This year I joined Festival du Feminime in Kuala Lumpur. It is an event organized by women to celebrate a woman’s talent. One of the sessions that I joined is “laughing yoga”. In this session, which lasted only 45 minutes, we had to do different kinds and different stages of laughing. First, I found the session challenging. I was asked to smile/laugh with no reason at all. However, at the end of the day, I was able to do that … and that moment changed my perspective about myself.

Before that event, I thought of myself as a very serious person. All my friends will definitely say that my face shows a very serious, tense, and sometimes gloomy person. I seldom smile. I only smile or laugh if there is a solid reason for that.
Since that event, I found myself smiling more than before. At first, I didn’t realize it. But there was a moment when I was doing my morning exercise (alone) in a park, and I felt myself suddenly smiling. I felt good about it.

So, I decided to practice smiling. This is what I have been doing until now. Now I do yoga with a smile. I do my walking with a smile. I smile while sitting in a public area. I smile while walking on the road. I smile when taking a bath. I smile when writing this email to all of you. I smile without a reason.

This is what I feel now. When a smile flashes across my face, I feel it slowly changing my mood. My body becomes more relaxed. I am now able to manage my deadlines with a more positive state of mind. I have more power to choose my responses to my worries. I was even able to smile when a friend of mine upset me with her words.

Honestly, I am sometimes still tempted to draw back into my old habits, and put my serious or gloomy face on. However, since I keep practicing smiling as often as I could, my muscle memory starts to record it. So, whenever I am aware of a declining mood, I smile.
So, smile more, even when there’s no reason at all. Smiles boost confidence. Smiles spread joy. Smiles bring happiness.

Let’s practice SMILING more often. Smiling is contagious.

Jakarta, March 2019

About the Author

Hany Gungoro

Hany is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and has more than 30 years of experience in various corporate projects. Most of Hany's consulting work is focused on financial management, people & organizational performance. She is the founder of ICreateME, a platform to help her fellow professionals reinventing their career path, breaking the “I am not good enough circle”, learning more about themselves, and be financially independent. Hany is a yoga and meditation practitioner.

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