Smile… To Spread Happiness
“The simplest and most reliable way to make someone smile is to smile at him,” says Marianne LaFrance, a Yale University psychology professor and the author of the book Lip Service.
“Smiles are the most contagious kind of facial expression, even among people who don’t know each other,” LaFrance says. That’s because seeing a smile and showing a smile originate from the same area of the brain.
Skeptical you can change your world by just smiling more often? LaFrance suggests trying this experiment: For one day, vow to not smile at anyone. The next day, smile at everyone.
Then compare both days. Chances are the second day will be one of the best you’ve had in a long time.
Cooperate … To Foil A Mugging
Forget about every Clint Eastwood movie you’ve ever seen. According to former FBI agent Mark Safarik, studies conducted over the past 20 years have all concluded the same thing: To avoid injury or death, cooperate fully with the thief. Since the crook will likely cop your mobile phone or tablet, use technology to nab him later. (Just be sure to first download and activate the Find My iPhone app or the Avast! security and antitheft app for Android.)
If you’re fortunate enough to locate your stolen device, report the information to police, and let them play Eastwood.
Sleep Well for Seven Hours a Night … To Look Younger
Researchers at University Hospitals Case Medical Center have shown for the first time that poor sleep can contribute significantly to looking older. Women ages 30 to 49 who said they usually slept fitfully had more fine lines and wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, and reduced skin elasticity and recovery than those who said they regularly slept well for at least seven hours per night.
Sleep acts as a repair shop for the skin, according to Jeffrey Benabio, MD, physician director of healthcare transformation at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. While you’re snoozing, inflammation subsides, soothing conditions such as eczema and acne.
“Beyond using sunscreen and not smoking, the best thing anyone can do to preserve his or her looks is to get a healthy seven to nine hours of sleep every night,” explains Dr. Benabio.
Water from the Bottom … To Perk Up Plants
According to Mike McGrath, host of You Bet Your Garden on National Public Radio, the best way to water a plant is not from above but rather from below, by setting the pot in a sink with a couple of inches of water for an hour, so that the plant can drink through its roots. Afterward, note how much heavier the pot feels. When it feels light again, add water.
Shower … To Calm Down
Few places offer the opportunity to lower anxiety in as many ways as a shower stall, says Debbie Mandel, stress-reduction expert and the author of Addicted to Stress.
For instance, the act of showering soothes tense muscles, and if you sing in the shower, all the better—singing boosts levels of hydrocortisone (a stress-reducing hormone). Also, talk therapy has been proved to ease anxiety and can be done while showering: Imagine your boss, ex-spouse, or anyone else causing you angst is in there with you. Then tell him or her what’s bothering you. Speak your mind. Use the back scrubber to make a point. Just don’t get angry, shout, or throw the loofah.
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