How can a person smile when he is not happy?

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  1. Kevin Peter profile image61
    Kevin Peterposted 11 years ago

    How can a person smile when he is not happy?

    I usually hear people say that keep on smiling to forget your worries. But how is it possible.

  2. creativelycc profile image61
    creativelyccposted 11 years ago

    That's when you have to be an actor or actress and smile big anyway. Believe me I know that there are days when many of us have the blues for one reason or another. When I feel down on my way to work, I say today's the day I have to be an actress.That' when I put a smile on my face and before long I'm feeling good all over; another benefit is it's contagious. You'll get through this, try to be as positive as you can, hang around positive people and less around negative people.

    1. Spongy0llama profile image79
      Spongy0llamaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I can't imagine anything more sad than living only to fulfill society's expectations of you rather than living to fulfill your time as a human being on your own terms and to your own happiness and satisfaction. Don't act any longer, just be smile

  3. SidKemp profile image85
    SidKempposted 11 years ago

    I see two approaches. One doesn't work. In that one, we put on a fake smile and do not really face our deeper feelings. Many people do this. Some people even think they are smiling sincerely, and yet are fooling themselves. I don't recommend this. I think it is better to become deeply self-aware.

    The other approach is to become deeply self-aware and acknowledge our pain. Yes, my cat died last month and, yesterday, I had a falling out with a lifelong friend that may be irreparable. I feel that, and if I need to cry, I will cry.

    And, at the same moment, I am breathing, I am alive. I can feel life. I can feel the flow of life dancing through me, and see beauty all around. That is also true.

    What if I learn to direct my awareness? Then I can put minimal, but genuine, attention on my suffering, and not deny it. And I can focus on causes for joy - breathing, flowers, friends - to renew the life energy in me. This is an ancient Buddhist practice taught by Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh. It is expressed in one of his poems, based on a true story, where he was carrying his brother's dead body across a rainy field to bury him, and stopped to smile at a beautiful flower shining up from the grass, through the rain.

    1. Born2care2001 profile image71
      Born2care2001posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Sid - this is an incredibly insightful comment in which I agree 100%. I would add that seeking the peace deep within is where Hahn's smile originated. Awareness of and Gratitude for what is in us and before us is cleansing. Great answer!

  4. Spongy0llama profile image79
    Spongy0llamaposted 11 years ago

    There is actually a kernel of truth to this statement. The muscles used to smile activate "happiness" hormones in the brain to a limited degree. Sorry I couldn't be more specific, I don't know much about the science of it.

  5. Born2care2001 profile image71
    Born2care2001posted 11 years ago

    SidKemps answer is a wonderfully accurate portrayal of one way to smile in the face of adversity. I would add that because we are human and unique there are probably as many ways as there are people to come to a state of centered-ness that produces joy when circumstances do not seem to support that feeling.

    Another example that comes to mind can be found in the work of Viktor E. Frankl (the father of logotherapy). From his experiences in three different concentration camps he recognized that there is a space between the external stimulus and the physical reaction to it. Within that space, no matter how short in time, there is an opportunity to make a decision upon which your reaction is based.

    Dr. Frankl contended that the quality of life was based on having a purpose. I contend that being aware of who you are, knowing why you are here and knowing you have the power of choice over every reaction and decision would allow one not only smile in the face of adversity, but fulfill every other purpose for which we are experiencing this life!

    May peace always be within and walk along side you on your path of discovery!

    1. SidKemp profile image85
      SidKempposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Born2Care - Viktor Frankl is one of my sources of inspiration for peace and smiling in the midst of difficulty, too. And I appreciate Stephen R. Covey for popularizing his ideas. I hope you'll look at my hubs on Happiness & 7 Habits.

  6. d.william profile image73
    d.williamposted 11 years ago

    How? by learning how to control your facial muscles to be able to put on a false facade.  Many people do not want the world to see them in an unhappy state.  Those with a flair for the dramatics in life want people to see them suffering to get the sympathy and pity they so desperately need.
    Being stoic and smiling the in face of adversity is not a weakness, it is an admirable trait. 
    A woman who smiles at the attendees of her husband's wake is neither demeaned or criticized for acknowledging the kindness and sympathy of others. 
    Laughing, or smiling, when it is inappropriate, like when witnessing someone being harmed, or murdered,  is certainly a different story.
    The phrase; "keep on smiling" is metaphorical for "try to look at the positive side of things and not dwell on the negative".

