Fighting Parkinson’s, and smiling at the world

At the beginning of this year, I posted Fighting Parkinson’s, and 2016…the year of love! One way you can show your love to the world and share your love with the world is to smile. Never underestimate the power of your smile.



That’s it! Begin by looking in the mirror and sharing your love with the one who is staring back at you. It may surprise you to know, but if you do this, the one who is staring back at you will smile back at you.

And it feels good. So, why not do it some more. Find another person with whom to share your smile. Your smile will help with your recovery. One of the things about Parkinson’s is that you lose your ability to feel joy. Mostly, you are consumed with how badly you feel physically, mentally and spiritually. The feeling of joy opens your heart and helps the dopamine flow.

First, you need to know that if you hide Parkinson’s, then Parkinson’s wins. Second, if people are staring at you it probably is because you are moving slowly and walking poorly. They are not thinking bad thoughts about you; they probably are confused. There is an easy fix to this. Look the person in the eye and smile. It is the compassionate thing to do for you and for the other person.

And when you smile, make it a big, ear-to-ear smile. That kind of smile shines your love from the inside and that sends a message to the other person that says, “Thank you for your compassion. I am okay.” This act all by itself will help open your dopamine faucet. But wait, it does not stop there — generally, smiles are infectious, particularly effervescent smiles. Most of the time when you share a smile, you get one back.

This compounds the joy. The other person smiles back and their heart opens and feels joy.

Look at the power of your smile:
1. The way it is now. You are shuffling through the parking lot at the grocery store and sense somebody staring at you. Your tremors rage, you are stiff and slow, you look at the ground and you wish there was a hole you could go into. The other person remains confused by your situation and reaction. They feel pity for you.
2. Same scenario with a big loving, effervescent smile. You are shuffling through the parking lot at the grocery store and sense somebody staring at you. You look them in the eye and smile, your heart opens and you feel joy. They see your smile and smile back, and they feel joy. They have compassion for you as expressed in their smile. You see them smile back, and you feel even more joy than before…and here’s the proof that your joy opens your dopamine faucet a bit — your tremors do not rage, you do not slow down, you do not stiffen up, and you do not look at the ground — instead, you are looking for the next person with whom to share your smile because it feels so good.

That is the power of your loving, effervescent smile. Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Your smile sends a message to your Parkinson’s, a loud and clear message that says, “Parkinson’s, I am not afraid of you, I will not hide you, and I will not hide from you. When you try to shake me up in public, I will fight you with a smile, feel the joy in my heart and let my dopamine flow. I have the power to heal myself, and I am!” And then smile at your Parkinson’s…it won’t know what to do.



You can do this.

You are worth it!!!

All my best,



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40 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and smiling at the world

  1. Tony says:

    This is HUGE! When we smile we are healing ourselves; the secret is in the smile. Thank you Howard

  2. Eva Gabrielle says:

    Good morning Howard ;

    This is a great article and a great reminder ! Thank you so much ????

    I would like to share something with you. It may sound Bizzarre, but it works.

    I have been practicing gratitude for many years for different things. The other day it dawned on me that why don’t I say thank you for the Parkinson’s symptoms as they show up. I have been doing that , with the result that I received insights into what to do for the symptom.
    I have especially been giving thanks for the dizziness I have been experiencing. I did with the insights gave me to do and the dizziness is just about gone. And I am grateful.

    I did not think I could even travel anywhere. And I am visiting my brother in Chicago, traveling from Salt Lake City.

    Knowledged like this is not to be kept to ourselves, and you are the first one I’m sharing it with.

    In gratitude, Eva Gabrielle ????????????????????????????????????

  3. Pamela Turek says:

    You are so on target. It is a good feeling to smile and it tells my PD to “buzz off”.

    I am part of a pilot program in Savannah that is teaching boxing to PD patients. (No Contact). In combination with the recipe it is awesome!!!!!!!! Thank heavens you have warned us that sometimes our symptoms become exaggerated for awhile, then zoom they are improved.

