It is easy to smile. Pull your muscles and practise smiling in the mirror. You will cheer up — and also cheer up others around you, says DR PARUL GUPTA
Can anyone imagine a life without a smile? That one and half inch smile on someone else’s face is more than enough to cheer up your life. If you are greeted by a person who doesn’t smile widely, you lose the twinkle in your eye.
A smile is another name for happiness. You don’t have to hunt far and wide for it, for it is right there, just under your nose. What is this smile? It is that curve of your life that puts everything straight. Look at it this way — if you don’t smile, life will be twisted and coiled. Certainly not a happy situation to be in.
Asking someone to smile is also very easy and a fairly common word or phrase that you hear whenever you bump into an old friend who cares. Both of you say ‘bye and you add, “Keep smiling”. But is it that easy to actually bring yourself to smile especially when your life isn’t going the way you want it to? Life comes with sorrow and happiness in measured doses — and even if you are blissfully happy, a stage will come when you are almost in or near a depressing phase.
Depression is that stage of feeling in your brain, when you cannot smile involuntarily any more. It is almost as if you forgot to pass the neural signals to the zygomaticus muscle — the muscles that pull up the corner of your mouth to make you break into a smile.
When you lose your smile, it is like losing your way and embracing the chaos of life. I seriously think that it doesn’t matter whether you are sitting in a bustling place with thousands of people around you, so long as you are smiling. If you are smiling when you are alone, then you are doing good. It means you are happy and content with your situation in life. The smile, first of all, is always for yourself.
Come to think of it, smiles and tears are so alike, and neither of them are confined to any particular feeling. Sometimes, we cry, when we are happy and vice versa.
But there are times when we grow intensely alone and feel so isolated. This intense feeling of isolation makes us feel as if no one ever truly understands us. This is what the loss of a smile feels like. At such times, you don’t want to get out of bed, leave alone interacting with anyone. Sometimes, it is good to sleep and catch your thoughts so that you can analyse them. Perhaps, at the end of it, you won’t feel so bad and even end up in a state of maximum relaxation. Use that time for introspection and once you have reasoned things out, you won’t feel so down in the dumps. Your smile will return. It always does. Like everything else, give your low phase some time. Eventually, you will be over it.
But if you lose your smile and don’t get it back even after a few days, then you might need to take some more drastic action. Meanwhile, remember that it is very easy to smile for yourself at least. Reignite that fire within yourself and once you have found your personal peace, just look into the mirror and try to expand your muscle as part of an exercise programme. You’ll find a beautiful person in the mirror looking back at you.
Smiling is definitely also one of the best beauty remedies in the world. Here is an old saying that I recall: “Beauty is power and a smile is its sword.”
Dr Parul Gupta holds a Masters in Physiotherapy (orthopaedics) and has eight years’ clinical experience. She believes in self-motivation and is always keen to expand her learning through books, religion and spirituality.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels