“Well, you’re sure smiley for someone having surgery,” the anesthesiologist said to me before a major procedure.
What he didn’t know was that I was dissolving my fears.
What I’ve learned, in times of trouble, in times of when I’m unsure, in times when I feel challenged…
Is to turn up the corners of my mouth, into a to smile. Even into a small, very light smile.
When you use the muscles involved in smiling — the zygomaticus muscles — it sends a biochemical signal to the nervous system to relax the fight or flight response in the body.
We’re all under pressure, tension, stress these days.
And one simple way I’ve been relaxing is to practice what spiritual teacher Thich Naht Hanh calls “smile yoga.” Bringing a slight yet genuine smile to the face throughout the day.
Go ahead. Try it now.
Turn up the corners of your lips and allow a small smile to form. Let it stay there for 30 seconds or more.
You may feel your breathing become deeper. Or your shoulders may loosen. And you might just feel more at ease.
Share a smile with someone today. Especially yourself.
Now, YOU: After reading this, did you try smiling? What happened for you if you did?