    Thank you for being there,
    Pam in Savannah

  4. Karen in Ireland says:

    Hi Howard and fellow warriors. I am smiling at seing all the new people leaving posts. Reaching the world Howard, your love is reaching the world. :-)
    Big Love,
    Karen xx
    ps. I ordered a wheelchair today. Something I always feared but I am embracing my new wheels as a way to get my smile back into the universe. :-) My soul needs fresh air and nature, been hiding away for too long. :-) xx

    • Debbie says:

      I just love you Karen. Have fun with your new wheels, out in the fresh air and nature. Have a fabulous day. Sending you a GREAT BIG SMILE !! :) :)

    • Christine says:

      Good on you Karen. Now you can enjoy the lovely onset of the northern hemisphere spring!

    • Waseema in Birmingham UK says:

      You’re an inspiration Karen. Enjoy your wheels in a big way.
      lots of love and blessings

  5. Caterina says:

    This, for me, is the most powerful sentence in your welcome post today Howard:

    “One of the things about Parkinson’s is that you lose your ability to feel joy.”

    In fact, I have found that Parkinson’s dulls many emotions. I have also experienced the power of a heartfelt smile. Thanks for your post today–I’m smiling at all of us.

  6. Kjell says:

    Thank you Dear Howard and Dear all. What a supporf

  7. Debbie says:

    Thank you Howard. What a beautiful, fun, powerful message ! You certainly practice what you preach. I love the warm, loving, friendly smile that you constantly carry around with you. Know that it is a genuine, heart felt smile that I am sending right back to you. It is a part of the Recipe that anyone can do. It makes me feel instantly better and happier. I am feeling very grateful for all my many blessings !!
    Sending Smiles, Love and Blessing to each of you,

  8. Tery Brun says:

    Thank you again, dear Howard.
    We appreciate your effort enormously!!! We never met such a wonderful, self-forgetting person who thinks only in helping and instructing all of us how to bring back the dopamine flow and the big smile!! Not only this is part o the advices, but also the mental support you give us all is extraordinary !!! Not enough, your BIG LOVE for everyone who needs help is exemplary. If only half of the people on the world would act in the same way we hadn’t such a lot of wars and harm!!! Thanks, thanks, thanks and have a wonderful day.

    Love Tery and Werni

  9. Melanie says:

    I have recently been accepting help from people with a smile and a thank you without being embarrassed or offended. A giant step for me towards healing! and what a feeling of well-being, a dopamine bath for sure!

  10. Helen says:

    Great attitude and it works how winderful Eva

  11. Helen says:

    Good on you Karen. Love Helen Aust.

    • Karen in Ireland says:

      Thanks Helen. Have you played hopscotch since your recovery??? Oh I soooooooooo look forward to my first game of hopscotch. :-) xx

  12. Helen C. says:

    Whereas until recently I would be suspicious of people and scowl at them, my new default reaction is now a smile – it’s really become that automatic! Thank you Howard for your example.
    Brilliant news, Karen – you’re too special to stay cooped up indoors: here’s to spring and recovery!

    • Karen in Ireland says:

      Ahhhh Helen what a sweet thing to say. I’ve not been going out as I can’t shuffle, I stagger from one prop to the next. Can’t use a stick as you’d think I was trying to tap the morse code with it haha :-) So, I had to change my thinking about a wheelchair and kick down another fear fence. I’ve decided to call my wheelchair “Joy” as it will be joyous to breathe fresh air daily. :-) . Hope you are doing well Helen C. :-) xx

      • Helen C. says:

        Thank you, Karen, I’m back on track after another crisis of faith. And doing ALL the Recipe exercises, not cherry-picking the ones that take my fancy…!

  13. Helen says:

    Sending smiles from Australia. Great post Howard. A smile given and received changes a day. My dog loves smiling too. Love Helen love to all.

    • Tu says:

      Hi Helen, Did your symptoms come and go for a while? And did you get any worse and stayed for a while before you got better? If so, which please? Thanks.

  14. Helen says:

    Go Melanie

  15. Marie says:

    In the closing words of the beautiful song , “Smile”:
    ‘you’ll find that life is still worthwhile if you just smile ‘. For a long time in my life, I felt that if I smiled when things were difficult, I was not being authentic. I didn’t want to pretend that things were not as they were and I was so focused on the negative that the negative was all I could see. Howard helped me to understand that I could accept what was true, even what was very difficult, without allowing that to determine my entire reality.

