I just read about the smile mask syndrome: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smile_mask_syndrome “subjects develop depression and physical illness as a result of prolonged, unnatural smiling”
People who smile prolonged parts of the day seem to develop depression and other symptoms because they repress their actual emotions.
Could inner smile practise potentially help alleviate this problem? They could then still smile but also be aware of their true emotions and then direct their smile towards those emotions in the body?
When people repeatedly smile externally, but when it doesn’t match the internal feeling . . . well, to the body, it feels like a lie. Thus each such smile is a subtle self-message that reminds them that they are not living authentically. Hence the inner friction and turmoil, amplification of depression, and physical illnesses.
If a person heals their internal world, so that they feel genuinely happy, then even a “fake smile” is not a lie . . . it’s an authentic representation of the internal state.
I would say that–for most people–most feel as if their internal world and issues are complex (at least they are from *their* perspective). So creating true happiness will likely require more than doing Inner Smile practice. Inner Smile would be a good start, but self-acceptance training only gets beginners so far. Most folks need more tools to flush out negative emotions, storylines, traumas, etc. This is really what the whole curriculum of Healing Tao is about.
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