to steal Nike's famous quote but I'm going to...
JUST DO IT! Start Smilinggg right NOW!
The Smilinggg Story
If you're interested to read the story of how Smilinggg was born, you can do so by clicking here.