Even a forced smile encourages your body to produce more oxytocin, the “feel good” hormone. Here’s a short meditation visualisation to promote your sense of emotional wellbeing. If you’re not a visual person, you can simply sense or imagine in any way you can.

Sitting or lying somewhere comfortable so that you can be relaxed yet wakeful, take a few deep breaths to bring yourself fully into the present. Sense that with every in-breath you breathe in peace and calm, and allow every out-breath to be a real letting go kind of breath.

Imagine a beautiful and vast blue sky. Sense that across it is spread a joyful smile. Allow your attention to move now to the vast spaciousness of your mind where thoughts and images can easily float in and out. Reaching across this spaciousness again is a relaxed smile.

Take your attention to your forehead, and feel it open and smooth – relaxed; feel your eyes with a kind inward focus, your cheeks soft, your mouth in a gentle smile (it may only be that you sense a smile, that you “see” the smile within mouth).

Moving your open, kid attention down to your throat and sensing enough softening and space there for a smile and, after some moments, let it move down to your chest, your solar plexus and then your pelvis.