Do you find time to smile?
When was the last time you smiled spontaneously?
Seriously. Can you remember the last time you smiled? Or did something just because it made you smile?
If you’re thinking hard, trying to recall, it is time to find time to smile!
I’ve got a short 4-step exercise for you.
The aim of this exercise is to help you find room in your hectic schedule for tiny but powerful doses of bliss.
4-step exercise to find time to smile
This is the first step to find time to smile.
Map a typical day.
Draw a circle and make a pie chart to represent how you spend your 24 hours on any given day.
For example: if you sleep 8 hours (good for you!) draw a slice that takes up one-third of the circle.
How much time do you spend on other things? Add whatever you like. Examples are:
- Household chores
Just an approximate value will do.
Mark them all on the circle as slices.
Okay! Next step now.
Make a list of what you love, enjoy doing. No need to think too hard. Finish the following sentences with a different activity. And write down the first answer that comes to mind as usually this is the best answer.
I could blow an entire rainy afternoon ______________________________________
When I was a kid, I used to love ____________________________________________
I’ve always wanted to become really good at _________________________________
If I could do one thing every day of my life, it would be ________________________
I can lose track of time when I’m ___________________________________________
Nothing clears my head like _______________________________________________
When I’m feeling drained, all I want to do is _________________________________
I feel most connected to my body when I’m __________________________________
In my daydreams, I imagine myself ________________________________________
I get a shot of energy when I _______________________________________________
Fun, right? I’ll bet you are already smiling after filling the above blanks!
Come back to the circle you made in step 1. Now redraw the time pie. Pencil in fun. Include at least some activities from your list in step 2. Maybe you won’t be able to do some on a daily basis, but some may actually be doable. Take a look at your typical day. Identify the time you spend on activities that are unrewarding or unnecessary. For example, tasks you can delegate. Tasks you can probably eliminate entirely. Then use up that time to find time to smile – scheduling activities that bring you joy and make you happy. How does your new schedule look?
Nothing like a bit of accountability to get you to take consistent action on something. So now, your task is to tell someone. Call your BFF. Share the details of your new time schedule. Talk about the things you intend to do less of. Talk about the things you aim to do more of. And most important, ask her to check in with you from time to time to see if you are sticking to the new schedule. Experts say that people who share their plans with their personal cheerleader—because they care for you—are more motivated to do things and to achieve their goals.
So, there’s your 4-step exercise to find time to smile.
Hectic lives have made us too busy to pause and take joy in the little things. We need gentle reminders to tell us to find time to smile. It might seem a little hilarious when someone tells you to stop what you are doing and breathe—but that little action could very well save you from stress-related health issues. Sometimes the smallest things bring the biggest benefits whether or not we realize it.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
I also want to know:
Did you smile today?
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of inspiring stories, verse, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions and humor.