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 Post subject: DBT Half Smile
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:45 am 
admin goddess from hell
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This is a really easy skill to practice and use to both regulate emotion and reduce distress: the half smile. You can do it anywhere, anytime and aside from the actual, measureable impact on mood improvement for you (see this article for some research on the topic), smiling also improves the happiness of others. This is well worth practicing, both when you need it, and also just for the hell of it.

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Half Smile and Serenity

Please take about 10 minutes to learn and practice half-smile and serenity. During this time, plan not to be disturbed, so you can relax and listen in a comfortable position. The purpose of this exercise is to create an environment in which serenity can be cultivated and enhanced using a technique known as half-smile.

Because we live in a stressful turbulent world, we need practical ways to relax and practice serenity throughout the day. The half-smile is a valuable in stressful situations because it is an easy way to IMPROVE the moment.

The muscles in the face communicate to the emotional part of the brain and vice versa. Emotions have a give-and-take relationship with facial muscles. In fact, a change in your facial expression generates emotional change as a smile or a grimace is experienced as a feeling. The half-smile expression physiologically stimulates a serene feeling. When you are relaxed, it is easier to feel serene. Even when you are not relaxed, you can become relaxed by using this serenity and half-smile exercise.

Like the Mona Lisa’s just barely-there smile, the half-smile is a soft, almost imperceptible smile. The half-smile starts with relaxed lips which turn slightly upward and a loose jaw and the eyes are soft and relaxed. Then half-smile spreads to the whole face as your scalp and neck relax and your shoulders drop. You may wish to close your eyes while you listen to this exercise but this is not necessary to practice half-smile.

In a relaxed state, you are able to hold the word “serenity” in your mind while relevant insights, ideas, and images spring from your unconscious. It is quite natural for imagery to come to the surface and break into awareness including insights about your personality, ideas about your creative spirit, and healthy images for the future.

It can help to visualize images that evoke serenity, like a picture of the Mona Lisa. Or imagine yourself looking into a full-length mirror with a relaxed confident posture and a half smile. Visualizing and imagining serenity naturally expresses itself on your face as a half-smile.

The half-smile relaxation response is available to you as you breathe. Inhale as you visualize serenity. As you exhale, express a half-smile. Inhale the serenity. Exhale with a half-smile.

Allow yourself to feel calm and tranquil as your mind is quiet and peaceful...relaxed and peaceful. Experience your mind as quiet and still.

Now take a moment to remember and imagine some mental scenes that evoke serenity.

Imagine yourself in a place which makes you feel serene.

Quote:
Allow yourself to feel calm and tranquil as your mind is quiet and peaceful...relaxed and peaceful. Experience your mind as quiet and still.

Now take a moment to remember and imagine some mental scenes that evoke serenity.

Imagine yourself in a place which makes you feel serene.

A quiet moonlit beach, with waves gently lapping on the shore.

A beautiful garden scene on a spring day with colorful flowers everywhere.

A tranquil place where you have experienced a spiritual relationship with your higher power.

Serenity can so permeate your whole experience, that you are able to identify your self as a genuinely serene person.

Now imagine yourself in circumstances that you would have avoided because they upset you. While practicing half-smile, you can approach these experiences in your imagination, but not have feelings of upset or irritability.

While you expressing a serene half-smile, imagine interacting with a hostile person. While experiencing their hostility, you remain calm and centered.

Imagine yourself in a chaotic, pressure packed situation and you need to do many things rapidly but are able to remain serene using your half-smile.

Imagine yourself in a threatening circumstance which would have frightened you … but instead you replace those feelings with a serene half-smile.

At least in your imagination, you can visualize yourself staying calm and serene. Synthesizing the old unpleasant circumstance with a calm and serene half-smile creates a brand-new emotional experience.

Commit yourself to remaining serene throughout the day and remind yourself: half-smile is available at any time. You can reward yourself for feeling serene. Rewarding yourself for expressing a serene half-smile reinforces a positive sense of identity as a person who is confident enough in herself to practice serenity while facing life’s inevitable pain and strong enough to radically accept whatever difficulties life brings.

Practice radiating serenity.


When the exercise is over, use coloring and lettering to make a sign that conveys the quality of serenity for you. Place the serenity sign where you can see it daily. If possible, place the serenity sign where you can see it when you need it the most. Whenever you look at the serenity sign recall within yourself the feeling of serenity and evoke it with a half-smile.

Now the reverie has concluded. You arouse feeling renewed, refreshed, and rejuvenated as you rejoin the day.

DBT Self Help

_________________
Whispered words of wisdom,
Let it be.

~~ John Lennon


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 Post subject: Re: DBT Half Smile
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:52 pm 
admin goddess from hell
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Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:10 am
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I just wanted to tell you about an experience I just had, I was feeling sleepy this morning but I have to be awake for a conference call at 10:00, and while fighting to stay awake I saw a silly poster about cats on FB (are these called "memes"?), and it made me smile and I reposted it.

But the incredible thing is now I feel wide awake and literally refreshed and ok. Ever since I smiled.

All I can say is, when you're down or lethargic or whatever, try a smile. Even though I practice this intentionally on occasion and I believe in it, this is the first time I have done it unintentionally and then realised what an incredible impact it had on me.

_________________
Whispered words of wisdom,
Let it be.

~~ John Lennon


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