    Whatever challenges there may be in any given day, there are always other things too, co-existing, things that are really worthy of genuine, heartfelt smiles. It has helped so much to learn to notice those to give them my attention and the time and space to really register. Ahhhh…the dopamine bath!!!
    Love and Big smiles to you all!

  16. Shawna Carol says:

    Hi Howard and all,

    I have been using the Big Smile technique when I’m in public and it’s changed everything. I’ve shifted from feeling ashamed to feeling a sweet connection with total strangers. Thank you Howard for your wisdom and great advice.

    Aloha from Hawaii

  17. Bailey says:

    A Big, toothy smile to all of you! :-) And a big, compassionate smile to my neurologist who just told me for the gazillionth time I should try the drugs and even brain surgery. Smiling is a much better drug than anything he could prescribe! He just doesn’t get it but I’m so happy to hang with those of you that do, or rather “don’t” – and Howard that “didn’t”. Thank you all for being here and creating a community around Howard’s Good News. It’s nice to know you’re all out there, walking this path less traveled with me. xox!

  18. mayarita says:

    Bless you Karen you will sure recover with your happy attitude just like Helen.
    I am still not sleeping, but try to get out a little each day. Being enclosed is the worse I agree. Good smiling. X

    • Karen in Ireland says:

      Bless you Mayarita, God love you, you are really having a tough time. My friend, do you think it is the drugs that are preventing you sleeping? Only you know, the changes that have occurred since starting the meds, only you know if the payoff is sufficient on a day to day basis in helping you function with your children. You are not on the drugs that long and I’m sure under Howard’s guidance you could wean yourself back off them if that got you back on track. A crooked smile is still beautiful and far from a scowl. :-) Don’t give up on your soul Mayarita, it guided you to Howard for a reason. Big love to you always.xx

  19. mayarita says:

    Hi Bailey
    I caved into taking the drugs recently with for me terrible results and now it is hard to find a way forward so stay strong. It is all they know.
    Does anyone else feel their body is constantly burning up? I cannot find a way to stop this symptom,
    Also lost ability to sleep.
    There was a crooked girl who had a crooked smile! Thats me !
    Thanks Howard for cheery post

  20. mayarita says:

    Yes thankyou karen there must be a way! :)

  21. jimmy says:

    hi Dear Karen, i am ok , happy, smiling, the choice of becoming a loving person leads to the release of endorphins in the brain, which have a profound effect on the health and body happiness………Happiness comes from the desire to leave what is negative and allow love arises in your heart.
    What about you?
    Thank you Howard. for your inconditional love

    • Karen in Ireland says:

      I’m getting there Jimmy, taking one day at a time and staying in my heart as conciously as I can and practising all Howard’s good stuff. :-) xx

  22. Christine (UK) says:

    Good morning all fellow warriors. I gain so much positivity from this site and visit it every day and really appreciate Howard’s thoughts and every one’s comments. I have just read Goodbye Parkinsons – Hello Life by Alex Kerten in which he refers to’ Parkinsons Warriors’ using movement to music (standing or sitting) to help them take control of their symptoms and to change their mindset. You don’t need to buy the book there is a video clip on the following link in which he explains the exercises to music – basically moving hands, feet and making facial expressions.
    I have found it a positive thing to add to Howards protocol. Best wishes to all. Christine

    • Karen in Ireland says:

      Hi Christine, just viewed your link. It made me laugh :-) oh the joy to be able to move like the guy in the video. :-) I’ve said it before, imagine if Howard put his protocol and his posts and made it into a book, it would be a best seller. Howard’s book would be a book about full recovery, not just improved movement. What hope would that give the world. :-) . Thanks for sharing Christine, I look forward to our game of hopscotch in the Uk. Big Love to you. xx

    • Anita in England says:

      Mmm… I like the idea of moving to music. It feels joyful. I’ve found that Parkinson’s UK has some dance classes and one of them is only a few miles from me. I think I’ll make some enquiries…

    • Christine says:

      I have also read this book and find it very helpful.The method got me out of a tricky frozen situation at the shops a couple of weeks ago. I sang quite loudly and badly and somehow managed to get the music into my body which enabled me to move again.

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