I was late to my exercise class this morning so I couldn’t work out in front of the mirror. However, from my vantage point, I could see the faces of the other women in class. There seemed to be three faces the women could wear:
1. A grimace. These women were working hard through their pain. They scowled and grunted. They were determined to tough it out.
2. A blank. Their brains were somewhere else. They were not in the zone. They were zoned out. They were determined to do what was minimal so they could say they completed the class.
3. A hint of a smile. The trainer would occasionally remind us to smile as we worked out. This seemed ludicrous. Yet when I found reasons to smile, to appreciate that I am strong and committed, my mouth would turn up toward a smile. Funny, the workout wasn’t so painful after all.
I have read that when we activate our “smile muscles” we release dopamine which makes us feel better, even when the smile is faked. Before long, the smile is real.
You are an achiever. You will have tough days. When your day gets hard, do you grimace through the pain? Instead, try focusing on what strengths and gifts brought you to this moment and what reward you will get in the end. Maybe the corners of your mouth will turn up on their own.