Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Power of A Smile

"Is it possible that faith, hope, and love, along with laughter and confidence, combined with the will to live have therapeutic value?"  author unknown

I believe that 10 minutes of genuine, "bust a gut funny" laughter has an anesthetic effect.  It can't come as a surprise to you that I am not always positive.  In fact, sometimes, I'm not in a good mood.  But, remember, it's only temporary.  Take today, for instance.  I will spare you the details of a most challenging day in the world of mental health.  Add to the challenge, if you will, computer issues and being on the phone with a "tech" guy talking me through numerous steps through a very complex  computer system, trying to work out a "bug" in the system.  I'm not as limber as I used to be and getting down under the desk (tugging on the cables connected to the back of the computer) wasn't the problem as much as it was to gracefully crawl out from under the desk, all the while, in full view of patients coming and going.  Mind you, I'm learning more about computers all the time, but this particular experience was a bit foreign to me.  I was mentally exhausted by the time I left the office. 
I had to force my mouth into the shape of a grin for most of the drive home.  Believe it or not, it worked.  I kept my mouth in the shape of a smile long enough that I truly began to feel better.  My mind is conditioned to understand that when my cheek muscles strain upward, it must mean I'm in a good mood.  When my cheek muscles are drawn down beyond my chin, my brain interprets that as a sign that I must not be in a good mood.  When I left my office, I  did not feel like smiling.  I smiled anyway!
Today is my niece's birthday and all of us planned to attend dinner tonight in her honor.  What happened earlier in my day wasn't important enough to ruin our evening with family.  I was able to let go of the events of the day and they didn't have a negative effect on my attitude the rest of the evening.  We were all happy to be together.  Even with the cold wind blowing the snow sideways outside, our hearts experienced the warmth of a family gathering. 
Sure, I'm tired, but it's a "good" tired.  And, yes, I believe in positive stress and negative stress.  Positive stress is what I experienced today.  We were very productive in the office, in spite of the fact that the computers were an issue most of the day.  Had I buckled under the weight of negative stress, today's message would have been quite different, indeed.
Live a lot.  Laugh a lot.  Love a lot.  Fully live, not merely exist.  Laugh til your cheeks hurt.  Love like you've never been hurt.  Just do it.  Today is a gift.  Don't waste it.
Take care.  Love ya!  :)  Nan  :)

1 comment:

  1. Your calendar for today made me think of this video, Nan. I was feeling sorry for myself yesterday until I watched it. This man is simply amazing.
    "Feeling a little down in the dumps, like you're at the end of your rope? Watch this to the end and please don't stop until he stops! I don't know who he is or how to describe this man - just watch the video and then share it if you choose."