Even when you are breathing through a difficult posture, maintain an inner smile. What you feel and practice on the inside will come shining through on the outside. Smiling changes our mood. Next time you’re feeling down, start with an inner smile and then spread it to your outer lips. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood. When my kids we’re young and would start complaining or crying, I would have them place a pencil in their mouth to form a big, wide grin and then have them look up. They would instantly go from unhappy to laughing and smiling.
The mere act of smiling is contagious and makes us more attractive. Frowns and grimaces push people away, but a smile draws them in. We are drawn to people who smile and want to figure out what is so good. The same muscles we use to smile are the same ones we use to lift our face and make us look younger. Save your money on a face lift, and just try smiling through the day. If you start to feel stressed, it can show up on your face making you look tired and worn down. Go back to your smile to help reduce your stress and prepare you to take more effective action on your concerns.
There’s a reason it’s recommended to watch a funny show when you are sick. The act of smiling is a natural pain killer releasing endorphins and serotonin. Your immune function improves helping to prevent flu and colds. If you have high blood pressure, smiling while monitoring it has been shown to reduce your reading. Try it if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Take your reading frowning first, then take it smiling. Do you notice a difference? Smiling as a natural drug combines these body chemicals to make us feel good.
So next time, you find yourself scowling through your least favorite yoga pose, take a deep breath and smile. Let me know how it feels. 🙂