Monday, December 7, 2009

Smile, Smile, Smile

Life is better when I smile. Here are a few reasons why:
  • When I smile at other people, they smile back at me. I get the good feeling of knowing that my smile impacted them in some way, and I also get the positive energy of seeing someone else smile at me. Smiling is contagious, and it spreads positivity.
  • Sometimes my smile is kind of fake at the beginning, but then I start thinking of the reasons I have to really smile, and my mood slowly lifts until the smile is genuine. Making an effort to smile actually gives me the power to improve my mood. In fact, some studies suggest that smiling releases endorphins and actually chemically stimulates us to feel happier.
  • Smiling encourages others to respond more positively to me. When people see me smile, they assume that I am a happy, confident, and successful person. My interactions with others become easier when I smile at them. In fact, others are more likely to approach me or to engage in a conversation with me if I'm smiling.
  • Research shows that smiling may actually carry health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and boosting the immune system.
  • Often when I smile, I start thinking about God. That little surge of happiness I feel when I smile reminds me of how near God is and how His blessings are a constant part of my life. In a hectic day, a smile can remind me not to forget about God and His love.
  • Smiling makes me feel more beautiful. I know that people are looking at my smiling face and not scrutinizing my body for imperfections, and I feel that others can see my true self better when I am allowing it to shine through my smile. (I don't have to worry about this at my age, but someday I will care that smiling makes us look younger.)
  • When I smile at someone, I get a chance to communicate something to that person. Through my smile, I can encourage others to relax and let go of whatever pressures are causing them stress. I can tell them that it's a lovely day, that I'm happy to see them, that I wish their day will be blessed. I can affirm our common humanity and remind them that they are someone special, someone worth acknowledging. And I can do all of that in just a second or two, even if we can't stop and chat.
There are so many reasons for me to smile throughout the day. Sometimes I can get caught up in the stress and list of tasks I have to deal with and my face starts to droop, but I try to remember to perk myself up with a smile as often as possible. Smiling makes nearly everything I do easier and more enjoyable. So this is my little reminder to smile today!

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