Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Smile, You Might Feel Better

 If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," 
then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.
Vincent Van Gogh

When I was young, I was told I was good at sketching by art by a gallery owner. I initially believed what he said to me. Later, let me put it nicely, he took advantage of me. Not only did he take advantage of me but I stopped drawing prior to age 16. When I went to college I had to take an art class. It was the first time I had to paint with acrylics and the professor choose what I was to paint. To say I wasn't in to the class was being generous of spirit; however,my friends made fun of my first and last painting for many years.

I learned two things from the above experiences. From the first experience, I believed that if someone paid me a complement they wanted something from me. I also learned to be distrustful of others. From the second incident I believed I wasn't creative. In both cases I believed something about others and myself that wasn't true. It has taken me a long to unlearn the first and I'm still working on the second. So what you think influences how you are and how you act. But what if how you act influences how you are?

*Well, at least in one case scientists have proven this. In many cases if you just smile, you'll feel better. I learned this a long time ago. I have found that if I put a smile on my face, even if I feel bad soon I'll begin to feel better.  This is because, "...smiling activates certain "happy centers" within the brain".

Now I know that smiling doesn't always work. When I was deeply depressed and tried to smile (which I knew usually helped), I ended up feeling like a fraud and it made things worse. In that case, I stopped.

So sometimes when I'm not feeling good instead of putting on clothing that is associated with staying around the house, I'll put on a causal no wrinkle dress, a bit of makeup, and a piece of jewelry. It might take an hour or two to get all this on but it does help. I do feel better when I do it. But the best thing I can put on when I am feeling under the weather is to put on a smile. It almost always makes me feel better.

My daughter smiling.; she is one of the happiest people I know.

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