Smile more - it's worth the practice….



Smile more - its worth the practice….

L.T. Force, Ph.D.

Gerontologist

“We all sing from different landscapes.” In fact, the one thing that we all share and have in common - is the individual uniqueness of our lives….the way we see things….the way we feel things…. and the way we present and express ourselves. It starts with how we are all equipped with unique fingerprints - no two are alike….but that is only where the differences begin. Although we could spend time and verse - in conversation - highlighting the differences among ourselves - there is greater value found in focusing on our similarities - our commonality as a human species.

A day cannot go by, in the American culture, without being bombarded with commercials, ads, social media platforms highlighting how important it is to “eat correctly” and the value found in “daily exercise”. In addition, we see poignant media campaigns - emphasizing the importance of “not smoking cigarettes“ and the visual effects of what can occur if you don’t stop. The focus on the value of proper nutrition, strength building / aerobic exercise and healthy habits cannot be underestimated as factors that can increase the quality of your life and the journey and length of your longevity. Interesting enough however - is the lack of attention and focus on the importance of the : “simple how-to’s” that can enhance your internal psychological profile and thoughts.

What do we know? What we know is - if weight is of concern to you - diet and a recalibration of food supply and intake can be adjusted. In fact, there are recipes for that. What else do we know? We know if flexibility or strength is of concern to you - the routine of physical exercise is of value. In fact, there are trainers and routines to address that. What else do we know? We know if you want to stop smoking cigarettes - there are programs and supports that can assist you with that change in behavior. However, when the discussion turns to emotional balance, stability and growth - one cannot find the vast inventory of resources and support to guide us.

Think about it - Want to lose weight, want to gain strength want to stop smoking cigarettes - here are the guidelines and guidebooks to help you feel better - feel happier. if one wants to adjust their weight - we don’t say to that person: “Be thin”. If one wants to gain muscle mass or flexibility - we don’t say to that person: “Be strong”. And if someone wants to stop smoking cigarettes - we provide them multiple options and supports - we don’t just say: “Be cigarette free”. However, when we come across someone who is depressed or sad - why is it that the default statement that we usually provide is: “Just be happy”? As though the: “Land of Happiness” is an easy and magical road to travel. It’s not. Is it achievable? Yes….but it takes practice….and more practice.

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Happiness: The definition

Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can't help but smile. It's the opposite of sadness. Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment.

(Definition Vocabulary.com]


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From the definition above - we note the connection between: “happiness and smiling”. Knowing this - is a key that can help remove the obstacles or roadblocks one has in trying to achieve a sense of happiness. Dieting, strength training, cigarettes smoking cessation all require small incremental steps to goal achievement - so does securing the feeling of happiness. It’s a simple formula - want to change - want to feel better, more peaceful, more competent, more empowered - then practice the: “art of the smile”.


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The definition of smile:

make the corners of the mouth turn up in an expression of amusement or pleasure….to look with amusement or pleasure

(Merriam-Webster Dictionary)


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Remedy? Everything takes practice - in order to effect change. Smile more? Yes….you will feel better - both on the inside and the outside. Facial muscles change with a smile - as well, internal emotional patterns change with a smile. Treat a smile like a calorie - like the weight of a dumbbell - like the reducing your dependency on cigarette smoking - smile routinely and smile deliberately - incorporate the: “the art of the smile” as a daily and deliberate practice (4 to 8 times a day). It becomes easier and feels more natural with practice - first you will notice the difference and then….everyone else around you will - like the brightness of a sunflower - a smile has a glow - both internal and external.

The “ practice of the smile” is powerful. The “ practice of the smile” is essential. The “ practice of the smile” is vital. The “ practice of the smile” is your friend.