Welcome to ZenAtma’s Monday Meditation series, where we bring you simple ways to:
- live in the moment
- appreciate life
- say goodbye to stress
- be happy
Bonus? Feel good instantly. Yes, we totally love that!
The fact that meditation is a wonderfully effective way to calm down and regroup our energies is nothing new. But the issue is, most of us groan just a little bit the moment it is suggested to us. True, we know it is good for us, we know we’ll benefit – yet it seems tedious to actually get down to doing it. This is probably because we have a misconception that meditation involves difficult procedures and an investment in time that most of us can ill afford to spare.
My aim is to make it easy for you to live a blissful, happy life via practicing easy ways to meditate.
What better way to start the series off, than with….
You’re probably wondering, “Eh? What’s that?” Read on.
I was delighted to find smiling meditation, simply because I believe in it implicitly.
Smiling is Yoga of the mouth.
Have you noticed how even a fake smile makes you feel better?
Sometimes, we let the mind lead and sometimes, the body leads.
When we feel joy, we smile involuntarily, letting the spirit lead.
But it is absolutely okay to let the smile itself lead.
When we smile, things don’t seem so bad any more, right?
Sometimes it takes practice, but you’ll get there.
Smile at life, because you feel the joy of being alive.
Smiling naturally is good, but practicing smiling is equally important to cultivate the habit of smiling. Our face has approximately 300 muscles that become tense when we’re angry or upset. When we smile, we look beautiful because these muscles relax.
A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose
So practice smiling. When we get into the habit of smiling, we spread happiness and those around us also benefit from it.
Start the day with a smile and an affirmation of your awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. A genuine smile is the product of an awakened mind.
How to remember to smile as soon as you wake up?
Use a reminder.
This may be a poster you can see when you wake up. Most of us sleep with our mobile phones nearby – so maybe a ringtone that triggers a smile? You might want to think of things that makes you smile – a happy incident, someone you love?
As you practice, you’ll no longer need the reminders.
Starting the day with a smile helps you greet the day mindfully, gently. Even the beginnings of a smile brings peace and happiness to us, and those we interact with.
Our smile is the most precious and priceless gift we can give someone.
Smiling helps us approach life positively.
Scientifically, smiling sends a signal to the brain which releases the happy chemicals, creating a feedback loop. Even a fake smile becomes real after a little while, becoming a mood-upper. As you smile, breathe consciously. Inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth. Feel the difference.
You can do the smiling meditation anytime you want – standing, sitting, lying down. At a place of your choice.
Getting started with smiling meditation
To begin with, practice by getting comfortable – sit or lie down.
- Take deep cleansing breaths. Close your eyes, inhale deeply through your nose, then exhale via the mouth. Repeat about three times or more until you feel focused on your body and feel “present”.
- Start smiling. Gently. With your lips.
- Be aware of your lips smiling. Don’t be surprised to find your lips feeling happy.
- Let that feeling of happiness spread over your face, conscious about your upper lip, your chin, your cheeks, your nose, your eyes, your brows, ears, head……smiling.
- Pause. Revel in the moment as your whole head smiles.
Now let the rest of your body experience this smile …inside and outside.
- As you’re filled with the smile, think about giving it to those you love.
- Feel gratitude for the happiness you feel.
- Now take three deep breaths before opening your eyes.
- Stretch. Smile.
Wasn’t that easy?
What smile triggers would you use to practice smiling meditation?
Take action now:
- Make a list of 10 things that make you smile
- Put the list up where you can see it for an instant mood-upper
You do know you’re never fully dressed until you wear a smile, don’t you?