Be the Change by Giving a Simple Smile….it goes a long way…..
“Make sure you smile to a total stranger today. You never know who you will touch?”
This statement is so very true in life. Do you ever go out, walk in a crowded area and look at people’s faces. Do they wear a smile or are the majority wearing a frown, a pensive look – anything but a smile? I must share this story with you. I was at a Starbucks in Chicago a few years ago and I looked at a woman that was sitting there with a friend as I was waiting for my drink and I simply smiled at her. She smiled back and that was it. I returned a few days later and saw the same beautiful woman there – her name is La’Vena – I went over to her this time and she stated – thank you for smiling at me – I needed that smile. A friendship has been formed all because of a simple smile. We are now Facebook friends and distance has taken us away but the memory of a smile keeps us connected.
How many lives have you touched or can you touch with a simple smile?
If you have to think hard, then it’s time to go touch a life with your beautiful smile!
The Science of a Smile
Smiling doesn’t seem like a particularly complicated act: You feel a happy emotion, the corners of your mouth turn up, your cheeks lift and your eyes crinkle. The overall effect tells the outside world that you’re feeling happy on the inside. It’s simple and, in most cases, totally spontaneous. We typically smile without making a concerted effort to do so.
In fact, most people are turned off by the appearance of a smile that takes effort, because so often it’s obvious it’s fake. It’s not hard to detect a fake smile — it usually involves only the mouth, not the eyes. The appearance of a genuine smile, one involving specific changes in the eyes in addition to the mouth (notably a crinkling of “crow’s feet” and a downturn of the outer points of the eyes) is called a Duchenne smile, after the neurologist Guillaume Duchenne.
Awkward appearance aside, research performed over the past few decades suggests there could actually be a benefit to producing a fake smile. According to many experts, smiling may not only be an outward manifestation of a happy feeling. It may actually be able to cause a happy feeling. It’s the exact opposite of how most people see the smile-happiness connection, but with a growing body of evidence supporting the effect, it seems there may be something to it.
But does that mean you can just turn off every bad feeling by faking a smile? Could you be a truly, permanently happy person if you master the look?
Evidence for smiles causing happiness, see how significant the effect is and find out if there are other facial expressions that can trigger the emotions they’re supposed to reflect.
The connection between facial expressions and underlying mental states is still largely unexplored, but some have suggested that smiling could reduce levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone. This study flips our traditional understanding of emotion and appearance on its head: Feeling good could sometimes be a consequence of smiling, not just the other way around.
What does this mean for your daily life? When feeling stressed, try forcing a smile on your face. If you can manage a genuine, Duchenne smile—what people often refer to as “smiling with your eyes,” not just your mouth—that’s even better. For whatever reason, forcing yourself to look happier could actually end up helping you feel happier.
“The next time you are stuck in traffic or are experiencing some other type of stress you might try to hold your face in a smile for a moment,” said Sarah Pressman, one of the researchers. “Not only will it help you ‘grin and bear it’ psychologically, but it might actually help your heart health as well.”
Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Be the change by smiling more often and creating joy…….