Smile – Day 3 – There is ALWAYS a valid reason to smile
It’s Day 3 and it’s time for some focus on item 2 on our list this month:
- Appreciate in Action: Throughout each day, practice thinking of something you are grateful for and smiling or expressing verbal gratitude to others.
This is where the pillar SMILE really comes into play.
The action of smiling does amazing things for your life.
When you smile it changes how you feel somehow.
But sometimes it is really, really hard to smile, like when you’re in pain or you just don’t feel good.
Sometimes trying to smile feels totally fake, and nobody wants to feel fake.
As much as people love to quote the saying “fake it ‘til you make it”, it’s hard faking it!!
And none of us really want to fake it…we tend to want to live authentically. It just feels more honest I think.
So what do we do??
Well…smiling or expressing gratitude to others can be especially powerful during tense or hard moments when we don’t feel good.
But in order to do it authentically, we need to learn how to re-frame our THINKING about it.
Here’s an example…
…When I really feel off and just want to scowl at the world, I might say to myself something like:
“I don’t like being treated rudely by that person, it makes me feel sad and angry.”
“But right now I am grateful to be alive, to have a body, and to be healthy, and that is a GREAT reason to smile!”
“So I am going to smile about that…because it’s perfectly OK for me to be happy about that!”
“No, I’m not happy about the way I was treated, or about that painful thing that happened.”
“But I am not required to continue focusing on the pain and mistreatment. It is MY CHOICE what I focus on.”
“So, I choose to think about the MANY reasons I have to be happy, and I will SMILE about those reasons.”
That’s just one way to re-frame things in your thinking.
Here’s the reality:
Hard things happen that don’t promote happy feelings.
But there is ALWAYS a completely valid reason to smile.
The question is, what do you choose to focus on?
Are you required by some mystical unseen force or rule somewhere that says you have to focus on the hard thing that happened and feel bad for some specific period of time?
Of course not.
The challenge is, it’s easiest to focus on the reasons NOT to smile.
But that’s the only reason we don’t feel good by the way…because we are focusing on what we don’t want.
But if you can pause, breathe, and think of one or two very valid reasons you have right now to be smiling, then you can smile authentically for those reasons.
So throughout today, make the conscious effort to smile.
And not just a fake smile, while silently fuming or not feeling great inside….I really don’t see how that’s helping.
You’d be better off crying or expressing the emotion in writing than faking a smile and pretending your emotions don’t exist.
Masking or suppressing your emotions can be very hard on your health and happiness.
But….(and as you can see that’s a pretty big but)
Is it not completely real and true that you are flooded constantly with an abundance of blessings??
And is it not within your power to choose to focus on your blessings just like you choose to focus on any problems?
That’s different than suppressing negative feelings and pretending to be happy about them.
It’s OK to be sad and grieve about some things!
But it’s also OK to be happy about other things!
And it’s interesting how we sometimes feel guilty about feeling happy, when there are things to feel sad about.
But that’s just ridiculous!
Should we not feel just as guilty then about feeling sad when there are things to feel happy about!
Of course not.
So here’s what to do…
Just make the simple effort to think of things you truly feel happy about, then smile about those things 🙂
I think you’ll notice some wonderful benefits in how you feel, and a shift in how your day moves along.
You’ll notice that your mouth in combination with your mind can shift the way you feel quickly!
Joseph Campbell said:
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”
And when you find that place, smiling about it will engage your entire body in the cause of burning out the pain and filling you with joy.
“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.”
And the philosopher named Soren Kierkegaard said:
“Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.”
We can change which thoughts are dominating.
And we can use our mouth to help us.
Sometimes we can even initiate that change with our mouth!
Next time you’re feeling down, you might try going to a mirror, looking at yourself, and flashing a huge cheezy grin.
Yeah, it’s counterintuitive…
But you may be surprised at how effective this is at directing your thoughts to the reasons you have to be happy.
Your smile can be the physical tool used to extricate yourself from irritability or unhappiness.
So make today a smiling day!
And I’m not talking about ‘faking it’.
Smile. And allow yourself to feel happy as you realize you have A LOT to smile about.
And don’t forget to start and end your day with gratitude…in feeling and in writing!
Make today amazing!