It was a most intriguing conversation among friends, and at the heart of it, an equally intriguing question – can you pretend yourself better?
We were talking about it in the context of depression.
One friend mentioned that to a certain extent she could fool herself into feeling better than she really is.
I know you’re probably thinking it sounds crazy but after some careful thought I agreed with her.
Initially, I’ll admit I couldn’t give an outright answer for myself but as I thought about it more and how I live everyday and relate to people, I realised the answer is yes. Yes, you can pretend yourself better. In a way.
How it works
Sometime last week, I was at my work desk when a regular visitor greeted me, gave me the most engaging smile and then told me “you always look so happy.”
That was a surprise.
Lately my mood hasn’t been so fantastic if you know what I mean but I always try to keep it friendly, and be caring and kind towards people generally.
I hadn’t realised that people perceive me as happy, but what I did notice was that on my down days when I smile at people (or try to share something good with them), even if I have to make an effort to do so initially, despite my low mood, it eventually becomes less of an effort, then before I know it, my down day isn’t so bad.
Perhaps it’s a distraction. It must be. But it must be a really good distraction because when I smile with people, and they smile back, no matter how crappy I feel, I start to feel the energies behind the smile. The warmth… and something all… err… fuzzy. Ish.
When we give
I might have been depressed and anxious, or even in pain thanks to dreadful fibromyalgia. Somehow, despite my suffering, when I focus on smiling with people (or giving to the poor, or helping a stranger) it doesn’t feel so bad at the time. Maybe it is pretending I feel better or ignoring my illness, I don’t know for sure.
All I know is, I think when I smile outwardly, eventually it stirs something in me, causing an effect internally.
I start smiling on the inside too, despite whatever physical pain, debilitating exhaustion, sleepiness, emotional upheaval etcetera that I am living through at the time.
It starts out as pretending yourself better for the sake of keeping up appearances, getting through the day or coping. Then, NO it doesn’t actually take the pain away. But sharing the genuine smiles or whatever else it is you give to the world at the time, makes the pain and suffering just a little more bearable.
And it is that, which gives one the feeling of being a little better than one really is.
Gentle Hugs 🙂