If you struggle to smile every day, read this …

Happy Friday! 🙂 You may have gathered by now just how much I adore Fridays. They’re one of my favourite days of the week! 🙂

I just figured out though why I love them so much. It’s not that there’s no work happening. It’s not the promise of a lie in tomorrow. It’s not even a glass of wine or an extra coffee at the end of the night.

I love Fridays because everyone is ever so slightly more relaxed and smiley. (I like to think of it as a mini-Christmas!) Even if it’s been a hard week, they remember to be thankful that at least it’s Friday.

Personally, I also love Fridays because I usually make a conscious decision to under-schedule the day. I’m not one for all that many meetings anyway but, if one is needed, it absolutely, definitely, will not happen on a Friday! 😉

Slowing down the pace a little, taking time to lift up your head and take a look around you at this crazy, wonderful world, having your eyes open to the delight right in front of you, it makes it sooo much easier to find things to smile about.

Do I dare also include another reminder about the reticular activating system? Hmmm, yes I dare. If you’ve heard me talk about this before (and remember what I said!) you deserve a medal and can skim over this bit. Otherwise, read on, cos this is cool!

The reticular activating system, also known as “blue car syndrome” is the reason why, when you find out you (or someone you love) is expecting a baby, you suddenly start seeing babies and people with pushchairs everywhere.

The reticular activating system is why, until I bought a bright yellow car, I never saw another yellow car on the road. Now they’re all over the place!

And the reticular activating system is why, if you start making a habit of looking out for and consciously noting the things in a day that are delightful, you start to notice them even more.

Your clever amazing brain, knowing that if every single stimuli that comes into your brain in a day were brought to your attention you’d go crazy, filters out the bits it deems unimportant. Stuff that is interesting or familiar or relevant to you, you see, hear and smell but everything else, gone.

But how does your brain know what is relevant to you? Most of it is done unconsciously (I don’t remember having a conversation with myself about yellow cars for example) but your brain is smart and it can be taught.

By making a conscious decision to pause and look around you and notice the things that are lovely in your world, your brain flags those things as important to you and, without you even asking it to, will start bringing more of those things into your consciousness.

Neat eh?

As an aside, the same thing is true of goals too. Twice this week I’ve noticed random people who will make a wonderful addition to my latest novel. (The first one is so delightful, he’s going to be the love interest. I can’t wait for you to meet him!) I don’t know these people. In the case of the first guy, I didn’t even speak to him, he was just a random stranger on the street, but my brain clearly knew more than I did and helpfully brought this potential lead character to my attention. Thank you brain 🙂

You might have come across the phrase in the bible about being wonderfully made? It’s really not just a nice turn of phrase. You are brilliant and amazing! And every time I get to geek out on the reticular activating system I am reminded of just how true that is.

So, if you find it hard to smile or notice anything lovely, take heart dear one. All is not lost for you. Your brain can be taught.

Make a conscious choice to look around for something (anything!) lovely to smile about and, before you know it, you’ll start seeing more and more of these things in your day to day.

Sounds lovely doesn’t it? 🙂

Give it a try and let me know how you get on and, in the meantime, keep smiling 🙂