“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” - Mother Teresa
A smile can brighten up someone’s day, and is the precursor to laughter which (incidentally) is the best form of medicine. Smiling elicits the same happiness that exercise induces, as far as our brains are concerned. In other words when we smile, we feel good.
Here are some reasons why we need to smile more:
• Smiling makes you feel confident. This is especially important when you need to make a good impression, such as a job interview or meeting the in-laws for the first time; or for any of those nerve racking situations when you would rather turn around and run. However, please remember to talk as well, as a fixed smile can be very unnerving.
• In a situation where you do not speak the language of the country you are visiting, a smile is a must. This was particularly useful when I lived in Italy. The Italians speak very quickly, and I often felt that I was being attacked by words. I battled this bravely by planting a smile on my face and trying really hard to understand. Eventually, I was able to grasp, and finally understand, what everyone was saying with a lot of effort and mainly pointing. However, smiling was a great unifier; and if nothing else, the smiles on the lovely Italians faces said much more than words (out of pity, I think).
• In my everyday work as a counsellor, I have found that a smile will lift the spirits of those people who may not have much to smile about, and regardless of how I might be feeling; you can be sure someone else is feeling a lot worse. People may not always remember what you said to them, however, they will remember how you made them feel, and a smile often speaks volumes.
• As a mother, there will be many situations where you might think that it just cannot get any worse. It does...therefore smile and then count to ten.
• Smiling actually reduces anxiety which can lead to stress. By breathing and changing your expression, you will feel a lot calmer and better able to cope. Think of it as yoga for your face, and let’s face it, it doesn't tie you up in knots.
To me, smiling holds hands with happiness. Try adding it to your New Year’s resolutions, and start this year with a really hard habit to break.