The How of Happiness & The Buddha’s Smile

Buddha_JulianWeichel2012September’s clear blue skies and pleasing temperatures where I live on the U.S. east coast are an invitation—an invitation to engage in our business and our lives more fully. There’s a promise in it. A promise imbued with an energy urging those of us within its seasonal influence to make the most of this precious time.

As so much does, it starts with noticing. Notice your expression and engage in a half smile as you work… like those we often see in images of the Buddha or perhaps da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Not only does this shift your internal experience positively; there is also added incentive, an idea supported by a study Sonja Lyubomirsky cites in her book The How of Happiness. The ability to physically express emotions influences our ability to feel them.

Another study of clinically depressed patients for whom no intervention had been successful revealed that removing frown lines from the bridge of the nose, between the eyebrows (my own personal thinking spot) with Botox had dramatic impact. Within two months they were no longer depressed. The conclusions?

People perceive you as happier; and in fact, you are happier.

Does happiness sound like a useful resource for you? It does to me.

To inspire a naturally, unfurrowed brow and hint of a half-smile, I am delighted to share this exquisite photo taken by Julian Weichel from his summer’s work and travel in Thailand and through Burma.

U.S. Library of Congress ISSN 2164-7240

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