Smile - A Look at False Happiness


Smile... You'll make your brain wonder what your face is up to.

Have you ever seen a poster featuring that old saying "Smile, everyone w i ll wonder what you're up to?"

Where I grew up there was a version of that poster hanging in our laundry room that had Garfield on it, his bi g cat grin

was always pretty humorous.

But no matter how I tried I couldn't force myself to

smile all the time. I felt like a moron trying to walk around with a grin o n my face for no reason. I was just talking to a friend at work and he said he was driving along behind woman and he caught sight of her face in her side view mirror, she was wearing a huge grin. Maybe she was

listening to something funny on the radio, that would do it, then ag ain maybe she was just applying that old " feel good" technique.

That's actually what it is. Check it out - when y ou hear, see or think something funny your brain releases endorphins th at cause you to feel pleasant and happy, the muscles that make you s mile go to work and you en d

up looking happy.

It's been found to work in reverse too. When you sm ile for no reason, your brain will release endorphins causing you to fe el happy. So, you can smile because you're happy, or smile to be happy,

it works either way. But is it a good idea to pretend be happy all the time ? I d on't think so.

Someone who tries to be happy all the time coul d end up being confused with their inner feelings and emotions. There' s no logic in smiling just so others "wonder what you're up to." Even if s miling makes us feel happy, there's a time a nd a place.

There's a fellow where I work who's always sporting a dumb gr in with his eyebrows raised as if he's in a state of euphoria. He lo oks like a complete idiot. I don't wonder what he's up to, I wonder why th e heck he walks around looking like a dope

all day.

A positive attitude is one thing, a false expression of happiness is quite another. Think positively, be positive all you want, that's great. But why sport a smile just to appear happy? Will it truly make you

happy?

Humans have various emotions and facial expressions to match

them. We can't trick ourselves into being happy, we'll only end up fo oling ourselves and looking like demented twits to everyone we pass on

the street. If we're sad we need to feel sad, let the emotion run it's cou rse and get to the bottom of the sadness. If we're angry we need to hand le our anger, not try to mask it with a phony smil e .

Where I grew up there was another poster, this one hanging on m y father's filing cabinet. It was, and still is, my favorite sentiment. It was a

close-up of a majestic bald eagle, appearing rather stoic, with eyes half -massed, beak fixed and stern. The caption: "I Am Smiling."

Be yourself, and feel the way you feel. Everyone will wonder why you're not like everyone else.

Drew Vics, an artist, writer & musician from New Jersey, writes for Myeyez.net">Myeyez.net, & for other websites online.


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