Making smiling an exercise ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Why should I smile when there is no joy in me? The answer to that is: Smiling is a practice. There are over three hundred muscles in your face. When you are angry or fearful, these muscles tense up. The tension in these muscles creates a feeling of hardness. If you know how to breathe in and produce a smile, however, the tension will disappear – it is what I call “mouth yoga.” Make smiling an exercise. Just breathe in and smile – the tension will disappear and you will feel much better.

Thich Nhat Hanh

from the book Be Free Where You Are

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