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This is an exerpt from the book Meditation for Dummies! (No insult meant of course! Heck! I bought it for myself! *S*) Anyway...not only is it something that EVERYONE can benefit from....but especially anyone who is going through any kind of a tough or rough time!

Practicing a half smile.

The Vietnamese Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh suggests that you can actually shift your mood and restore your innate happiness by smiling consciously, even when your spirits are low. Contemporary scientific research agrees, indicating that smiling relaxes hundreds of facial muscles and has the same effect on the nervous system as real joy. Besides, smiling encourages others to smile and be happy as well.

1. Take a few moments right now to form your lips into a half smile.

Notice how other parts of your body respond. Does your belly relax? Does our back naturally straighten a little? Does your mood change in subtle ways? Notice also if you have any resistance to smiling when "you don't really feel like it."

2. Hold this half smile for at least ten minutes as you engage in ordinary activities.

Do you notice a shift in how you act or respond to others? Do others respond to your smile by smiling back?

3. The next time you feel your spirits sagging, practice this half smile for a least half an hour and notice how you feel.

I tried it and it really does work! *S*

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