I have a big smile on my face as I write this blog. How could I not? Can you feel yourself smiling, too? Smiling simply makes you feel better.
It is contagious
What is it about a smile that is contagious? All you want to do is smile, too. And it is so easy and heartwarming. Yet, one we forget to do when we are so busy.
We get so caught up in our tight lives rushing around like idiots doing, that we don’t realise how stressed our faces are. When we are stressed it is so easy to feel dull, negative, irritable, annoyed and fragmented. Agree? This all reflects on our faces.
Here is a wonderful excerpt from Thich Nhat Hahn’s book Being Peace. He talks about bringing a smile into all aspects of your life.
During walking meditation, during kitchen and garden work, during sitting meditation, all day long, we can practice smiling. At first, you may find it difficult to smile, and we have to think about why. Smiling means that we are ourselves, that we are not drowned into forgetfulness. This kind of smile can be seen on the faces of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
I would like to offer one short poem you can recite from time to time while breathing and smiling.
Breathing in, I calm body and mind.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment.
I know this is the only moment.
Now start smiling and feel the difference. It is uplifting and opens your face up. It makes you beautiful and attractive. as it relaxes all the muscles in your face. In addition, it relaxes the whole of your nervous system as neurotransmitters called endorphins are released making you feel happier and more relaxed. On top of that, the stress hormone cortisol is reduced. One thing I learnt is that is difficult to be sad when you are smiling. Give it a go and see for yourself. (I am smiling here with you).
When you give and receive a smile it changes and enhances your day. It makes you feel good and vibrant. It gives you that ‘wow’ factor – I want to know you factor.
For those of us who are beginning to see those pesky wrinkles and fine lines appearing on our faces, wouldn’t you rather have laughter lines than sad, downhearted ones? A smile is the most beautiful curve on your body.
Go stand in front of a mirror and start smiling for 58 seconds (I was given this as an exercise to do and can’t remember why it is 58. Plus initially it felt silly). Watch how your face changes and relaxes. When you aren’t used to smiling, it may take some practice.
Love what Dale Carnegie has to say; ‘the expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.’
Smile and the world will smile with you
Make this your morning mantra. Have a great day. Enjoy listening to this smiling guided meditation to give you a start.
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Chantal Vanderhaeghen is an intuitive guide, small business owner, creator of an international skincare brand, passionate philanthropist and meditation, reiki, tapping and mindfulness teacher. She works with women ready to make changes, shatters perceptions of beauty and perfection, and inspires people ready to become mindful entrepreneurs. She lives with her talented man in the Perth Hills and can be found online at www.unfoldyoufreedom.com.au
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