Let’s start a smile wave

Day 34 of #LiveWell2017

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh


My Sensei once told me a story about a training session he attended where all the participants were asked to hold a mirror in front of their own faces and laugh out loud for two minutes. It felt awkward and silly at first, but after awhile everyone was laughing, for real, from their bellies.

This is an old exercise, dating back to monks in Nepal and India. Laughing or even just smiling is good medicine. The simple act of smiling activates the “feel-good” chemicals in our brains. Our blood pressure drops, our mood lifts, and pain dissipates, naturally.

Smiling doesn’t just make us feel better. When we smile at someone else, research shows it is likely they will smile back. Yes, smiling is contagious. We are symbiotically linked with a smile, making each other feel good.

Smiling can be a sweet and easy mindfulness practice. When we stop to breathe each day, smile at the same time. What a powerful combination of easy-to-do activities. It could change our whole day!

Imagine if we could start a smile wave around the world – turn on everyone’s feel-good chemicals all at once. Could we create more goodness and less strife? Could we find peace?

Today, let’s smile together.


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