Smile Today: Bright Side Up by Amy Spencer

I’d say that I follow the 80/20 rule with optimism.  Or rather, I attempt to follow it.  Look on the bright side most of the time, but don’t push it too hard if it’s not happening naturally.

That being said, I do enjoy having a small arsenal of tricks in my back pocket to whip out when a blah mood is brining me too far down.  I need ideas to use on the days when nothing seems to be working out properly, even though nothing is really going wrong.  My go to?  Laugh it off and smile it out.

While I would like to say that my personal tips suffice, I’m always on the look out for more.  The same old ones can get stale.  After telling myself it’s okay for the tousandth time, well, it loses its impact.

That’s where Amy Spencer’s Bright Side Up comes in.  The book contains 100 little ways to help you smile, to help you see the light in each moment. While the idea could feel forced, Spencer’s writing is so relatable that the very act of reading it puts a smile on your face.  It feels like your best friend is talking to you, reminding you that everything will turn out okay in the end.

At the beginning, I found myself feeling like I should start using every single little trick she said RIGHT NOW.  It made me feel a bit overwhelmed.  As I got further into the book, I realized that the simple act of reading and reflecting on it was making me happier.  Reminding myself that, yes, things are pretty good, lightened up my mood considerably.

There were moments when it felt like she was speaking directly to me.   Spencer’s voice and her ability to talk to the reader are exactly what make this book stand out as a how-to guide that really works.  You will be able to relate to her suggestions.  You may have tried one and used one.  She doesn’t bombard you with the scientific reasons for achieving happiness.  Instead, she gently shows you through well-written anecdotal evidence.

Her friend telling tech-support the real reason he wants his television fixed?  One of my favorite parts.

You could dip into this book and read a little bit everyday, or you could read it all at once.  I read it like I would a novel and found myself smiling just a bit more after each time.  Get it, read it, put it on your shelf to remind you to be happy.  Bright Side Up is one of the  most accessible and immediate happiness books I’ve read.  In a very good way.

Do you have any go-to happiness tips and tricks?

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