Laughing and Smiling helped my mental health since I admitted to my issues. I have always been known for laughing and smiling alot and I guess it comes with have the name “Farah”. In Arabic, the name “Farah” means joyful or happiness. I was told that my name reflects my personality but alot of people have not seen the other side of me. I have learned to cope with my tough situation by laughing and smiling. It does not mean I do not have a break down from time to time. I just decide not to live in the pit of sadness and depression for longer than I should. For most us, our goal is to be happier.
As growing up between two different environments I have had alot to learn and adjust in my life. I am an Arab that grew up western with living between Dubai and London I saw the differences. It was a journey to reach the mindset I have but the bumps on the road helped me become a stronger person. As living in Dubai for years, mental health was not a topic anyone mentioned, in which no one realized if they had something or not. I had difficulty studying and failed a lot of my exams due to severe anxiety. I was not aware that it was even anxiety. I had to just pick myself up and laugh it off. I always smiled and laughed even after a terrible situation and said to myself “It will get better”.
At 30, I have seen the benefits I have gained from finding out a more natural method to helping with my mental health. Laughing and smiling has brought me alot of benefits and joy into my life. It sounds crazy to some but to me it was the best way to avoid medication. are just some of the benefits I have experienced with just laughing or smiling or even both:
1- Changes the mood of the day ( Smile when you wake up in the morning )
2- Relaxes the body
3- Reduces the tension of the anxiety
4- Burns Calories ( a good 15 minutes of laughing or trying “laugh yoga”)
5- Relives stress
6- Brings people to you ( Looks more friendly and kind )
7- Defuses conflict
8- Lightens up the anger
Everyday is a learning lesson when having mental health obstacles. I have used it as a wall I can not climb several times but now I try not to make it my excuse anymore. I want to live a long life, feel happy, be healthier and do more but I try to do it all without any source of physical medicine. I have been able to travel more to place I never imagined through facing my fears and jump over the wall to open my mind to endless possibilities of happiness.
I write this with the intention that it might make you smile, and that you don’t feel alone. I write this to help those who feel the same I felt that you can do it.
All photos by Torrisi Photography
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