True beauty is the external reflection of an inner balance. To get that radiant glow that will light up your features, nurture yourself on the inside.
One of the easiest ways to create the internal happiness and peace that will make people wonder, “What did you do to yourself?” is to smile for no reason at all. According to a study by Dr. William Fry of Stanford University, smiling stimulates the human brain to release morphine-like chemicals naturally that inhibit infection and lessen pain. Smiling also reduces stress-related hormones and increases heart rate and blood circulation, which will not only elevate your mood, but also improve the appearance of your skin.
Various studies also show that you do not have to be happy when you smile to create these beneficial effects. Merely raising the ends of your lips in a mock smile will provoke a positive biological and psychological response in the brain and body. Admittedly, it is difficult to smile when faced with a challenging or painful situation. At first, you might feel tension from competing emotions. But if you hold the smile you will find positive thoughts and emotions eventually overriding the negative ones automatically.
When you combine smiling with breathing and concentration, as in meditation, its effect is compounded. It’s even stronger when your smile grows into a full-bodied laugh. Practicing the following meditation from Ilchi Lee’s Brain Education System Training (BEST) regularly, at best
every day, will make it easier and easier for you to release stress and create happiness inside, without being overly affected by external circumstances.
- Sit comfortably and shrug your shoulders up and down to relax.
- Breathe in and out several times, massaging your face to release the tension in your facial muscles. Leave your mouth slightly open as you exhale.
- Breathe in, close your eyes gently, and breathe out while forming a slight smile. Breathe in and out deeply and naturally.
- When breathing out, combine your exhale with a widening smile.
Repeat this several times, focusing on the motion of the smile on your face as a light breath escapes through your lips like a gentle wind.
- Slowly shift your consciousness to your brain and feel your brain when you breathe out with a smile. You will feel your brain become lighter and more refreshed and peaceful.
Eventually you will be able to create the same end state by just smiling and taking a deep breath. Then you will be able to smile easily with true peace and happiness, making yourself and the people around you look and feel beautiful.
Ilchi Lee, originator of BEST, is a brain philosopher and educator with about thirty years of experience developing mind-body programs that promote health, happiness, and peace. He is president of the International Brain Education Association and the Korea Institute of Technology, an NGO in consultative status with the United Nations. Lee has authored thirty books and his BEST methods are used around the world.