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7 Ways To Keep Smiling

In his book Peace Is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh talks about the true value of a smile and goes on to share this:

“At the end of a retreat in California, a friend wrote this poem:

I have lost my smile,
But don’t worry.
The dandelion has it.

 If you have lost your smile and yet are still capable of seeing that a dandelion is keeping it for you, the situation is not too bad. “

There are times in our life when dark clouds appear and our sense of humour is at a low point.  I have found from personal experience that there is always a way to find your smile, even if you’ve briefly lent it to the dandelion!


7 Ways To Keep Smiling

There’s plenty to be grateful for and happy about. If you keep a gratitude journal or a happiness jar, now is the time to dive into it and recall all the good stuff in your life. I don’t have either, but I just stop and make a mental list of the abundance that I enjoy. From my experience, nothing brings my smile back quicker than a gratitude list.

train_your_brain_poster (1)
I have loads of unfinished projects – some half-embroidered stuff,  some knitting, and most importantly my blogs (always a work in progress!).  When I have something to look forward to, I have more reason to smile. Keep yourself occupied. Take on a project that would enjoy doing, but have been putting off.

This might sound crazy but allowing myself a day-long pity party works wonders.  This gives me a chance to grieve, to see the unfairness of things and most importantly to own my emotions. But a day is the maximum I allow myself – after that I try hard to call a halt to self-pity.

the punk & the conehead

I believe that comparison is the thief of joy. Everyone has their own problems, even if they don’t seem to. I have learned to never compare myself to anyone else. That’s a sure way to permanently lose a smile! 😉

Sharing with someone who understands me  and my emotions of anger, hurt and grief,  helps me every time. It’s important to surround ourselves with with positive people. There are plenty of people who will pretend to empathize but don’t really care. Or if they find you have a common grouse will jump on to the bandwagon. It’s best to avoid them, in general, and more so at times when you are feeling low.

Invent your world. Surround yourself with people, color, sounds, and work that nourish you. SARK

I open myself to the support that is all around me but I also dig deep into my inner resources. Prayer, meditation and my writing keeps me mindful that everything fits into the Divine Plan for my life.

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Finally, when I  remember that tomorrow is another day,  my perspective changes.

So when you’re feeling down,  remember that your smile is not lost but being held in temporary custody by the dandelion. That is enough to lift your spirits.

What keeps you smiling?



I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013.


  1. Suzy Suzy September 8, 2013

    “Prayer, meditation and my writing keeps me mindful that everything fits into the Divine Plan for my life” – that and “letting go” keeps the smile on my face.
    Suzy recently posted..Going places – Write Tribe FestivalMy Profile

  2. Amit Amit September 7, 2013

    Look at people living a worse life than you if you want to feel better. And then thank God and try something to make the lives of those people better. There is so much misery in the world that there is no point adding to it.
    Amit recently posted..Fog LakeMy Profile

  3. Sheethal Sheethal September 3, 2013

    What keeps me smiling?
    The people around me who reminds me how much I mean to them and the fact I am alive at the moment and is able to read all these. Big Smiles 😀

    Loved your writings! 🙂

  4. Anne Anne September 3, 2013

    You’re right Corinne, comparison steals away all the joy we have and makes everything look so bleak. I’ve also learned that comparing brings me nowhere. It actually makes me feel worse while the other person goes along merrily by.

    What keeps me smiling? Many things – from the simplest to the most unexpected or impossible thing I could imagine. But the everyday stuff usually surround those that deal with my husband and family. After all, that’s really what matters.
    Anne recently posted..When push comes to shoveMy Profile

  5. Mary Stephenson Mary Stephenson September 3, 2013

    Hi Corinne

    Hey a one day pity party…I guess that is what I am having today. Actually had too many in August. I am getting my cast off tomorrow and I should be thrilled, but I am sad for all the things I haven’t been able to do in the past month. I really hope this is the end of hand confinement. It has been frustrating the past few days and may be that is what is boring me. There is so much I want to do, like cut my own food! Sob, sob, okay I need to pull it together as chocolate didn’t help too much.

    Mary Stephenson recently posted..The Power of QuestionsMy Profile

  6. Melissa Melissa September 3, 2013

    Secret shhh! 😛 Hahaha!

    What keeps me smiling these days is the knowledge that God loves me and loves me through the people He sends me. It’s such a delightful feeling BS.

    Every morning to set my day up and every night after coming home from work ~ there’s an inner light that keeps my heart warm (*even though most of the time I’d rather do the opposite).

    Yes, we do have inner resources and the sharing part whether in prayer or with intimate friends is an awesome experience 🙂

    To not choose the people to smile and to be faithful in doing it everyday (as much as I could) ~ wow, challenge hahaha!

    Lots of love BS! Love this!
    Melissa recently posted..Fall In Love: A Peek into the Hidden LifeMy Profile

  7. Penny McDaniel Penny McDaniel September 3, 2013

    Wonderful post! I’m often “accused” of smiling too much, if that’s even possible! I love life and so many things make me smile from the inside out. The beautiful thing about a smile is that it can be contagious 🙂
    Penny McDaniel recently posted..Seven Ways To Surprise A WomanMy Profile

  8. Ruchira Ruchira September 3, 2013

    Smile is like a 100 Volt shock that once given can lighten anybody’s moods.

