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AKL

Fake It Til You Make It - How To Overcome The Most Destructive Feelings Associated With Acne

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Hi everyone!

I don’t visit this section that often, as I feel it’s loaded with negative emotions that I can’t relate to at all (being a happy flower myself, usually). Apart from skimming posts, to see if they’re within the board rules (part of the job, unfortunately). I’ve had to close topics, send messages to members, or ask people to tone it down a bit, knowing how bad they must feel. It doesn’t please me at all, and I wish that I (or anyone) would be able to make them feel better. Sometimes, however, people have such a low self-esteem, that the only thing that will help them, is to seek professional guidance. Those posts really break my heart, and make me feel pretty helpless (I’m sure the feeling sounds familiar to many of you).

Like many of you, I have been (and still am) talking to several members via PM, trying to cheer them up, offering suggestions, sending them silly stuff, knowing that it probably won’t help much, but every smile we can put on their face is a smile, right? It’s why I value so many of you for trying to put things in perspective, and cheering others up. Makes me realize how awesome this community is, everytime. Thank you for that!

Alright, enough with the nonsense. Since I’ve been researching the brain for a long time (and it’s still a mystery for the biggest part), lately I’ve been focusing on ways to make people feel better, if even a little bit, in the hope that it may help some of you cope with your issues. Long introduction, just to say this:

SMILE! Force yourself, if you have to.

Sounds stupid, right? Why would you even want to smile, knowing that your face is covered in acne? The last thing you want to do is smile. Let me try to explain.

Common sense will tell you that behavior follows an emotion: you feel bad, and that causes you to behave accordingly, more or less. What if I told you it’s not that simple? There have been several studies about how emotions are influenced by behavior, it’s a two-way street! When you smile, whether you’re happy or not, it will activate the same parts in your brain, having the same effect on your body. You will be happier because you smile! It creates a real emotion in most people.

Can’t do it? Put a pencil between your teeth (horizontally), and lift up the corners of your mouth. Make your fake smile as big as you can. Looks stupid, but hey…another reason to have a good laugh at yourself.

Obviously, this won’t get rid of your acne. I just hope that it will help some of you feel a little bit better, as that’s just as important.

Good luck everybody! And don’t forget to smile biggrin.png <-- like that! (except this one's on urine therapy, that's not a required element)

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Great post AKL and couldn't agree more!

Even just making yourself smile as you go about your day really can make you feel happier and can make you seem confident, which really goes a long way.

Maybe everyone with acne has the potential to be great actors lol.gif

Enjoy your day everyone :D there is so much 'greatness' around us everyday and so many little things that can make you smile and be happy if you are open to it.

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Hey a familiar face. Glad to see you back over here AKL. I too have been absent from these forums because of the negative emotions (which are understandable, but hard to read at times..) and feelings as well as the reminders i get from comign back here. However, i feel much better and can approach the issue without feeling terrible about it.

That aside, its good to see strong support for each other and a reminder that if the depression or the feelings you have are that bad, please by all means seek professional help. Tell someone.. anyone that will listen.

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Great post AKL and couldn't agree more!

Even just making yourself smile as you go about your day really can make you feel happier and can make you seem confident, which really goes a long way.

Maybe everyone with acne has the potential to be great actors lol.gif

Enjoy your day everyone biggrin.png there is so much 'greatness' around us everyday and so many little things that can make you smile and be happy if you are open to it.

Why thank you, Lilly75! I definitely agree that there are numerous things around you that can make you smile, but you don't even notice them when you're feeling down. People have to find a way to reverse this downward spiral. Maybe we should start a topic where people post pics with a pencil between their teeth (yeah...that's a stupid idea, I have plenty of them wink.png)

Hey a familiar face. Glad to see you back over here AKL. I too have been absent from these forums because of the negative emotions (which are understandable, but hard to read at times..) and feelings as well as the reminders i get from comign back here. However, i feel much better and can approach the issue without feeling terrible about it.

Hey there, k3tchup! Been some time. Glad to hear you're feeling much better now, and good to see you back here, too! Hope you're well! smile.png

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For the same reason that people feel better when they have a good hair day and dress well, people have a hard time being cheerful when their face, which projects their emotions and projects their personality to others, is covered in infectious wounds.

For me, faking positive emotion did not help, and believe me I tried. I had severe cystic acne for 13 years. What helped me get through it was just not caring. I learned to ignore the acne on my face. It's the same way that you don't notice that your roommate's nose is crooked after you know them for a while. You just learn to accept your acne as part of your face. I stopped obsessing in the mirror and dwelling on my face. Maybe I wasn't the most chipper person to be around, but I was functional, which is more than many acne sufferers can say.

If all you can be is functional, that is enough. Keep trying, there is a cure for you out there. But don't stop living until you find it.

Edited by Green Gables

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Smiling seems like a pleasant idea in theory, and I appreciate the motives behind this post...

But when your acne is severe it itches and hurts constantly. Any movement of the face is going to exacerbate the redness and the real, physical discomfort you expirience. This will inevitably draw your attention back to reality whether you like it or not.

On days like that, I found it was much easier to take the opposite route and adopt a mask-like expression. If I couldn't see or feel the acne, I had a much better chance of forgetting it was there.

.

Edited by tritonxiv

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I hear you, Green Gables and tritonxiv. I'm sorry you had to go through this, and it probably won't work for everyone, but it will for the majority. It's not a theory, it's a scientifically proven fact, there have been several studies about it. To name another example: does anyone of you make music? It's a fact that it makes you feel better. And there are several relaxation techniques that can help you overcome anxious feelings.

I agree that if your face is covered in severe, cystic acne that hurts with every facial movement, it's probably just reminding you of the state your face is in. My experience with this forum is, that many members do not suffer from severe acne, they've just lost perspective. Plus, trying to look for things that make you happy, will never ever hurt you. Wallowing in self-pity will. Several members just need something to help them break through these negative emotions. For them, this should work, even if just a little bit.

But, as Green Gables mentioned, if you're able to not care about your appearance, and stop obsessing, that's great! Whatever works for you. I whole-heartedly agree with your last two sentences there, Green Gables!

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I can relate to that too. My acne isn't severe but I'll still get acne that hurts and those usually appear around my chin or mouth so smiling does physically hurt then.

More than literally forcing yourself to smile, the idea behind this is working to change your mindset. I know that is a lot easier said than done but I think it would be of benefit to people. Finding something, anything, no matter how small, that distracts you from constantly focusing on your skin and maybe does make you feel happier, more hopeful or just gives you something to look forward to - I think that can really help. Maybe it's not for everyone? But there's certainly no harm that can come from trying.

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