St Columbus in Delhi once had a quote which read, “Smile a while and while you smile another smiles soon there are miles and miles of smiles.” The face is a complex palette of emotions. A slight turning up of the lips and a crinkling of the eyes can signal pleasure, contentment, happiness, or satisfaction. Wow so easy to do!!!!!!! Yet it denotes so much.
It is true, I cry very easily. But I do laugh and smile a whole lot too!!! It is assumed that a bright smile stems from happiness. But really that is not true. On the contrary, a smile called forth when you don’t necessarily feel like smiling can trigger the release of endorphins, brightening your day. And you know sometimes a forced smile, which only involves the muscles of the mouth, turns into a true smile, which lights up the entire face. “Just fake it till you make it” and make it you will!! Innately each one of us feels drawn to people who smile. A smile is the X-factor that makes you noticeable. One always wants to know “what the hell is so good”. See a smiling face and notice how their presence lightens up the room, changes the moods of others, and makes things happier and lighter on the nerves. One who smiles appears more confident, well networked, more successful and more likely to be approached. I remember once I changed a room full of “Yeah whatevers” to “Oh yeah, whatever you say”!!!! All with just a friendly smile.
You know those times when we cross paths with a stranger or accidentally catch someone’s gaze, and you’d suddenly look away in awkwardness or pretend you are looking at something else? Well, the challenge is to give them a big smile. A genuine smile, showing teeth and everything. One that reaches your eyes. That you acknowledge his presence. Why not? It doesn’t cost you anything. Plus, it’s a lot more fun than feeling awkward and pretending you’re not there. I also love to see people’s reactions when you smile at them, and they aren’t expecting it. Some blush, and others are surprised and smile back, which makes me feel all warm inside.
And a laugh takes you all the way!!! I know of some people who can’t laugh!!! They find nothing funny!! Life is too serious to find that funny bone…. Jeez!!!!!!!!!!! If only I could walk up to them and tell them what a fantastic internal work-out a belly full of laughs is. Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.
In ancient China, Taoists taught the benefits of the inner smile because they believed it insured happiness, health, and longevity. Smiling is a great way to make yourself stand out while helping your body to function better. Smile to improve your health. Smile to look more attractive. Smile to look younger. Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard. When we smile our body is sending the rest of us a message that “Life is Good!” Smiling is universal and looks great on everyone. A smile, directed inward, outward, or at nothing in particular brightens the world and is a gift to those who see it.