What do you see in your mirror?

March 22, 2019

Today’s entry in the Jack’s Winning Words blog has this quote – “Smile in the mirror.  Do that every morning, and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.”  (Yoko Ono)

funny face 2Readers of this blog will recall that I’ve posted here more than once about making a funny face in the mirror in the morning to get your day started off right. In this morning’s paper these was a review of the new scary movie “Us” (click here to watch trailer), in which mirrors play a frightening role.

The point of looking in the mirror and smiling or making a funny face is to be more aware of what people see when they look at you during the day. Most of us go through most of our awake lives without any idea what we look like. When we aren’t making asad looking man conscious effort to smile or “at rest” face is what the world sees. It’s not that we are trying to look unfriendly or angry or sad. In fact, we aren’t making any effort to look any particular way. It’s just that, when our facial muscles completely relax, our faces tend to droop into looks that can easily be mistaken for any of those feelings. Have you ever had someone ask you , out of the blue, why you are frowning or what you are mad/sad about? It’s your at rest face giving you a bum rap.

It’s possible to see what you look like by looking in the mirror and relaxing; but most of us would probably still consciously put on some kind of “face” in the mirror.  A better way to see what you normally look like is to have someone take a picture of you when you are not aware of it. You will probably look at those pictures and ask, “I don’t really look like that do I?” The answer is yes. Most of the time the average person’s “at rest” face looks bored, or sad or maybe even a little angry. They are usually not all that inviting and friendly. It takes an effort to smile and when we relax, we don’t make that effort.

What are we to do so that we don’t turn off the world with our at rest face? Well, you can smiling dogstart with today’s advice and conscientiously make the effort to smile in your mirror in the morning. Make that funny face to help you get in the mood. Then fix that feeling of the smile that you are wearing in your mind and try to be aware of your face as the day progresses. You won’t be able to maintain that thought all day, no one can; however, it will pop back into your mind during the day and you can bring the smile back to your face.

An interesting thing happens when people encounter you with a smile on your face, instead of the frown that your normal “at rest” face presents. Instead of avoiding you handshakebecause you look unhappy, they will engage you to find out what you are smiling about. You will look upbeat and people want to associate with upbeat people and not with the Debbie Downer’s of life. A smile presents a mystery to the world that they will want to share, while a frown just says, “you don’t want to know what’s bothering me”.

So, take Yoko’s advice (or mine) and start the day with a smile or a funny face in your mirror and see if your day doesn’t go better because of it.

this-is-meOh, look at her; I wonder what she is smiling about?

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Keep winter at bay; put on a happy face…

November 29, 2017

The Jack’s Winning Words blog had a great quote recently that can apply to everyone – “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”  (Victor Hugo)

People who laugh often and seem to be happy are sometime said to have a “sunny disposition”. The opposite is to be thought of as a dour person, someone who always seems to have a frown on their face. Interestingly enough, many of us might be considered by others to be dour people just because of our “at rest” face. We don’t even realize it, but most of us, when we are relaxed and in a normal, “at rest” state allow our faces to droop a bit and we may end up looking like we are unhappy.

Related imageI’ve used a prime example of the impact of our “at rest” faces in posts a few times – ex-Speaker of the House John Boehner. Most of the time, when you saw Boehner on TV in the background at State of the Union Speeches or in photos taken at the capitol he looked unhappy, or in discomfort – he looked dour. If you Google his name there are tons of pictures that pop up; but, only a few show a smiling John Boehner. He looks like a much more pleasant fellow in those smiling photos.

 

 

So how do you look, when your face is at rest. You can get some idea by just standing in front of a mirror and allowing yourself to relax, with no emotions showing. Another way is to look at informal pictures of yourself taken at some event that you attended. Do you like what you see? Is your “at rest” face open friendly and inviting or does it appear to be a dour person who may not wish to be bothered?

What has all of this got to do with today’s theme? Well, while laughter is the sun that drive winter from the human face, we can’t be laughing all of the time. Otherwise they’d cart us away to the funny farm. What we can do is keep in mind some thoughts thatsmiling-sun cause us to smile, so that our “at rest” faces look like that are about to laugh and are more inviting and pleasant.

A nice by-product of having a smile on your face is that people will ask what it is that is making you look so happy. They will want to talk to you and share in your apparent happiness; as opposed to a person with a dour look on their face, who is someone to be avoided. If they ask, perhaps the best answer to give to get the conversation going is to reply, “I was just thinking how nice it is to see you.” You can see how much better that encounter is than one with a dour looking face who replies that he/she looks unhappy because their gall bladder is acting up again.

So start your day today by thinking of something that will put a smile on your face. You don’t have to go around laughing out loud; but, maybe your smile will be the sun in someone else’s life today and drive their winter away. Maybe keep this little song in your mind – Put on  happy face.