Let’s be real, when you are feeling like crap and people tell you to smile it can be really annoying, and even piss you off sometimes. But, once you get passed being annoyed or PO’d, if you think about, you will know that they might be on to something and are not trying to give you the shits.
Biological psychology researchers have found that our facial expressions, influence our cognitive responses to our environment and experiences. So when you are not happy and you smile you will effectively interpret your experience/ environment as being more positive than what it is. Simply from emulating the physical expression of the positive emotion itself. It works both ways, pulling a sad face, angry face etc. will make you feel worse and bring your mood down, or exaggerate negative interpretations about your experience/ environment.
Now don’t take this so literally that if you start smiling and don’t feel instantaneously better that it isn’t working. As all things emotional, mental, physical and spiritual operate in bidirectional relationships. For anything to work in improving your emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual health on a deeper level,
you have to look at the whole and work with each element to change one. Thesmile is simply the first step as it is the easiest one to make. Our entire being functions on cyclic relationships between the psychical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. When one is out of whack it will influence another, which will influence the
next and so on. Depending on what element of the self is the first to be effected by an experience, will depend on which element of the self is the most volatile. For example, if you are having mental health concerns and feeling depressed the first element of self to be negatively affected by an experience would be your mental self, the thoughts you have about yourself, your life, and what you think others
think of you.
This is because when you are battling depression the mental element of self is weakened by the battle itself, and the biological and emotional challenges that coincide with the condition. Therefore, in order to truly make yourself feel happy, you need to take a realistic small step first, like a smile. You then follow it up with loving, kind, and happy thoughts about yourself, others, and your life. Next you physically act in a loving, kind and happy manner to yourself, others, and your life.
There are so many simple and easy steps you can do to increase your dopamine and serotonin levels (the hormones that affect mood). And these involve physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual exercises. And if you do this enough, little by little, moment by moment, day by day, week by week, month by month, and year by year, you will find that one day you will be feeling genuinely happy all the time. With no force smile needed.
Now, it might sound idealistic and easy, but that is how it works. I am speaking from experience, when people ask me how I got through my depression I say, I smiled and thought good things, I fought every day to choose to be happy and kind to myself again. It sounds easy but it wasn’t easy. It was the single hardest thing I have ever done in my life. There were days when I just didn’t have it in me and I would stay in bed all day, and that was OK. I gave myself a break from life and from the fight, but I would pick up the fight again the next day. And force a smile, a good thought, a good action, and fight to be happy and kind to myself. The consistency in the choice for fighting for change and growth is how you will change
Not every day has to be good, that is unrealistic, but you have the choice every day to fight for your happiness, and to make the most of what you got. If you do this, if you choose every day to be happy, see the good in you, the good in life, the good in others, you will wake up one day and go ‘Wow, I really am
happy, I really do love me’.
So no matter your mood, challenges, pains, or anxieties, give the day and give yourself a chance, and just Smile. Trick your brain to into interpreting your day to be better than it is. Don’t let a bad mood, a moody co-worker, your pain, your anxieties, or your stress get the better of you. Don’t let your mind take your life or yourself so seriously. Take the edge off, change your perspective without even trying and just, Smile. When you take the first step, then the next, and so on, before you know it you would have changed everything around you, including you. You would have created a good day from a bad day, a good week from a bad week. So smile and let your brain interpret things to be better than you might think they are, because in hind’s sight it is all about perspective and choice. Choosing to smile just might be the choice to help you shift your own or someone else’s perspective, lighten the load and brighten the day.
Yasmin works out of Qi on Tuesday and Friday’s offering; Soul Counselling, Intuitive Healing, Reiki, Psychic Readings & Energy Work. Every Friday night, she holds a Healing Night at 7:30PM.