  7. Renee Abbott profile image77
    Renee Abbottposted 11 years ago

    When you put on a smile, and stand tall, your emotional self will follow. It is harder to stay in a sad state, worry state, frustrated state or depressed state, when you are focus on the present. Now it is what we are focusing on in the present that counts. An example is I have been rather ill all week, but I always kept my focus on an object(s) that makes me feel good. We can shift our consciousness at will, with discipline. Instead of focusing on what is going wrong in your life, focus on what is going well. It takes a lot of discipline, yet that smile just seems to creep on your face.

    Discipline in how we will greet the day and live it is always a choice. We as a rule are govern by our subconscious, which is nothing more than a computer. It is the consciousness that can reprogram our subconscious. Today what do you choose; to let your subconscious guide you or to inspire your consciousness to reprogram your subconscious? If you chose the later, this is an all day discipline, yet very worth it  Being sad can not stand, when one puts a smile on and stands tall. Yes, you might have to make the decision to fake the smile, but it is also a decision to control your emotional state.

  8. susanzheng profile image69
    susanzhengposted 11 years ago

    Hello, Kevin, I think it is possible because smiling can make yourself and people around you feel good.  I don't worry about anything because worriness can not help no matter what you are worrying about.  If you are in a difficulty situation, just do something to change it, if you worry about tomorrow, you will not have time to appreciate today's beauty and wonders, anything happened in the past can not be changed.  If you have this kind of mindset, even somebody criticize you or somebody is rude to you, you will not mind.  Therefore, I think happily living in the present is the best way we should do.  In addition, everybody has the ability to control his own mind, if you choose to be happy in any situation, you can be happy. 

    Please try it and see whether it can work.

    Enjoy your day.

  9. tobusiness profile image81
    tobusinessposted 11 years ago

    If you can't make it, fake it; soon you will be smiling for real smile. take a look at my article on the benefits of smiling, guaranteed to make you smile!

  10. profile image0
    Dilaniaposted 11 years ago

    I keep a journal where I write down everything I'm grateful to have in my life. Every little thing I could think of so I can look at it to train myself to focus on good things. A similar thing would be keeping a list of things that make you smile so when you're not feeling like smiling you can take a look at it and remember all there is to be smiling about. Sometimes when I'm feeling down I can't get out my funk to focus on the positive; it's nice to be able to just open a notebook and have everything right there to remind me that along with my worries there are things to celebrate.

  11. vocalcoach profile image91
    vocalcoachposted 11 years ago

    When I lost my beautiful son to cancer I thought I would never smile again.  Then I learned how to break out in a smile by  visualizing my son's great big smile.  It worked.  When unhappiness surrounds us, if we can remember and focus on some of the funny and humorous times that have happened, a smile will occur.

    Another way to smile is to sing an up-beat fun song.  Singing has been proven to help us 'put on a happy face.'

    Watching babies and little children will also bring on a smile as well as watching anilmals at play.

    I hope this helps.  What a great question.  My best to you!

  12. padmendra profile image49
    padmendraposted 11 years ago

    Man is a creator of his thoughts that flow through his mind and given this fact we can choose our thoughts to be happy or unhappy. Likewise you can change your mood in a single  instant. If you think you can do so, you can feel happiness in a moment of sadness and energy during a time of stress.

  13. WalterPoon profile image69
    WalterPoonposted 11 years ago

    I don't think it is possible to smile when you are not happy, but you can put on a smile, which is a totally different kettle of fish altogether.

    Try laughing with LaughterYoga, if you are not happy. It's easier and more fruitful. Laughing for no reason is the core philosophy of Laughter Yoga. Laughter Yoga was founded by Dr. Madan Kataria in 1995, after  writing an article, ‘Laughter - The Best Medicine’, for a health journal.


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