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Maintaining Good Spirits

One thing that is quite effective in diminishing the impact of anxiety and grief is making an effort to appear cheerful and happy:

'Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, may peace be upon him, says:

Keep your good spirits in adversities and maintain a lively disposition in times of affliction. 28

Always maintain an attitude of satisfaction and conciliation in life in order to be pleasing. 29

Present-day psychologists also consider sportfulness and maintaining an appearance of gaiety and cheerfulness as an effective and beneficial way of alleviating painful crises as well as an edifying factor of personality. They offer the following advice:

Try to maintain a pleasant expression on your face. Make an effort to always appear so lively and free of sadness and sombreness that everyone who meets you thinks that he has met the best of his friends. If you feel dejected or nervous, try not to manifest this dejection and sadness in your encounter with others. Try to appear cheerful and satisfied.

When you are in good spirits and you impress upon people as being jolly and hearty, others too will act in a genial manner towards you. They will open up in talking to you, and you all will derive pleasure from one another's company. When you get into in a cheerful state, there appears an effective behavioural mode in your conduct that attracts others.

The first step for being happy and lively are the expressions on one's face. Don't scowl; always keep a smile on your lips. These expression will undoubtedly produce an effect in you and will lighten your inner heaviness. Otherwise sullenness will become a habit with you. People try to avoid morose and gloomy persons. A lively face attracts others, and there is nothing great about looking stern and grim. Some people imagine that if they always keep a stern look on their face, others will be impressed or overawed by them. This is not true. Whenever you feel sad, bring a smile on your lips and you will see how quickly your sadness disappears. 30

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28. Ghurar al-hikam p. 565.

29. Ibid., p. 564.

30. Malm & Sorenson, op. cit., pp. 77-78.

Adapted from: "Ethics and Spiritual Growth" by: "Sayyid Mujtaba Musawi Lari"

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