Why you need a ‘smile file’

Need some help cheering up? In a bad mood? You need a smile file! Click through to find out what that is and how to make your own!
Does the title of this post make you cringe a little bit? Are you quietly rolling your eyes? Because I certainly am.

I very nearly renamed this post something clever/witty/slightly snarky but then the rhyming overcame my sense of self awareness and well, here we are.

One of the benefits to being a teacher (I mean, besides all the dry erase markers and luxurious salary of $2) is that occasionally students make things for me. Drawings of other students picking their noses. Really misshapen pictures of horses that look like clouds. Notes thanking me for helping bring over their husbands.
And being a blogger and nearly professional internet surfer has its benefits as well – the occasional kind email from you guys, tear-jerking videos about Christian the Lion and awesome pictures of hedgehogs.
Yesterday, after my fifth failed attempt to teach the difference between “fifty” and ‘”fifteen,” I dug through my emails to find one of the above mentioned kind messages to get me through the rest of the day.
And it occurred to me that perhaps I needed to create a file of all these feel good things – the kind emails, the letters from students, my favorite writing clippings, the postcard from my grandma telling me how proud she is. Maybe this would change my mood faster than processed carbs and butter?
You can't necessarily keep happiness on tap, but you can certainly make it easier to access. Click To Tweet

What would go in your smile file – college acceptance letters? foreign currency? the invoice from your first freelance job? The ticket stub from your first date?

P.S. How to figure out what makes you happy so you can add more of it to your life!

Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

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  1. Rachel @ Suburban Yogini

    Loose change in Australian currency.

    The ticket stub from the first gig we went to together.

    My first blog entry.

    Copies of the cheques from the very first yoga course I taught.

    My old college tshirt


  2. caffeinerd

    Great idea! I keep a folder titled "Happy" on my desktop for images that won't fail to make me smile. I actually really need to add photos from abroad, but as of now it's just a hodge-podge of photos with my boyfriend/friends, gorgeous etsy prints, clothes I love, and very cheery flowers. Maybe some Calvin & Hobbes comic strips, too. 😉

  3. DanaiShips

    Hey darling, I just realised! In your 31 new things, you should scratch out the "get a piece of freelance writing published"!
    Has your Glamour issue reached you yet?
    Loads of love,

  4. muchlove

    how do you always come up with awesome ideas like this?? I love the idea of a smile file! Mine would have silly photobooth pictures with my besties, the feedback sheet from my lecturer when I got the best mark for an assignment in Uni years ago (geek!), and some Spice Girls videos!


  5. Kylie

    Ohmygoodness. I literally — literally — have a draft blog post sitting in WordPress called "The Happy File". Totally along the same lines. And wow. That bunny photo is just, well, stupendous.

  6. Secret Society of

    Danai, I haven't gotten it yet, but I'm soooo looking forward to it! There will be a related post once it's in my greedy little hands 🙂

  7. Ms. Random

    First, I think the title of this blog is simply PERFECT! It may be too cheerful for some, but it is exactly what you should call your personal file.

    Second, I would place the following in my Smile File: a picture of me with my best friend, all of the drawings my students have given me that remind me that I "rock," my concert ticket stubs from NKOTB, Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand and my recent Easter picture with my nieces, nephew and I making "silly faces."

  8. Ms. Random

    OH! I almost forgot! If this is a computer file, I would also include a song by Journey. They always bring a special someone to mind that GUARANTEES a sappy smile on this face!

  9. Chrissy

    For me a simple "I love you" or a hug. or my kitty climbing on my lap or sleeping next to me.

  10. Meri

    Maru makes me smile too. Seriously. When I'm in a bad, sad, blue mood, I check out his blog and watch some videos. That cat makes me laugh!

  11. Cara

    What an ADORABLE idea! instead of turning to food or insecurities, turn to something that we ourselves have been involved in to bump up our moods! WONDERFUL.
    i would have pictures of me and my love having fun, smiling alot. pictures from my missions trips to honduras; music that without a doubt ALWAYS makes me smile; encouraging bible verses!


  12. Charlotte

    I have started working on mine a few days ago, right on time 🙂
    I mostly include sweet letters, notes, emails, sms I receive as I sometimes forget that I am a really likable person.

  13. hip hip gin gin

    This is such a sweet idea!! I think my dog is my own personal little furry warm smile file. I know that is totally sappy but she is a love and hilarious all at the same time and makes me laugh even when she is naughty. Although there is something to be said for processed carbs and butter. =)

  14. RMb

    this is great! mine would include mainly pictures of my daughter & husband. other things would include a season or two of friends, an unexpected $20, and a mix tape or two.

  15. Helen

    I have one of these! Well, if you class a drawer crammed with foreign currency, old tickets, random polaroids, silly little cards and drawings of cake as a Smile File. Maybe I should re-organise it?

  16. Vanessa

    Oh jeez Natalie Dee always makes me grin ear-to-ear.

  17. Nicola

    I love this idea! Like a multimedia scrapbook of happiness 🙂

    Mine would include my collection of ticket stubs – the ones with the best memories in particular, all the trip photos I've taken with my boyfriend, cute IM conversations, long-distance texts, diary entries, a record of my family's in-jokes, and moments shared with strangers (if only there was some way to capture them in a bottle or something!)

  18. alphaandomega

    hmmm. probably a bunch of concert ticket stubs, photos from trips, photos of friends and family, pressed plants, my university acceptance letter 😀

  19. Cassie

    a couple inspirational letters, a picture or two from my son and daughter, a picture of my Husband and I when we were just dating, pictures of Ireland…

    Love this post.

  20. screwdestiny

    Oh man, that cat video is hilarious! I would probably put random stuff from the internet that makes me happy. I don't have a lot of personal stuff that I can think of that would work for that.

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