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Your Smile Can Lead to Happiness

A little “mouth yoga” goes a long way for a better day!

Your Smile Can Lead to Happiness

Walking to work last Monday, I was not in a good mood, not quite in a bad mood. Then I passed a woman who looked absolutely miserable.

Seeing her made me think about something that Thich Nhat Hahn, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by the Rev. Martin Luther King, once said. He urged everyone to practice mouth yoga (smiling). If you do so, he said, you will feel more positive, at peace.

Hmm, maybe being in a good mood is a choice, I thought. I can’t fake being happy. But what about acting “as if” I’m happy. 

I arrived at my office building and ran to the elevator before it closed. “I don’t know why I’m running to my office this morning,” I said to a woman in the elevator. We both laughed. When she got out on the 4th floor, I found myself saying: “Keep that smile on your face today.” She turned and said, “I certainly will.”

The door closed and I thought: Me too. Today I’m going to keep a smile on my face, no matter what. 

Later, I found this quote from Mark Harrison, who wrote the Effortless Abundance blog: “[W]e should strive to be the creators of our own destiny, orchestrating our experience of life. Everything starts in the mind and ripples out…”

In other words, happiness can start with a little mouth yoga.

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