While sitting for hours - HOURS - in meditation during my most-recent Vipassana retreat, I remembered something I read recently in Malcolm Gladwell's book, "blink" - that our bodies don't know the difference between a fake smile and a real smile.
That when we smile, certain chemicals are released, certain reactions take place, in our body that make us feel good and our body does the same things when we fake a smile.
While observing my breath for what seemed like the 40th hour in a row, I decided to give it a try and - low and behold - it works!
When I started to smile, my mind calmed down, my body relaxed and I could turn my attention to my meditation once again, instead of focusing on the pain, discomfort and sometimes overwhelming boredom I felt.
Smiling, even when I was faking it, really did help.