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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Put On A Happy Face?

HealthDay.com posted a report from a study done at Wayne State University that suggests people with the biggest smile will live longer. Awesome! The researchers said, "The more intense smile indicates an underlying happiness, if you will, a more positive attitude, it's hard to fake an intense smile." These researchers had me at hello until I read that last part...the "it's hard to fake" part. Lots of people fake a big smile. How many working moms out there put on a big smile for their kids instead of melting into a puddle of tearful stress so as not to alarm anyone? I've seen lots of criminals smile at the judge...are they happy to be in court pleading for their life? Sometimes a big smile is a lure to get someone to do something, right? I don't believe a smile equals happiness. These days, a smile is more of a courtesy, a habit...you shake hands and it is usually accompanied by a smile. But not all hand shakes are happy shakes! Anyway there is a point to all this! First...don't trust a smile. As Orsen Welles put it, "Fake is as old as the Eden tree." Second...Happiness is really serenity, it is calm satisfaction, it is peace. As Buddha put it, "The mind is everything. What we think we become." It's your thoughts, not your face, that will lead you down a long life path.

P.S. At the end of the article it said, "To learn more about happiness, visit the American Psychological Association." But I say, to learn more about happiness, visit yourself, meditate and evaluate your life, the happiness and contentment are inside you...not at the American Psychological Association.


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