Smiling during meditation is a sign that the meditation is going well, and generally means that you’ve found some sense of peace merged with happiness.
Now, this may not always be the case, but if you are smiling during meditation, go with it and enjoy it. Consider yourself fortunate.
At first glance, it’s easy to think of meditation as this serious practice where you have to focus on your breath and remain neutral, no matter what. But that’s not the case. With meditation, you can experience things you might’ve thought you’d never experience due to the nature of meditation.
I’d say if you are smiling during meditation, you’re more likely to continue the practice than someone who takes the practice too seriously and is results-oriented. A smile usually detaches meditation practitioners from a certain outcome and lets them enjoy the moment.
It’s no surprise that the more you enjoy meditation, the easier it will be to learn the ropes of the practice. Smiling symbolizes that you are cooling down and letting go of all the tension that was currently in the way.
It’s a way to cleanse your body and mind and have a more anxiety-free meditation experience, and by extension, a more effective one. So not only is it okay to smile during a meditation session, it’s encouraged.
If you manage to release stress during meditation, it’s an obvious sign that you are meditating properly.
Now, that’s not to say that just because you are smiling, you aren’t stressed, as you could be smiling for stress-related reasons, but it might be the body’s automatic response to such excess stress. And if it happens during meditation, you know it’s the practice that triggered such release.
Ideally, you want to get your mind to associate meditation as something to cool off, even if you shouldn’t have an expectation, or at the very least, not a conscious one. But subconsciously, how you see meditation will determine if you stay with the practice over the long haul or quit after a few attempts.
While detaching your expectations from meditation, but still finding some sort of subliminal incentive to continue the practice, you’ll get rid of the mental resistance often presented by the mind when meditating, and smiling is one of the most effective signs that it’s working.
It’s almost like telling the mind that no matter what it tries, it can’t disrupt your internal peace and your smile remains present even when external factors are trying to wipe off that smile. It’s a way to have power over your mind and come on top, and be in control of your emotions.
Smiling Makes Meditation Easier and More Fun
Admittedly, we all want to make our meditation easy, with as little mental resistance as possible.
Sure, we should remain strong despite what the mind tries to present to us and remain unshaken, in the present, focused on our breath, but it does help to build some fortitude against distractions. Smiling is a way to enforce this fortitude by making meditation easier and by extension, more enjoyable.
One of the byproducts of an enjoyable meditation is that it makes it easier to stick with it, and thus, it’s easier to build any sort of discipline and mental strength.
Smiling can almost make the meditation feel like a walk in the park, the more you remove variables that get in the way of your meditation, the faster you’ll benefit from what the session has to offer, and more so when you don’t dwell so much about the outcome, but just focus on the now.
Detaching From The Outcome
Smiling, in a way, is like not taking meditation too seriously. Which is both good and bad. You do have to take it seriously enough to stick with it, but you don’t want to take it seriously enough to which you expect a certain outcome, and that outcome dependence then becomes what controls your meditation experience.
If you smile despite not knowing when you’ll meet the light at the end of the tunnel, you are strengthening your mind and choosing to be in a certain state.
Of course, this assumes you do some sort of deliberate smiling, but the ceiling can also come subconsciously because there’s something in meditation that clicks with you and makes you continue. Now, while you can’t guarantee you’ll replicate your experience the next time, smiling and just enjoying the meditation session is what separates long meditators from those who throw the towel.
That’s not to say that you have to smile to become a meditation practitioner for the long term, but it’s a bonus. You should ultimately allow yourself to feel anything you need to feel, but trying to get you to smile here and there can be a trick to put you in a happier state of mind.
While we’ve already established that smiling is generally good for meditation, it doesn’t always work. For instance, smiling can also be a form of distraction from the mind.
For instance, with meditation, there’s a chance you’ll bring back memories, some of these memories might bring a smile at some point in meditation, which is a form of distraction.
Or it could simply be the mind reminding you of something that triggers a chuckle, which also is a form of distraction but simply brings back your attention to your breath. You can leverage that same smile the mind brought on you to make the meditation easier, considering the general benefits of smiling.
Now, on the flip side, you shouldn’t smile if it doesn’t feel natural or if you don’t feel it flows. This will of course depend on your situation and what you want from the meditation, but you also shouldn’t resist the smile. The smile might not serve a purpose for you and might only be a temporary distraction that overall winds up making you feel worse.
Because on one hand, it’s generally good to smile with meditation, but on the other side, there are times when you’ll have darker meditations. For instance, when you are facing your shadow or some trauma.
At that point, smiling would probably not feel congruent with what you’re trying to do in the meditation. What I mention here applies more in a broad, general sense but you ultimately have to determine whether it applies to you and be open to experimentation.
There’s a meditation that’s specifically to release tension called smiling meditation. Smiling is a way to release endorphins and trigger happy emotions.
For some, it works wonders and if you are one of those people, you are at an advantage with meditation. Find out what works for you based on who you are and your personal experiences.
Smiling meditation can feel therapeutic, but you can still experience the same benefits that are derived from a smiling meditation in a normal meditation if you take it as it comes.
Sometimes, the meditation experience, when you are focusing on your breath, the experience adapts to you and helps you grow, depending on what you need.
Smiling may be one of them, and if you find yourself smiling with meditation, and want to replicate more of that feeling, you might want to try smiling meditation specifically from then on.
Of course, there’s no guarantee you’ll get to relive the joy you might’ve experienced with the smiling you had while meditating, but it’s worth trying out to find out whether it’s right for you. There are too many meditation flavors and one could be blissful for you whereas other meditations might be worse for you.
Before jumping ships from one style to another, make sure you give a meditation style a solid try, rather than jumping from one meditation to another right out of the bat. How much time you should give one style should probably be up to your gut instinct.