    What makes me smile? Many things, Corinne and one of it includes reading your invigorating blogs.
    Ruchira recently posted..Seven Strategies to Reflect uponMy Profile

  9. Karan Karan September 3, 2013

    you set the tone right with the four line poem at the start…who would not want to be able to see their lost smile 🙂

    you can check out my post here:-
    Karan – Grand Mother
    Karan recently posted..Grand MotherMy Profile

  10. Richa Singh Richa Singh September 3, 2013

    I recently read tuesdays with morrie and in it was a similar concept. There also Morrie allows himself a certain time limit for pity and then bounces back. And here you have also mentioned a similar thing, I do feel this is something I need to try to. Compartmentalising elements of life is a must in all matters…
    Richa Singh recently posted..Morning 2- Ishleen KaurMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | September 21, 2013

      Strangely Tuesdays with Morrie didn’t really appeal to me at the time I read it, Richa. Perhaps it’s due for a re-read.
      Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..Listen To Your HeartMy Profile

  11. privytrifles privytrifles September 2, 2013

    I just loved that cute pic of babies there…. its so so so sweet 😀

    it surely made me smile and otherwise everything that is cute like babies, mushy stuff, and ofcourse good music makes me smile. But more of the times a hard work put in whole heartedly leaving me completely tired makes me smile 😀
    privytrifles recently posted..Random ThoughtsMy Profile

  12. Jeevan Jacob John Jeevan Jacob John September 2, 2013

    Nothing keeps me smiling (I don’t mean I don’t smile..I mean truly “nothing” keeps me smiling). I love life. I love enjoying it.

    I love loving it! I just smile, for what reason? I have yet to find 😀

    As for me, I love learning. Learning new things, new skills. It might not improve my life. But, it surely helps me.

    Maybe that’s why I smile.

    I don’t necessarily worry about tomorrow, if it comes, good. I can do more learning. I can smile more. If it doesn’t, still it’s good. Maybe I might finally realize what life truly is, or what it means to me (or to the world).

    I do love thinking. Analyzing what I have learned – learning from my own thoughts. Maybe that’s the reason why I smile.

    Maybe there is no reason 😀 Ah, I love smiling 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your insights, Corinne 🙂

  13. Rachna Rachna September 2, 2013

    What keeps me happy? A truckload of things, many of which you have mentioned :).

  14. Shiva Shiva September 2, 2013

    Great … Most of the points you have beautifully arranged as a bouquet are so real and doable …but the most that has worked for me is being grateful to God for all the abundance in life he has blessed me with … And what he has missed, that trust that it will come in some better form in future …so just stop thinking and start living …thats my lid that opens my happiness jar
    Shiva recently posted..Birds of FeatherMy Profile

  15. usha menon usha menon September 2, 2013

    A very motivating post. Corinne your post comes as a balm for the depressed souls. There are so many quotable quotes in the post which can bring a smile on the face. Comparison is the thief of joy is the phrase which we must always remember.

  16. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg September 2, 2013

    Mother Teresa said, ‘Peace begins with a smile’. I have seen that when we learn to accept the situations, are comfortable with our own self, let go, and most importantly count our blessings, the smile that we have briefly lent to the dandelion will be back. Loved this post, Corinne. 🙂
    Shilpa Garg recently posted..7 Stinkers I Wish to SendMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | September 21, 2013

      Peace does indeed begin with a smile, Shilpa. I hadn’t heard that one before. Thanks for sharing.

  17. vishalbheeroo vishalbheeroo September 2, 2013

    Corinne, it’s so beautiful and absolute love them. Thanks for this one. It’s a valuable lesson in life:)
    vishalbheeroo recently posted..Power of SevenMy Profile

  18. C. Suresh C. Suresh September 2, 2013

    Comparison is indeed the thief of joy. My mantra has normally been This too shall pass.

    On a lighter note, I really thought you would suggest reading my blog 🙂
    C. Suresh recently posted..A seven day week?My Profile

  19. preetilata preetilata September 2, 2013

    I was going through a tough time and just very recently got over it. I just realized i have unknowingly followed things or two that you have mentioned here on which i will write a post soon too. One more thing i learnt during this phase is that you have to accept the truth the moment you do you let it go.

    O got to get rid of comparing myself to other and to love myself more.
    preetilata recently posted..SaudadeMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | September 21, 2013

      Thanks so much for sharing, Pree. Yes, when we have truth on our side, not much can really upset us.
      Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..Listen To Your HeartMy Profile

  20. Smitha Smitha September 2, 2013

    I’ve never inyrospected about what keeps me smiling, but I think its because I let go. I don’t hold on to things that upset me.

    And I totally agree with the point you made about comparisons. That is a sure shot way of making one unhappy.

  21. Holly Jahangiri Holly Jahangiri September 2, 2013

    “Comparison is the thief of joy.” What an astute observation!

    And just how OFTEN are you allowed an all-day pity party? I’m guessing “daily” is not the answer – so there must be some sort of limit to the frequency?
    Holly Jahangiri recently posted..7:00 AMMy Profile

  22. Kajal Kajal September 2, 2013

    What keeps me smiling? You know it, but still….

    The thought that I am alive to live this beautiful life to share it with a certain someone, to guide her, nurture her, bless her and to lead by example. If I am low and out it would affect her thoughts as well. That there is a lot to accomplish yet and my life is not even half lived. That I am free to decide and lead my life. That I am not shunned as a misfit, anywhere. That I have a whole laundry list of people who love me, in spite of me.

    Thanks for the reminder, Corinne. Counting your blessings always brings smiles. <3 Hugs to you <3
    Kajal recently posted..Being An Idiot With PleasureMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | September 15, 2013

      Thanks for sharing your reasons to keep smiling, Kajal. The beauty of life is that no one can take our smiles away, except ourselves!
      Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..Suicide PreventionMy Profile

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