Be Happy and Smile

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Mental stress and anxiety, the feeling of insecurities and psychological fears are taking the toll on the human mind. There is a lot of anxiety and irritation, phobia and worry about what will happen tomorrow. How do we manage this condition of mind? The best way to manage this condition of mind is by cultivating the quality of being happy. If you can smile for twelve hours during the day, during your waking period of time, you will avoid a lot of stresses and anxieties.

Smiling is the antidote to anxiety, smiling is the antidote to frustration, and smiling is also the antidote to depression. Therefore, smile! The art of smiling in yoga is known as manahprasad. Manahprasad means the gift for the mind and the gift to the mind. This indicates a positive and optimistic perception of the future. Today we are not so optimistic about what can happen tomorrow, and pessimism is the cause of anxiety and suffering. One has to cultivate optimism, hope and positivity in life.

Optimism, hope and positivity can be attained if you learn to extend the moments of laughter and smiling from a few seconds to a few minutes, from a few minutes to a few hours, from a few hours to the whole day. This is what I call the Niranjan Challenge. I challenge you to be happy, and I expect and hope that all of you will take up my challenge.

Remember the moment of happiness when you forgot everything – all the anxiety, tension and frustrations of life. You were just happy, joyous and bubbling, feeling free! Again it is time to reconnect with that happy and joyous self. Happiness can always be expressed through a smile.

Happiness can also become a condition of the mind, in which you are free from the stressors. You are free from the challenges that inhibit and restrict the creative performance of the body, the senses and the creative expressions of the mind and emotions. So the act of being happy is an important aspect in life. You may not understand or realize it today, yet do make the effort to be happy and smile.

22 August 2021, Online Message delivered to the Forest Department, Bihar, India (Extract)