By Leo Babauta
There’s a tendency to get caught up in the tasks of our day, the urgency of what’s coming up, the distractions of being online.
And we forget to smile.
In the rush of the day, the stress of wanting things to happen a certain way, we lose the enjoyment of each moment.
In every moment, there’s the capacity for happiness. It’s not that we need to be ecstatic, full of pleasure, excited or even joyous each and every second of the day. Who needs that kind of pressure? And it’s not that we can never feel sadness or anger or stress. It’s that we can feel happiness, in some form, any moment we like, even in the midst of stress or sadness.
And it’s exceedingly simple. We just need to remember to smile.
You can smile in each and every moment.
OK, maybe you don’t need a smile on your face all day long — your cheeks will feel tired. But we can smile more, and in between physical smiles, we can have an internal smile.
Try an internal smile now: have a calm, unsmiling face, but think of the miracle of this moment, and find a thought to smile about. Feel the smiling feeling inside. Isn’t that amazing?
What do you have to smile about in this moment?
- You have someone in your life who cares about you.
- There is beauty all around you, in many forms.
- You are generous, compassionate, and good-hearted.
- You have someone you can help.
- You have eaten today.
- You can move.
- You can see the sun shining.
- You can appreciate the leaves of a tree, rain falling, wind blowing.
- You can taste chocolate.
- You get to spend time with someone you love.
- You have music in your life.
- You get to create something.
And so on. You probably don’t have all of these, but you might have one or two, and if so, that’s a more than good enough cause to smile.
You’ll forget to smile in some moments, because your mind gets caught up in stories about the past, stresses about what might happen in the future. None of this is happening right now — it’s just movies playing in our heads.
Instead, remind yourself of what’s happening right now, and see the beauty in it, see the reason to smile. And then smile, externally and internally.
This changes your day, because now instead of being caught up in stress and stories, we are present, and happy. We can be content with every moment.
It changes your life, because too often we miss the smile-ability of life when we are not paying attention.