It is hard to image anyone going through an entire day without smiling (or laughing for that matter), but it happens—A LOT. Results from the field of psychoneuroimmunology remind us that our thoughts can greatly impact our health, but this pathway is a two-way street. We are also reminded that our physiology can impact our thoughts and feelings as well. This was the whole message of Charlie Chaplin’s famous song (often sung by Nat King Cole… see lyrics below) called Smile. By inviting the body to adopt a happy position, brain neurochemistry begins to change—for the better. It’s that simple. A smile is a universal symbol of happiness. A smile is the currency of the heart. As the expression goes, happiness is just a thought away! Can the simple act of smiling make you happy? The answer appears to be yes (check out the link below from Scientific American). Smiling is the art of happiness, and we can all use more of this. And smiling is contagious. Pass it on.
Stress Tip for the Day:
In the book, Eat Pray Love, the author, Liz Gilbert was recommend to sit in meditation and contemplate the premise of happiness. Her Balinese mentor told her to meditate on happiness by smiling. “Just sit there and smile,” he said. Good advice. In doing so, you begin to reflect on all that is going right with your life. Gratitude abounds. In doing so, you tame the voice of the ego that broadcasts its negativity, so you can hear the voice, the melody of happiness and bliss. The next time you meditate (and you can start today), close your eyes, focus on your breathing and contemplate bliss: Think it, feel it, be it…. Also take it outside, as the expression goes…. consider smiling when meeting others, particularly at the grocery store checkout stand (lots of stress in the way of boredom there).
Links, Books and Movies Worth Noting:
A few years ago, I was asked to write a chapter for a book called Smile, by Elan Sun Star, a world renowned photographer based in Hawaii. If you can get your hands on this book, I highly recommend it. Not only are there some great essays, but there are some incredible photographs as well.
Here are a few links to more ideas about smiling:
Quote for the Day:
These are the lyrics to Chaplin’s now famous song, Smile:
though’ your heart is aching,
Even though it’s breaking,
When there are clouds in the sky- You’ll get by,
If you smile through your fear and sorrow,
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through- for you.
Light up your face with gladness,
Hide every trace of sadness,
Although’ a tear may be ever so near,
That’s the time you must keep on trying,
Smile- what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile,
If you just smile.
Photo for the Day:
In culling through many photo ideas for this theme today, I cropped this one to fit… If you happen to know who this smile belongs to, let me know. There might be a small prize…. void where prohibited.
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.