Practice Feeling Good – For No Reason!

No matter what I’m spending my time doing, I have learned through many, many choices that I also have a choice about how I’m feeling while I do whatever I’m doing. Years ago an inspiring teacher changed my life with a sentence. Maybe it will do the same for you. He said:

“I need no excuse to experience and express pure joy.” – Paul Solomon

It is helpful to practice. To actually practice feeling good – for no reason. It’s not difficult. All you have to do is smile. That’s it. Go ahead. Put a smile on your face, and hold it for 60 seconds – SIXTY WHOLE SECONDS – and try feeling bad. Can’t do it. It’s very hard to smile and feel bad at the same time. Try it!

Think about times when you were happy, when you did feel joy. And notice that just thinking about such times, causes you to begin to feel the way you did then. (Feel a little smile curling up the corners of your mouth?) The more detailed the imagery of your memory, the more imaginary senses you involve, the more intense the emotion (positive or negative by the way).

So, practice feeling good for no reason, and when you find yourself not having a reason, remember – you don’t need one!

At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Dr. Rob Pennington, psychologist and professional speaker is author of Find The Upside Of The Down Times: How To Turn Your Worst Experiences Into Your Best Opportunities. You can get more information about having Dr. Pennington speak to your organization by going to his bio at: or catch more of his entertaining insights on this topic and others from his blog at



  1. Perhaps the reason why holding a smile for 60 seconds can be so powerful is because of our cellular memory. Just as our minds have access to the past, our bodies also hold this information in our very cells. Obviously, whenever we laughed or smiled in the past is it because we were happy and joyful.

    Thus, to deliberately make this physical action tells our body, “we are happy, let’s feel good!”

  2. Natasha,

    I agree. Memories really are in the cells of our body. Smiling for no reason can break the trance that we need an excuse to be happy. And, like you say, after smiling for a while without a reason, we just start to feel good. In fact, it’s pretty hard to smile and feel bad at the same time. Mainly it lets me practice thinking of myself more as a cause of my emotions than as a victim. I like that. I appreciate your comment. Sorry it took me so long to respond.


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