It’s a funny thing about being happy. When you are in the midst of it, there is a false security that you will never be unhappy again. Like the universe has finally turned in your favor and gifted you this giddy happy life. The sun seems brighter, the air more clear, and the flowers…well…just perfect!
It reminds me of the way you feel when spring arrives after a long, cold winter. You start to picture summer nights, warm beach days, hot days spent beside the pool and for some reason you are reminded of the carefree days of being a kid with longer outdoor time and more time to play. Yep, it’s happy at its best and there is nothing that can bring you down from this high.
The thing is, there is no way to know how long it will last. In the moment it seems there will be no ending. I mean, how could something that good, with the feeling of the entire universe finally on your side…ever end?
But then something happens, or it doesn’t, and without any real warning at all, it is gone. There was a twitch or something, something someone said, or didn’t say, that thing that happened, or didn’t…or maybe just that little reoccurring pain in your back, that signaled something not so great was about to happen. And in an instant, it is back and you are now in the depths of feeling down and pretty confident that this will never end either.
That is how life is. In the words of Edie Brickell, “Everything is temporary…anyway.” And it is so true! Everything IS temporary. The good, the bad and everything in the middle. Here now, gone too soon. But what if you could actually do something while in the bad, that would help it seem less pressing and more manageable? What if I added to it that it is so simple, that it could be done any time, anywhere and no matter what the situation?
Think about those moments that overjoy you with happy. You smile easily, your face feels softer, your neck muscles less tense, your shoulders even rest easy. That is what the feeling of happiness does to your body physically, and in return, your brain reads the messages of your body and sends happy feelings.
That makes sense when you are happy, yet research shows that even when you are unhappy, you can fool yourself into feeling happy, which eventually leads to feeling just that…happy! How? Simple. In the words of my favorite yoga instructor, ‘Bring joy to your face.”
Whenever we are in a balance pose that seems incredibly hard, and she notices our faces tensing as we focus, she says ‘bring joy to your face.’ Honestly, the moment she says it, I usually laugh. It is kind of funny at first, that is, until you try it. When you smile, naturally or not, it brings joy to your face, right? It makes your face look happy. But that’s not all, once your face is radiating with joy, your mind and body begin to join in as well and begin to feel happy right along with that smile.
So the next time you are feeling down, try it! Bring joy to your face…it will get you back to your happy spot before you know it!