5) Smile. Look at yourself in the mirror and smile. I do this and I know it works: to see myself smiling reminds me of all the reasons I’ve ever smiled and the memories make me smile, all over again. I recognize in my smile the person I was when I was very little and still certain that any dream of mine could come true. I see in my smile the graduate, the bride, and the new mother.
I have been through many times of sorrow. When my oldest sister died, I suffered through a long period of loss and grief and anger, but I did, finally, through reading and talking and walking and singing, return to a place where once again I could smile. Now I make sure to smile in appreciation of life, and of all that I have been given. And I smile because smiling, like reading, talking, walking, singing, and writing, is very, very good for you. Every day.
Nina Sankovitch is the author of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading. Nina has always been a reader. In her beloved purple chair, she rediscovered the magic of such writers as Toni Morrison, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ian McEwan, Edith Wharton, and, of course, Leo Tolstoy. Through the connections Nina made with books and authors (and even other readers), her life changed profoundly, and in unexpected ways. Reading, it turns out, can be the ultimate therapy. In our lightning-paced culture that encourages us to seek more, bigger, and better things, Nina’s daring journey shows how we can deepen the quality of our everyday lives–if we only find the time. Learn more on Nina’s blog, Read All Day.