Archive for January, 2014



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Turns out smiling really CAN make you feel better.

I’ve been researching smiling for my upcoming book, Walking Maggie, and thought I’d share a tiny bit about what I’ve found here.

When you smile, you change your physiology, which actually changes your body and your mood. Even a fake smile will have a positive impact, but the best kind of smile to impact your well-being is what’s known as a Duchenne smile. (Duchenne de Boulogne, a 19th-century french neuroscientist, identified the muscles in spontaneous smiling, including those around the eyes, in 1862, so that big, happy-faced smile has born his name since.)

What happens when you smile?

Your heart-rate goes down along with your blood pressure. Your body releases stress-fighting neuropeptides as well as the feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and endorphins making you feel good. Not too shabby…

To top that off, research has found that you are better looking and more attractive when you smile.

Finally, when you smile – particularly that big, whole-faced grin, it has a ripple effect on those around you, causing others to unconsciously mimic your smile, giving them the same wonderful impact your smile is having on you.

Want to read more about it and see some of the research?

Check out this article on smiling from Psychology Today.


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2014 Word of the Year: Love

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Welcome to 2014!


It’s a new year, full of new and exciting possibilities…

It’s funny, because, really, it’s just another week, another month… nothing has really changed, and yet it feels like we can start anew…

So, let’s take advantage of that and set ourselves up for success!

For me, part of creating a new feeling and new opportunity for success is to choose a ‘word’ for the year. Last year’s word was ‘Receive’ – it’s something I really wanted to practice and learn to do more. In many ways, I succeeded… and, there is much more I can learn in that department, so it’s something I’ll continue to place some focus on.

This year’s word is LOVE.

I didn’t even have to think about it – I just knew that is what I want to focus my full attention on this year. Everything about love… including self-love, finding love where I might otherwise find challenges, learning to lean into love in moments where I might want to choose something else.

This is not about denying myself certain feelings, in fact, it’s the opposite. It’s about understanding that, through loving myself and others enough, I can find ways to express my feelings that are healthy and healing – both for me and for anyone around me.

And, seeing as I struggle on a regular basis with remembering to be kind and loving to myself, and sometimes with others , this seems like a great place to put my energy.

What is your word for 2014? What do you want to focus on so that in the next 12 months you can take a few more significant strides toward being and experiencing a more joyful, abundant and wonderful life?

With much love,

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Categories : inspirational
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