The thought points to a conversation with my friend recently. We were talking about smiles and I have seen her smile so often and that smile so contagious that I decided to ask her the secret behind her smile and she says.“I smile because I don’t find a reason not to!”I get a little more curious cos the answer sounded so romantic and perfect and I was sure that she was hiding something. I asked –How can you smile when things aren’t fine with you?” How can you erase the bad things that happened to you? And she says with a sparkling smile –“I haven’t erased yet but I don’t choose it to affect my present. I’ll see what to do with it!
COME ON! I DON’T BELIEVE SOMEONE CAN SMILE WHEN THEY ARE SAD!
Of course I was very skeptical when I listened to her. It felt unnatural, I mean if I am sad, I am sad, I feel bad about it, I cry about it, I make a scene if I want to till I feel better and probably continue further till I get enough attention. That feels very natural, simple and probably that is what I have trained myself for and what I am good at. When there is an alternate view completely opposite to what I do, it makes me think, it makes me question, it makes me want to prove her wrong! So the next thought was that I would try and implement the same and prove her wrong! So much for the noble means 😛
I CAN PROVE THAT YOU ARE WRONG!
So, the next time I tried naturally I won cos I wanted to win and I wanted to prove her wrong. It didn’t work, or rather I couldn’t react with a smile, I kept feeling. I tried another time but with the same result. I thought maybe I am doing it for the tougher ones, let me do it for the simpler ones and I tried, it felt good :). It felt nice to be smiling, I was pretending that the whole occurrence didn’t even bother me. It made me feel light, it made life look a little simple and to my wonder, I can’t believe that she was right!
I do understand that it is extremely hard to smile when the times are tough, when the situations are rough and there are not many solutions in vicinity. It may not sound like a sane solution at all. But the more we feel bad about it, the more we add reasons to feel bad about, the more we add stress to what we were feeling bad about. Now we feel worse, either for the same reason or for the reason of sadness alone. I feel that sadness is a cycle, it is contagious. Ever been in a situation when you feel bad about someone and you start thinking about all the things they have done that have hurt you, made you feel bad? Why do we do that? Why don’t we think of the good times? Why don’t we think of something magical that has happened with them?
CAN WE DO IT?
I am sure it is not just the bad times we have had, or else we would never be in touch with them for so long. What if we try and look at all the good things they have done to us, all the good times we have spent. I know it is a little outside of what we do regularly, similar to what my friend did. But does that work? I read somewhere that when you smile, your body pumps feel-good endorphins which don’t let you be in sorrow for a long time. (Way to bring science into it don’t you think? 😉 ) . Why do we want to keep mulling over something till we feel really bad about it, maybe shout at them and prove them wrong, gratify our ego so that we feel good. But the question is AT WHAT COST?
ARE YOU SAYING THAT WE OVER REACT?
I am not saying that we overreact to a situation, maybe we do or maybe we don’t. Maybe we don’t actually realize what is reaction and what is over-reaction when we are in a fit of emotions. But we are evolved people aren’t we? Is it so easy to make us feel bad about something? If someone can make you feel sad very easily, then don’t you think you are giving them a lot of opportunities to and yourself a lot less to feel good? (How to stop overthinking?!)
ITS ALL FOR HAPPINESS
We are really smart people, we have a lot of quotes about happiness, a lot of ideas about the world and the way the world should do things and we also have a lot of ideas as to how we can be better at those. But it is damn hard to implement, and it is very easy to look at something outside the box with a little bit of suspicion like I did. But if it is going to enhance the quality of your life, don’t you think it might be worth a try?
AND THERE IS YOUR HAPPINESS
All said and done, Happiness starts right there, under your nose. When you are ready to let the things go and focus on the good, when you are ready to look at the bigger picture of life and relations than the minor setbacks, when you tell yourself that you are the person solely responsible for your happiness, well then there it is! You have found it, the elixir of happiness 🙂