Friday, November 8, 2013

Smile through the Stress

I saw this picture and it really rings true for me right now.  I feel quite overwhelmed and pulled in many different directions.  Graduate school is stressful enough, but now I am starting to have anxiety about what in the world I will be doing and where in the world I will be come graduation in May 2014.

I do find myself smiling when I am completely overwhelmed.  I don't think I want to hide my stress out of fear of looking weak, but more because I don't like to be miserable.  I can smile through adversity because I have hope that things will get better.  I smile because I don't want to be a negative person.  I don't like when I am unhappy, grumpy, pessimistic, and frustrated.  I don't like when my negative attitude negatively effects those around me.  I think choosing to smile despite our struggles is important.  But enough more so, I think smiling because of our struggles is even more powerful.  Looking back on my life, all the overwhelming moments helped me grow to be a more competent and confident person.  It is a powerful thing to have the ability to look at struggles as a gift to grow and learn about yourself.  That really changes your perspective on life and stress.

I also believe the physical act of smiling actually makes you start to feel better.  This goes back to the concept, "fake it until you make it".  When I am having a bad day and I choose to frown and be negative my day stays awful or just gets even worse.  But when I choose to smile, I slowly start to feel better and I start to see solutions to my problems. 

I am reminded of the lyrics to Nat King Cole's song....

"Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking...
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile"  


Please share your thoughts, ideas, comments, questions, critiques, etc.