Smile Practice: Part 2
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I was practicing some guided meditation this morning focusing on sitting with the feelings of happiness and joy and not having to connect them or to justify them in anyway, but to just feel them. I decided this would be a good time to practice some smiling, which resulted in a little experiment of noticing how I felt with different expressions on my face. I started with the slight uptick of the corners of my lips while trying to focus on the guided meditation, then I went off the rails and decided to focus on my own meditation :). (Side note: One of the greatest realizations for my meditation was that I can make it my own and if something isn’t really resonating with me at the moment, I can allow enough flexibility in my practice to take it a different direction that works for me.) So I did just that.
What Resulted was Powerful
I went from a slight uptick in my lips to letting my face sit in its conditioned frown. I experienced a fairly dramatic shift of internal feelings while doing this. I continued to switch from my resting frown, to slight uptick, to full-on grin and repeated the sequence few times and observed my emotions for a few moments in each position. It was a noticeable difference. With my conditioned, resting frown on my face I felt heavier, more solemn, and less blissful. When I had a slight uptick in my lips, I felt brighter and more joyous, and taking that to a grin only made those emotions grow.
Smiling is Contagious
I have heard and experienced the fact that smiling is contagious, but I never really expected it to be contagious within myself. It amazes me that such a simple, choice-based modification can impact so many things within ourselves and how we interact with the outer world. With this I encourage you to smile a little more today and take note of how it impacts you.