When Your Heart Can’t Smile

[translated by Anita Rijadi]

Recently, I observed Facebook with all of its “heart-crying” statuses. I realized that some of my friends are going through hard times. Well, so to speak, I am one of them.

Coincidently, I’ve just gone through a devastating experience. But I think I went through this “dark times” quite well. Even one of my friends here wondered why I acted like there’s nothing happened and overcome the problem calmly. I went through those days like I go through my usual days.

Before I explain why I could go through my devastating experience well, I’d like to explain a little bit about human psychology.

There are 3 main elements in us that have a big impact in our lives. They are M E BMind, Emotion, and Body. These 3 elements are intertwined and interrelated.

If there’s any change in our emotion, the other two elements change. If there’s any alteration in our mind or body, the other two elements are affected.

For example, when we’re sad, we felt that we had no strength, no spirit, and sometimes we could have headache or digestive problems. And we would think negatively – thoughts that “supporting” and “fueling” our sadness.

On the other hand, when we’re happy (just imagine your first day in a romantic relationship, the day after engagement, wedding, getting the first salary and bonus, getting a great grade, etc), we’d feel like we had a limitless energy, we wouldn’t get tired easily, and we would also think positively and be optimistic.

If there’s an alteration in our mind, for example, when we were in an exam or faced a huge problem, we’d feel like we’re facing a dead end, hard to find the answer or the way out. Our mind was tired and frustrated, and our mood was changing too. Unaware, we would put on our grumpy face.

If our body changes, the same thing happens. A simple example is when women have their period. Hormonal change makes their emotion unstable and the mind is influenced by the emotional change. Another example is when we’re sick, our mood and mind will be disturbed.

Through the examples above, we can see the M E B interrelationship, how they strongly influenced one another. When we realize this interrelationship, we can try to be more sensitive about the things happen in us. When we realize that there is a change in one of the element (especially negatively), we can take a precautions and try to control the other elements.

This M E B knowledge is widely used in many successful field. We could find most simple example in learning. In Quantum Learning theory, this M E B relationship is really taken into account. That’s why the practitioners always suggest that we choose the best posture while we are studying (or working). If we lean back or lay down while studying, our body tells our mind that it’s time to rest! Then we could suddenly feel sleepy. And when we’re sleepy, we lose interest in studying. That’s why most of us feel sleepy when we’re studying. Maybe we should fix our posture when we’re studying or working.

This knowledge enables me to get through my hard times in a better way. I work really hard to control my mind and body. I always try to think of the positive effects of my bad experience. What kind of exciting things will happen as an outcome through this “dark times”. Then I focus on the thoughts and keep believing that it will happen. Though sometimes I could fall and start to think negatively, but when that happened, I tried to change it to positive thoughts.

In his book “Better than Good”, Zig Ziglar, a well-known motivator explained that when we want a better life and feeling, we must believe that we are in an excellent condition. He suggested that when we are asked, “How are you?” always answer with: I’m better than good. For the more often we give that kind of answer, the more we believe in that answer. The result is our body and emotion will respond in tune with the answer.

Now you know what I’ve done to my thoughts. Then to change my body condition, I start to exercise more often. Exercising can change our mood. But, the simplest way to alter our body condition is by smiling. This is the easiest yet hardest way. The easiest way because we just need to move the facial muscles around our lips and eyes. The hardest way because sometimes we will feel that we are fooling ourselves by giving a fake smile.

Nevertheless, keep smiling because that simple smile can send a great message to our brain. A smile on our face will tell our brain that we are feeling happy and content, and the message will be forwarded “silently” by the brain to our emotion and slowly but sure our feeling will get better.

That’s why I always hold on to the words on the poster below. It’s something that I’ve made and I keep saying it whenever I feel down.

It is easy for us to just read this post. But, doing what’s written here needs practices and courage. I’ve been trying to practice this since my university years. I still am practicing it now. Keep practicing because you will feel the benefit it brings us. Keep smiling though we think that it’s fake, because slowly but sure that fake smile will be our real smile.

Life is not always beautiful. There will be dark clouds and storms. But, remember, without those dark clouds and storms, we will never see the rainbow. So, for you, guys, who are experiencing storms, be glad! Soon you will see the most beautiful rainbow of your life.

Hope that your life is filled with the cloud of joy and happiness.

Kastena Boshi

follow me @WilliamSBudiman


  1. daniel · April 22, 2011

    bahasa ingris semua kk

  2. catherine citta · October 24, 2011

    wow…. cool…. not make me sad… 😀 gw jg org indo tapi tauuu!!

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