How to Feel Radiantly Happy on Your Wedding Day

Firstly, rest assured that we at Botanica Weddings will be doing everything to ensure you’re feeling very chillaxed on your big day. But the truth is, how you “feel” on the day will have a lot less to do with us than you, and in particular the “frame of mind” of your body. One of the greatest breakthroughs in mental health ever has occurred over the past 30 years with the realization by scientists that we do not feel and store memories and emotions in just our mind – but also in every cell of our body. So those “feelings” attributed so poetically to the heart, or to a “gut feeling”, now turn out to be much more than romantic fiction.

We now know that when we smile, we don’t just reflect a happiness within. We create it and become happier. Conversely, if we feel down and act sad, we become depressed.

There are many well documented cases of this phenomenon of cellular intelligence and memory. One I find particularly fascinating is the case of a woman who received the heart and lungs of an 18 year old man killed in a motorbike accident. As soon as she woke from surgery the first thing she said was “I need a beer.” And then she developed a craving for fried chicken. Sure enough the donor loved nothing more than downing cold beers and KFC chicken nuggets.

Another example closer to home, I used to be a big critic of botox or anything designed to artificially alter our outward appearance. That is until I read a study about a group of women suffering from major depression who were treated by injecting botox into their frown line. After 6 weeks, 52% of them felt better, with their depression reducing by almost 50%.

In other words it wasn’t just their dark mood that had been causing their descent into depression, but the constant reinforcement of a negative perspective of life by frowning and acting anxious or depressed.

I was so intrigued by this that I did something I swore I would never do and had botox injected into my frown line and lo and behold, it was true, because I could no longer frown, I did feel more relaxed and happy.

So what does all this have to do with your wedding day? Well, I’m not suggesting you go and get a botox shot - although I do recommend it if you’re a chronic frowner like me - but following these 5 tips will certainly help.

1. Breathe

The word “nirvana” is a Hindu word meaning to blow out and it is true, peace and feeling calm come from the simple act of exhaling and inhaling deeply. So guys: remember this if you start to feel overwhelmed, standing at the altar! 3 very deep, slow breaths and you will be able to hold and enjoy all that incredible, uplifting emotion. This is the one day of your life when you really do want to be present in the moment.

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Lisa Michele Burns

2. Smile

A big cheesy grin doesn’t just look better in photos, it actually makes you feel happier. Like the botox experiment eliminating the frown response, the physical act of smiling, even when you’re feeling stressed, will actually make you happier. You can practice smiling holding a pencil between your teeth while you work and see how it makes you feel.

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Iconic Bride Photography

3. Hug

Hugging releases the “love hormone” oxytocin (the same hormone that is released for women when they breast feed) which in turn energises you and makes you feel good. As the saying goes, you need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 a day for maintenance and 12 for growth. So hug every one of your guests and you’ll be positively glowing with good vibes. The degree to which we practice human contact and sociability is known to affect our health and longevity quite dramatically.

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Studio Impressions

4. Laugh

A relatively new “fringe” practice known as laughter yoga (or laughter therapy) involves people simulating laughter with vigorous "ha-ha's" and "ho-ho's." In a group setting, this "fake" laughter quickly becomes real and contagious. And that joy lingers; regular participation in laughter clubs has been shown to improve long-term emotional and physical health in a variety of ways, including a significant lowering of the stress hormone, cortisol. So never pass up an opportunity to find something to smile at or laugh about.

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Iconic Bride Photography

5. Stand tall

Assuming the stance of someone strong, with your feet firmly planted on the ground and shoulders back will automatically make you feel more present and in control. This is your day, stand tall, be proud, open your heart up to the universe and soak up the love!

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Iconic Bride Photography