Can smiling help you lose weight?

July 19, 2013 - Psychology

153829622Smile yourself healthy with our seven ways to strengthen your emotional health.

It takes determination and a clear focus on your goals to lose weight effectively – but in order to achieve these things you need to be emotionally equipped. Your emotional health can have a direct impact on your physical health, which is why it’s important to work on what’s going on in your head before you can effectively address what’s happening on the outside.

Here, we offer some top tips to improve your emotional health – which in turn will help you stick to your physical goals.

1. Improve your social network
Good friends and family can act as a buffer against depression, loneliness and anxiety. Make time for them.

2. Limit life’s demands
Create a list of three categories: things you feel you have to do, things you’d like to do and things you really don’t want to do. Work through and use your list to delegate or say ‘no’ to non-essential requests. You’ll manage your time better.

3. Breathe deeply
Practise diaphragmatic breathing for instant calm. Inhale deeply, allowing your chest and abdomen to rise to a count of four, then exhale slowly to a count of four. Repeat this exercise several times a day.

4. Start a gratitude list
Get in the habit of jotting down up to five specific things you’re grateful for each day. Include anything – from the fact you have a roof over your head to the passing smile of a stranger.

5. Cut yourself some slack
Perfectionism can set you up for anxiety and depression. It’s OK to make mistakes. Try using the mantra: ‘Progress not perfection’.

6. Do something for someone else
Help a friend or neighbour who’s having problems. Reaching out to others really helps boost our own self-esteem.

7. Look on the bright side
Studies show that optimisits tend to live longer. Even in the midst of deep grief it’s worth remembering: ‘This too shall pass’.