Why are some people happy and others unhappy?
Quite simply, people who are happy count their blessings, while others spend their time adding up their troubles. Saratoga Springs’s dentist Dr. Moreau cares not just about your oral health, but cares about your happiness by joining with you in remembering to count ones blessings.
There are numerous studies and surveys conducted to investigate what makes people happy. Saratoga Springs’s dentist Dr. Moreau and his staff at Saratoga Smile Care have adopted what is part of their mission of caring for their patients by reminding them to Smile On Life no matter what. They know that it takes the reminders of others to help a person be reminded that their life is a gift and to smile on it, no matter what, with respect, gratefulness and love.
What simple practices will help me be more attentive to Smile On Life?
Here three simple practices that will help minimize your body’s sympathetic nervous system reactions to the stressors in your life and be helpful in reminding you that, no matter what, life is a gift .
Smile On Practice
This simple practice calls for you to be attentive while doing your daily activities and to:
- smile on whatever is good or going well for you.
This step, with repeated practice will help to condition the mind, through attentiveness, to more easily remember the good events in your life; pay attention to the good in your life and help you not take for granted the little things in life.
- smile on whatever is good with love, respect, gratitude, forgiveness or thanksgiving Here you are intentionally acknowledging the goodness around you.
- smile on what is not going well in your life, or in another’s life with respect, compassion, and gratitude for they are your teachers, your reminders of the paradox of life.
This is a simple, yet sometimes difficult practice that builds attentiveness, gratefulness, respect and love for what is, as it is!
The Smile On Practice helps you to maintain the value of your smile, by smiling with a purpose, a purpose from your Highest Self. What could be a greater gift to the world?
- smile on whatever is good or going well for you.
Smile On Breathing Practice
Begin this practice by getting in a comfortable position with your spine straight and elongating the neck so that the cervical vertebrae become straight.
Exhale completely emptying the lungs. Begin your inhalation while saying to yourself, “I am breathing in..” and slowly inhale. Pausing at the top of your inhalation for a moment
Begin your exhalation while saying to yourself, “ I am smiling on… (here enter who/what you would like to smile on with love or gratitude)… and continue your slow exhalation. Pausing at the bottom of your exhalation and repeat. Repeat the inhalation/exhalation cycles while repeating to yourself, “I am breathing in ….I am smiling on…..”
After awhile there will come a time when you will notice that your thoughts will become fewer and fewer and the space between the thoughts will be greater. When your mind is calm, like the surface of a pond on a very still evening, just rest. Just Be.. Rest in Awareness.
If thoughts should arise again, simply and gently return to ‘ I am breathing in…. I am smiling on… This breathing exercise will lead you to a place of life giving refreshment.
“Secret to happiness is to count your blessings, while others are adding up their troubles” - William Penn
Breathe. Smile. Be. Practice
A more all encompassing practice engaging the body from a physical, mental and spiritual aspect is the Breate. Smile. Be. Practice. This practice stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system that creates positive feelings, reducing stress, enhancing positive emotion and strengthens the body’s immune system through the breath and engaging the facial muscles into a smile.
To breathe is to live. If we are unable to breath, we are unable to live. Everybody knows that. And if our breathing becomes compromised the quality of your life becomes compromised. Taking rhythmic deep breaths- such that the inhalation and exhalation is of the same duration- say to the count of 5-and with a comfortable pause at the each- will calm you and stimulate the release of happy hormones. An additive to this technique is to attach the intention of radiating gratefulness, and love and peace from the center of your chest with each exhalation. Deep breathing enables the mind and body to functional at an optimal level and brings more of a quality of life to you and the world around you. Breathing is a gift of life to yourself and others.
Smiling produces more happy hormones than chocolate. A smile gives the same level of positive stimulation as eating 2,000 chocolate bars! Smiling releases serotonin, natural pain killers and endorphins and positive feelings are experienced. Smiling lifts the clouds of depression and anxiety; improves the immune system; improves appearance; lowers blood pressure; reduces stress and produces the physiology of happiness and health. Smiling, while breathing, becomes intentional and real for you, so that every cell of your body receives a small blessing. Joy becomes real for you and subsequently for others around you. Smiling becomes a gift of life for yourself and others.
To ‘be’ wholeheartedly present to this time is to allow yourself to become unattached to all the stressors in your life; all the thoughts; and the daily tasks for a few moments. It is to rest in the present moment witnessing to what is in that moment, nothing more. It allows you to be present: to physical sensations; listening to your body; feeling of the rising and falling of your chest; feeling your feet; listening to the sounds and seeing the sights around you.
To ‘be’ becomes a gift of being wholeheartedly being available to life, yours and the world around, and not be a prisoner to your thoughts.
The 4 key components of this short exercise are:
- pause whenever you feel stressed
- take a big exhalation followed by:
-a slow inhalation (slow count to 5 -7-8-10, whatever is comfortable)
- pausing at the top of the inhalation (count of 2-5), and
- slow exhalation (slow count 5-10).
- pausing at the of the exhalation (count 2-5) and repeat as long as needed
- put a smile on your face, even if you don’t feel like it The parasympathetic nervous system will be activated regardless if your smile is real or not because it cannot distinguish the difference. However, if the smile is sincere the system will respond more significantly and you will feel more relaxed and centered.
- be’ or ‘rest’ in the present moment, as it is. Thoughts will want to come looking to be entertained or attended to. Don’t try to push them away. Simply acknowledge them as ‘thought’ and let them fade.
- Rest in this moment. Sit in gratitude with this moment. Be in this moment wholeheartedly.