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