Taking a deep, conscious breath or a engaging in a genuine smile may seem like simple things to do but the implications of carrying them out habitually or intentionally actually makes a huge difference.
Smiling signals our brain to release stress relieving chemicals such as endorphins, dopamine, and and serotonin. This trio can very simply rework the flow of chemicals from stressful situations, which is why our body sometimes brings about laughter in nervousness, disbelief, or even shock.
So, in times when you feel a little lower than usual, make an intentional attempt to bring a smile to your face. Play around with a gentle lip-sealed grin all the way to a wide, unglamorous smile. Try bursting out into a monstrous laugh and allow yourself to feel the difference which these various smiles could alter your mood.
Now to top it off, ending the smile with a conscious breath would help release the last bits of tension your mind, heart, or body still holds.
The difference between breathing and taking a breath is in you being fully aware of how the air travels through each part of your body, and how it shifts your inner cosmos.
Try observing how your normal breath feels without control. Where does it start and how does it end? Try bringing your breath consciously now, from your nose, down your trachea, into all of your lungs whilst expanding your ribs then belly. Allow the air to explore this beautiful cosmic playground, giving it permission to touch the depths which hold the most pain or stresses.
When you combine your smile/laugh and end it with a deep conscious breath, lead your worries and stresses out with a sigh. Repeat the exercise for as long as it feels right till the smile feels natural, and the deep breaths feel easeful.
Remember to make time to smile, and breathe.