You can't worry and smile at the same time. Try it. First, smile. Now, think of one of the typical worrisome or anxiety-provoking thoughts that messes with your self-esteem and sense of everything being all right. For me, today, it's, "We are getting such bad weather and my husband and children are out driving in it." (Taking. A lot of. Effort. To feel that. Anxious thought. And smile. I'm not succeeding. My smile melts into a grimace when I get close.)
But, I'm not talking about that kind of smiling. I'm talking about a teeny-tiny, personal, private smile called the Inner Smile. It's more effective than an outright grin. I think the Inner Smile is more authentic.
Why? Smiling to yourself is like basking in love: you become your own best friend.
Nobody is losing weight by reading blogs about losing weight. (Not me, at least.) Action is required of us. You can't read a self-improvement blog and improve yourself by reading alone. Action is required.
The Inner Smile is an action you can take. Even if this is an action imperceptible to others, the Inner Smile, it's actually powerful stuff.
Here's how I do the Inner Smile:
1. Let my mouth be very lightly closed
2. Exhale through my nose deeply 5 times
3. Let the corners of my mouth curl up into an almost-smile
I can feel my eyes soften. I notice that I've become aware of my breathing, that I am exhaling deeply. These two things will cause me to feel very relaxed.
The "inner" part of the Inner Smile has to do with the way your body is reacting to this relaxation-inducing smile. Your breathing is steady. Your worries have no room. You're calm. You're content.
The next time your brain gets to worrying, whether it's right when you wake up in the morning, or just Sunday morning, on your drive to work, or prior to a difficult conversation–engage your Inner Smile. It's simple. And effective.
In the long run, the more often your body experiences calm, the more it will crave it. Just because you grew up with anxiety running through your body, doesn't mean you can't train it to love the opposite!