Don’t forget to smile

Sometimes, we get caught out by the simplicity of life. Our mind, which tend to prefer complexity, forgets that the simplest of things can make a big difference to our state of mind and happiness. Why is it so important to smile?

smiling people

Choosing happiness

Life throws many things at us – both good and bad. But, if we can respond by offering an outer smile, we are trying to respond in a positive way. Our smile is our conscious decision to try and remain happy, whatever the circumstance. From this initial positive choice, we can build upon this beginning to cultivate happiness. If we refuse to smile, we are more likely to cultivate emotions of self-pity, wounded pride and unhappiness. If we have difficulty cultivating happiness, then trying to smile at the world and our mind, is a positive step we can take.

Offering something positive

If we can sincerely smile at others, we can give something without even speaking.  When we smile, we are offering our good will to the world and other people. We don’t need to be a millionaire to give something to the world, in many circumstances, a soulful smile can be more beneficial than any amount of words or material aid. To make the effort to smile at a stranger or friend, is to sympathise with their plight and offer some encouragement.

We disarm our enemies

Our face can reflect the emotion and thoughts that we wish to share. If we wish to make enemies, we can scowl and look miserable. But, if we smile at anyone, it can create an atmosphere of goodwill and harmony. By smiling, we create a climate where others can feel more at ease. When people feel happier, they will be more inclined to be tolerant and open-minded. If we smile and put others in a good frame of mine, we will be more likely to get what we want.

Don’t forget to smile at your enemies – You can take the motivation from the wit of Oscar Wilde:

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”

Or we can take the more spiritual approach of Abraham Lincoln:

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

When we smile at other people, it is an inner statement, that we hold nothing against them. If we hold onto resentments, we are caught by this negative train of thoughts and emotions. If we smile, we free ourselves from this emotional tangle. To sincerely smile, is to offer silent forgiveness, and most importantly give ourselves inner freedom.

Peace of mind

In the spiritual life, it is said there are no instant quick fixes for spiritual transformation. But, if we smile we can considerable reduce the tension of the mind; it is cheap and quick. When we smile at our searing problems, it reminds us that we are not indispensable, it reminds us our problems are not the ultimate reality. It gives us that detachment; it is a feint reminder that we still have an inner reserve of happiness.

Smile, smile, smile
At your mind
As often as possible.
Your smiling will considerably reduce
Your mind’s tearing tension.

Sri Chinmoy, [1]

Smiling reminds us no matter how bad things are, they could have been worse.

Smile at the world.
Smile at yourself.
Just smile, within and without!
Your fate could have been
Infinitely worse.

Sri Chinmoy [2]

 

Related

Notes

[1] Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 229, Agni Press, 1996

[2] Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 154, Agni Press, 1991

Photo credit: Unmesh Swanson, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries.

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