“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Some days you just don’t want to smile. Some days the world seems to be a thundercloud following you around, waiting for the right moment to rain on your parade. But it’s at precisely these moments, the moments when you feel at your worst, and everything is gloomy and sad, that you should smile brightly.
Smiling, believe it or not, can trick your brain into thinking that’s you’re happy, even when you’re not. This is because the physical expression of an emotion, like frowning when we’re unhappy or shrugging when we’re indifferent, is neurologically connected the actual emotion. Believe it or not, our emotions don’t exist entirely in your brain, they extend throughout your body as well.
To our subconscious, neither the smile nor the happiness comes first. You may smile because you’re happy, but you can just as easily be happy because you smile. Smiling brightens up your disposition, eases stress by slowing your heart rate, and just makes you feel better overall.
It may sound difficult, but next time you’re feeling down in the dumps, take a minute, breathe in deeply, and smile. You may be surprised at how well it works.