In the last meeting of DBT group, we covered the skill called “Half Smile”. A half smile is accomplished by relaxing your face and turning the corners of your mouth up just a tiny bit. Our handout in group listed numerous suggestions of times to initiate a half smile, and over the past two days I’ve been using this skill freely.
Read something sad? Half smile. Being critical of myself? Half smile. Most frequently…getting irritated by mom? Half smile my gosh darned face off. Well, maybe not that exaggerated, as a huge fake smile actually doesn’t work to improve mood.
Simply making the appropriate facial expression interrupts the negative thoughts. However, you can also do a double whammy and think of something that actually would trigger a half smile. Memories of a vacation. Children and pets. Awards from your school days. Accomplishments at work. Your favorite food or beverage. A beautiful flower. You’ll find that a half smile often morphs into a full one.