Caption: Costa Rican model, Glenda.
What makes you smile? Do you remember the last time you laughed so much that your jaw hurt? Those are moments we never forget, after all, smiling is one of the habits happy people possess. Smiling is a sign of freedom; we don’t have anything to control, we let go and enjoy the present moment.
“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” - Mother Teresa
I feel blessed to have been born in Cuba. I was taught to smile even in the worst scenarios; for example, during the hardest embargo in the 90s, when we had to cut down the daily amount of food we consumed to be able to survive the rest of the month, as we could only afford what the government gave us, I smiled everyday. I did so through all the years I lived there! We all did it, we even smiled and laughed at our own problems. We danced through them. You could see it in the domino players on the street, the musicians, the young people enjoying the fresh air of Malecón, the woman with the cigar..., even stray dogs smile in Cuba.
In fact, I've found that one of the best ways to cope with my episodes of anxiety is by smiling. Luckily, I am aware of my problems and of the fact that I need to work on them by myself. One of the therapies I use is dance. I love dancing because it always makes me smile. The other thing I do is watching comedy series. Two of my favourites are Married with Children (the Argentinian version) and Friends. The power of a smile is synonymous to good emotional health.
And last but not least, I watch my cat play - it is glorious! If you have a pet, pay attention as he/she plays or try playing with him/her. You will be surprised how it will put a smile on your face when you least expect it.
Whatever message you send to your brain, it will believe it to be true. Anthony Robbins always says “emotion comes from motion”. For instance, if you smile you are sending a message to your brain that says, "I am having a great time, I am alive." It’s been scientifically proven that when we smile, certain muscles in our face activate the part of the brain that increases happiness. In my case it has also increased wrinkles, proud of them anyway (lol), it’s part of LIVING life.
If you cry or worry, on the other hand, the message is a negative one. It's alerts the brain of a problem, then your body will react by giving you stress.
There is a study by Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology called “Relations between Body Motion and Emotion: Analysis based on Laban Movement Analysis”.
In no way am I suggesting that you spend your precious time reading what scientists have written about motions and the power of smiling. I rather invite you to try. SMILE NOW! Hold a smile for one minute even if you don’t feel like you want to do it and let me know how was the result. Go back to the memory of those days which made you smile from your heart. Let the experience reign, to give you back that smile that will make your life better today.
What is the power of smiling to me? It is to celebrate life. It is to tell ourselves that we are still alive; therefore, there is hope, dreams to conquer, love to give and happiness to spread. Let’s try, let’s smile despite our problems, let’s rock the brain with sweet motions. Let’s be free!
What makes you smile? I’d love to hear your story.
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