To smile is truly transformational – I’ve been practising this uniquely human ability more recently and not just for the benefit of others but for my own.
You see, to smile is to reverse the act of scowling, frowning, chewing lips, clenching teeth – which we do without thinking – when we spill something, are running late, crash the computer, are interrupted, annoyed or stressed, etc.
Smiling at such time fools our mind/body connection that not only are we handling this sitution, we’re actually quite happy about it. Yeah – Right!
The point is this – to use our willpower to smile when we wouldn’t normally feel like smiling helps to switch off the stress reaction of fight/flight/freeze. This in turn helps us to keep a cool head and a calm manner and – lo and behold – the problem is sorted without a knee-jerk reaction of anger and frustration.
And, it doesn’t have to be a big cheesey grin – a small mona-lisa smile is all it takes. Oh and to breathe deep and to drop the shoulders helps too.
To smile to yourself when you least feel like it – suffering with pain or insomnia; fed-up with the weather or your work can start a transformational change.
Lastly, and perhaps more importantly – when I think of someone who really gets up my nose – instead of allowing my lips to press themselves into a thin tight line I force myself to smile – okay it feels like a lie but hey! After a while my feelings toward that person are transformed – they soften and become more gentle, just like the power of a smile and that is when a miracle can happen.