The Worth of a Smile
Non smiling selfies, straight faced models on the runway, couples holding hands facing the camera with a blank stare. Is it the vintage obsession? Are we trying to emulate the early age of the photograph?
Not sure what it is, but social media bombards me daily with what I like to call “I’m a model” face. Guilty? No worries, most of us are. Are we afraid of getting smile lines? Is smiling not cool anymore? Im trying to figure it out and it’s got me thinking. Where have all the smiles gone?
When it comes to smiling, Buddy the Elf gets it.
I got my first “self help” book from my Mom when I was in Jr. High, called “The Worth of a Smile”. The pages are old and tattered as I have reverted back to this book time after time over the years.
One of my favorite parts of the book is this paragraph below.
“A smile, to be effective, should come from within. And once initiated, it can spread an unending circle of uplifting influence. A smile only takes a moment, but it’s memory can last forever”.
Think back to the first time your love smiled at you. How about the first time your child had gas and that cute little gas smile twinkled back at your face. Remember when you met your best friend and his or her smile beamed from cheek to cheek knowing they found their new shenanigan buddy? It is a simple and free way to spread some love and attract positive people into your life.
There are so many benefits to smiling and I’d like to cover a few.
Smiling reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. If ever I am feeling sad, I start to smile. I will even go to the mirror and smile the biggest grin I can pull out. Just seeing my happy reflection paints a beautiful picture of happiness in my mind. Take this an extra step and just start laughing. I promise it helps. Studies have shown that people who are stressed and uptight that start to smile have a healthy decrease in heart rate. Smiling also releases endorphins, the bodies natural chemical that produces feelings of happiness and well being.
Smiling is contagious and personally this is my favorite thing about smiling. How often do you smile at someone and they smile back? It’s pretty full proof. Even if they are just mimicking your expression at least they smiled back. Perhaps their endorphins will kick in and that will change their mood for the day. Want to pay if forward? Just smile.
Even if you are feeling awkward, non confident, and down right out of place if you force a happy grin on your face the situation will feel less intimidating and you will seem more confident. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a party or get together acting like I own the place with a giant smile on my face, yet I know very little people and I am slightly intimidated. It’s proved to be successful in many situations. Slowly, I get more comfortable and it’s easier to talk to people and meet others. Studies have also shown that smiles are welcoming and can make the person trustworthy as well as approachable. I definitely feel like I can confide in someone who has a pleasant look on their face as opposed to not.
What ever you do please don’t smile on social media how ever, that will definitely decrease your credibility. Im only kidding. Unless, you are a model then I don’t recommend smiling ever. Still kidding.
My point is, just smile. Smile at your spouse, your kids, your siblings, your neighbors, teachers, officers, the guy at chipotle, the ice cream man, your landscapers, smile in your next “selfie”, and smile at your interesting neighbor with the parrot on his shoulder. Be mindful of your facial expression as you go about your day and just smile.
Directions on how to smile:
Find the tip top corners of your mouth. Use your muscles and tilt them upward.
You can do it.
Smile today and smile forever.
Hope on. Journey on.