(C) Canstockphoto

Guest blogger:

Melanie Galioto
Founder of Your Smile Yoga

Guess what today is?? Exercise!
Love it or hate it, exercise has so many positive health benefits.  We use exercise to release pent up energy, maintain a healthy weight, to help us lose weight, and it’s good for improving your mood and memory, too!
Here are a few ways that Exercise can make you a Happier person:
1. It increases dopamine in your brain.
    Dopamine is one of the feel good chemicals in your brain.  Exercise is one of the best ways to increase dopamine production (just like laughter!).
2. It helps to reduce anxiety and depression.
    Again, exercise helps to release the feel good chemicals as well as increase the production of them.
3. It helps to reduce stress.
    Check this out…exercise is a form of stress, a low-level variety.  The more you expose your body to this type of low-level stressor, the more you are to better handle others types of stress.
4. It helps to build your self-confidence.
    There’s nothing like a great workout to boost your self-confidence! Your feeling great and you are proud of your accomplishment – AS YOU SHOULD BE!! YES!
5. It helps you get better sleep.
    As you remember, sleep is the fist component of SMILE.  Good quantity AND quality sleep matters. Exercise helps you get those much needed zzzzz’s.
6. Helps with coping skills.
    When life throws you the inevitable curveball (it does and it will, believe me!) exercise can help you cope with the intense emotions.  It is a great go to help you cope, release the pent up energy, and helps to keep you away from drugs or alcohol.
7. It increases your brain cells!
    Yep, getting some good cardio into your exercise routine has been shown to increase brain cells which helps to improve it’s overall performance.
Exercise can take on a variety of forms.  Try several and see what is best for you.  Because, the more you like it, the more likely you are going to do it!
Try Some of These:
1.  Yoga – yoga has so many styles, there is sure to be one that will mesh with you. Hatha, Hot, Kundalini, Warrior, Yin, Vinyasa, Acro, SUP, and oh, so many more! Did you know that I LOVE yoga?
2.  Zumba – dance and sweat and dance!
3.  Dance – Not a Zumba fan? Try taking some dance lessons 🙂 We are HUGE Dancing with the Stars fans and I am determined to take some salsa lessons! What style of dance would you like to try?
5.  Barre – tiny micro-movements along with cardio for a full body workout.  INTENSE!
6. Martial Arts – learn something new and self-defense, too.
7. Walking – perhaps the best and easiest of all. Just grab your shoes and go.  No gym or studio membership needed. PLUS, it gets you outdoors which in and of itself is good for you and your mood.
Really, the list can go on and on. Be creative, find a workout buddy, get your body moving and get yourself feeling (and looking) GREAT! Exercise helps to boost your self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence too. Remember to love your body because it really does love you 🙂
I hope you have enjoyed these past 5 days of learning how important it is to SMILE! You really do need to incorporate these 5 things into your routine to make you successful at life!
Keep moving!
Namaste my friend,
P.S. Do you have a friend that could use some of these helpful tips? Have them sign up for the webinar over at  How to Self-Care When You Don’t Care.
P.P.S. Be sure to open tomorrow’s email…
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The therapeutic value of hugging

hugHugging. (video at the end)

Research shows that hugging releases endorphins, lowers blood pressure, lowers cortisol (stress hormones), improves sleep, and increases social connectedness. How amazing!?

I can vaguely recall that a country (possible Germany around World War II had any many woman to have babies and then give them over to the state. The babes were kept along in cribs without social interaction. If I recall right, their aim was to build soldiers out of these kids. However, most of them died due to the lack of social interaction and human contact. We humans are social animals. Those who did survive ended up having delays in areas of their life. Disclaimer: I don’t have a source for this.

Some of my tips: ask first. Respect boundaries. I [Danny Pettry] provide services for children with abuse-reactive needs. They often have poor boundaries and need to be taught boundaries because they haven’t learned. As a rule for people in the helping field (like recreational therapists) hugging patients is often an ethical no-no. However, sometimes it might be appropriate (in example: rec therapist giving hug to resident in nursing home on her birthday who lacks a family). At our facility, we provide side-hugs for children and teens if they ask for it. The reason for hugging on the side opposed to front is due to the kids past experience with abuse and to avoid having any body parts pressing against a person.

My mentor Jack Canfield argues to lean in to the right when you hug a person so both hearts can be together as one.

I must admit I am very akward about hugging and touching. I did participate in hugging exercises during a breakthrough to success training with Jack Canfield.

You may want to share this video with others who could benefit from it:

Read a post at Happyologist (based on the United Kingdom) on the shocking truth about hugs: