Let’s Talk About The Resting Sad Face

tumblr_nmi62itqW01r1hjqso1_1280I was sitting at a cafe this week, and as I stared off into space, my face tends to relax into a somewhat restful, deep-in-thought face. The waitress asked me several times “Are you okay?” and I smiled back with a “Yes”. I don’t know if it’s because it’s more common to see most people staring on their phone or keeping busy. The way I feel inside doesn’t always reflect into my facial expressions, because sometimes I feel very calm and at ease but my face might say otherwise. Strangely enough, I do feel that there is an expectation for women to appear happy. If you’ve been told to smile by a stranger, you’ll know what I mean.

It’s a strange mixture of feeling that I’m quite an approachable person, but at the same time I’m sometimes not. It happens often that I’m asked for directions or spoken to by a stranger, yet at the same time I feel that I can appear stand-offish to people who don’t know me. It’s something about when you’re engaged in a conversation, you naturally smile, but when you’re not talking your face may be wandering in a daydream or appear distant. In the past, when I worked at cafes, there is a certain level of being friendly and smiling that one can muster, but then there would be quiet discomfort in pretending to smile.

When I read the post I’m an INFJ, and I have Resting Sad Face by Lauren Zazzara, I could relate to it in many ways. When she wrote “It’s even more frustrating when I’m told to smileINFJs are walking controversies, because we are perceived as happy-go-lucky, outgoing people because of our desire to make others happy. But internally, we can be brooding, worrying, or simply contemplating without the outside world knowing. This confuses people. When they ask us what’s wrong, they inadvertently put pressure on us. Suddenly, we feel expected to make others happy all the time by putting on a façade. And that’s not fair. No one should be expected to be happy all the time, no matter how smiley they seem to be.”

When Lauren mentioned she is an HSP and also has anxiety, it makes me realise that many people may have similar feelings of appearing moody at the best of times. Most of the time, I’m in a calm mood and am completely fine, which is why we mustn’t judge a book by a cover. It shows how it’s even easier for someone who may be going through a rough patch, to disguise it in a smile so that the world would never second guess that they are going through a tough time. As someone who’s a deep thinker and likes to daydream, it’s natural to have a relaxed face and not consciously think of smiling.

I was talking to a friend today, and we talked about how often someone we may perceive as attractive at first, may lose that sense of attraction when we talk to them. It’s most often the way someones personality oozes and the way someone sees the world that really reveals their natural beauty. There’s an energy in that that can’t be replaced by our exterior, because it’s ultimately something we’re born with. It’s the way we express ourselves, which can’t be caught in a glimpse but only discovered in conversation. That’s why, many people I thought were serious on first impression, are funny, positive, caring and kind people once you get to know them.

In talking about this, I am trying to be more aware of not appearing too sad or serious, but very often it’s just how our face relaxes which isn’t really in our control when it’s not conscious. I find it means that I’ll smile more when I truly mean it. As an introvert and a soft spoken person, it can often be perceived that I’m being rude, judging or distant, when I’m someone that’s very caring, sometimes serious but really silly person at heart. I think of Rooney Mara and Victoria Beckham who are known to not smile often, yet they are individuals who are calm and seem genuinely friendly in interviews. There’s a difference in what we see in a photo, or in a moment compared to when we talk and see someone beneath the layers.

There is power in smiling, especially the kind that radiates and sparkles. It’s important to smile more during the day, but it’s just as important to smile when we really mean it, and stay true to who we are.  For those who understand the feeling of being asked “Are you okay?” or “What’s wrong?” you’ll know that feeling of slight annoyance or frustration. There are times where people aren’t okay, as previously mentioned, when I’m really not okay, I often smile a lot because I don’t want people to worry about me. Whereas, sometimes if I appear relaxed, it may seem that I’m not okay even though I am.

Similarly to the good ol’ question “How are you?” which has become very generic, yet there is a portion of people who ask it because they genuinely are wondering how you are. When people ask “Are you okay?” most of them are people you don’t know well, and so it’s good to just let those comments slide by. The photo above really depicts the resting face. There’s beauty in just being calm and doing nothing. We often lose the art of being in thought and in our own company, when we become attached to keeping busy. No one can be smiling all the time, just as no one can be sad all the time. The depth of our emotions run deeper than what we see outside.

Photography by Iciar J. Carrasco

A Smile Is The Magic And Light Inside Of You

0bb12f0308caf9ef46c203ad3de8b74b.jpgThe most beautiful thing in a person is their wonderful smile. When someone laughs, their eyes light up in the way the sun rises so naturally or the raw laughter of a baby. I was reading a post here on the facts about smiling. It’s absolutely true that we feel better when we truly smile and smiling is a universal sign of happiness. When you smile there is a feeling of warmth, like a hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day, sitting beside the fire reading a good book. A smile tells us that there is so much to be grateful for.

Imagine the little golden sparks setting off in pitch blackness, growing slowly into a firework until you can’t help but burst out laughing. A smile feels as if you’re embracing an old friend you haven’t seen for years and years. It makes you forget all of your worries, and focus on being in the present. It reminds us to enjoy the little things in life, and live in the moment. Remember that feeling of happiness, as a young child, when Christmas comes around? You almost don’t want to go to sleep, and when you do, you wake up early in the morning excited for the day.

When I worked at my first job, there was a person that I noticed didn’t smile very often. However, when he did there was something about the face becoming relaxed, taking away all the tension. There’s something beautiful about seeing the wrinkles around someone’s eyes and mouth, and that shine in the eyes. It’s that feeling of sitting at the airport arrivals and seeing the smiles that light up when families and friends see their loved ones. A smile is special in the way it strokes upwards reflecting our happy thoughts. A smile is the way a painting can create so many feelings inside of us.

Photo of the Beautiful Eva Green & Louis Garrel in The Dreamers 

A Smile Is Worth A Thousand Words

princess-frog-tiana-cooks_thumbWhen I wake up early enough that the world is still asleep, the crescent moon shining always reminds of the Cheshire Cat smiling from Alice in Wonderland. It always captures my eyes out of all the beautiful stars in the sky. The wonderful thing about a smile is that it’s completely free. It’s one of the most beautiful feeling and expression we can give. If you are having a bad day, a smile from a stranger may show more words of comfort than a hug. After moving to the city from a small town, I couldn’t help notice how much people smile less in the city. Whether it was an elevator ride, standing in the train or walking on the streets. A sense of disconnection. It may be part of the small town friendliness where you know every second person you see, but there was a sense of connection in doing so. A smile really connects us to others. It can give a sense of easiness, relaxation, comfort and  warmth. It gives hope to others and loosens emotional pain.

A genuine smile makes the face change and the eyes shine. It makes you engage, feel confident and trust the person. Then, there is a smile that hides behind, hiding secrets untold. Telling the world they’re happy, when they’re really hurting inside. Or a smile that feels forced and unexpressed. A polite smile or one of embarrassment. Smiling is an expression that speaks a thousand words. The eyes are the windows to our soul. Can you sense a cloudy eye of disinterest or eyes that wrinkle and shine with joy? There is something about one’s eyes when we smile that speak so much. A smile is a handshake that is always remembered. It makes a wonderful first impression.

Smiling is contagious. Just as laughing causes a stir of laughter among friends, smiling works the same among most of us. Whether it’s the stranger that opens the door for you, the barista at the cafe or the co-worker having a bad day. A smile can truly brighten someone’s day. When we see someone in pain or hurt for a long time, to see them smile can really touch the heart. A sign of hope, faith and reassurance. A sign that everything is going to be okay. A universal language that unites us. Remember when we were a child, we smiled all the time, laughed all the time and had no worries in the world. Yet, somehow being an adult caused us to smile less, laugh less and worry more. It’s always a strong reminder to remember that there is always something to smile about, no matter what we are going through. Even kids understand that – they appreciate and enjoy the smallest things.

“You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.” ― Charlie Chaplin

The Beauty Of Crooked Teeth

e492d7a64c25f692f6ec9619d0c55b74We all have physical insecurities about our appearances and that’s only normal, because we’re all human. No one is perfect. That’s what makes people so beautiful and unique as individuals. After spending nearly 10 years feeling conscious about my smile, it feels a somewhat relief to write about it. Learning how to embrace your flaws and be confident in them definitely did take time. Although, I may be getting braces soon, it really taught me that often it’s the imperfection that makes a person perfect. It’s often those slightly different parts of people that make them endearing, gives character and makes a person attractive. I adore actresses such as Audrey Hepburn and Keira Knightley. After watching their films for several years, I see how beautiful their smiles are, the way they talk and the way their laugh lights up their eyes. It’s more often the way we feel about ourselves that shines through, rather than simply the way we look. That sort of inner confidence can really be felt by the people around us.

e717304dfe44289af4a822e3eb5ddc07There is something about a crooked smile that feels so real, natural and raw. And as I write this, I feel somewhat hypocritical as I nearly begin my journey to straight teeth. However, I still truly believe that in the end, what we perceive as a flaw may not be to someone else. These beautiful actresses exude confidence and are not afraid to smile. After struggling so many years with embracing the idea of smiling widely, I am happy that I am more careless about it now. If something is funny, I laugh and if I feel happy, I smile without a care. Smiling is one of the most beautiful thing about a human being. Not to mention – it’s contagious!

Read a similar article from vogue.com A Case for Crooked Teeth: Why an Unconventional Smile Has Never Looked Better here

A Smile Is The Best Makeup You Can Wear

e692975c707015398765e3208e6b9bfbDo you ever notice how much happier you feel when you smile or burst out with laughter. All the anxiety, tension and worries seem to melt away. Smiling can really be one of the most simple ways of making someone’s day. Talking to other’s always seem much more comfortable and smiling can give a friendly first impression. I love the way people’s eyes light up when they break out into a smile. Just a simple smile can brighten someone’s day.

A genuine smile overpowers any amount of makeup applied, new haircut or wearing stylish clothing. People are much more drawn to people who give off a positive vibe. It’s attractive and contagious! One of my goals this year is to wake up every morning and smile in the mirror. Which sounds strange, but trust me, it always makes me feel better about myself. It reminds me that there is always something to smile (be grateful) about.

Our eyes may be the windows into our soul, but a smile can express a lot about ourselves.
Whether or not we smile in different situations, can influence the ways people may perceive us. A smile is not only beautiful, but beneficial for your health, perception of life, work environment and social life.

A happy face can persuade you to be in a better mood, make you look younger, make someone’s day, lessen the tension and make you happier!

Thank You 100 Followers!

100followers

(while you read this with the music, imagine you’re sitting in a cosy jazz cafe in Paris, with the smell of coffee in the air and a hot latte in your hand. That’s how I’m feeling)

Thank you reader! I can already feel the sweet tooth warmth forming in my stomach as if I’ve just had hot chocolate. Whether it’s because you read a little something you liked or saw a picture which twinkled your eye. Thank you to you and you. It means so much to me, because I can share something with the world which can bring a smile to someone during their day.