The human brain can be easy to trick. Because we smile when we’re happy, the brain also believes if we’re smiling, we must be happy, and it reacts accordingly.
Smiling reduces heart rate and blood pressure. It’s linked to longevity and also reduces the body’s stress response. Knowing this, I wanted to find ways to purposefully experience the healing power of the smile, so I experimented with three meditation ideas.
- Helping others by bestowing my smile on them.
- Helping myself by bathing in the smiles of others.
- Helping myself by bathing in the smile of the Universe.
After getting into a comfortable meditation position and taking a few cleansing breaths, I worked with the following visualizations:
Smiling upon others.
It can feel overwhelming to list all the people and situations in the world that can use prayers of support. So instead, I mentally visualized individuals, groups, or situations, and I simply smiled as I saw them. With the smile, I felt a sense of pure love and directed it their way.
What we put forth returns to us multiplied, so I know the kindness, love, and healing benefits of the smile were directed upon me as well.
Bathing in the smiles of others.
Batteries need charging, and sometimes you need to be the recipient of the smiles from others.
As I meditated, I mentally asked anyone who would smile at the thought of my name to come into my awareness. I took my ego out of it, and just let people bubble into my consciousness. I allowed images of these people to cross my mind.
People from my past, present, and future entered into my awareness, and I simply accepted the smiles they sent me. It was warm and loving, and it reminded me of all the lives I’ve touched.
Bathing in the smile of the Universe.
Like most spiritual practices, this exercise was incredibly simple, yet powerful.
I simply felt and saw myself being smiled upon by God. I let that smile surround me and flow through me. It was pure light, warmth, and peace.
The smile of the Universe is the balm to ease any pain.
“The greatest self is a peaceful smile, that always sees the world smiling back.”– Bryant H McGill
Spontaneous smiles feel great, but don’t wait for them.
Smiling falls into the “fake it until you make it” camp. Remember, when you smile, even a fake smile, you flip a switch in your brain that says, “I’m happy now”.
For 30-second intervals throughout your day, tip up the corners of your mouth and smile.
Smile while you type on the computer. Smile while you do the dishes. Smile while you take a shower. Smile as you fall asleep. Smile as you meditate.
Be happy now. Feel good now.
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