Ever walk down the street or through the park, in deep thought, with a scowl on your face and a furrowed brow, and some stranger takes it upon himself to yell out to you, “It can’t be that bad. How about a smile?”
I have, on more than one occasion! See, I’m not the happy idiot you may have imagined. I’ve got my moods!
Once, when in a particularly irritable state, I screwed up my face and snappishly yelled back, “How do you know? Maybe it is that bad.”
Was ‘it’ that bad? No. But still, who asked him! Maybe I wanted to be in a bad mood, maybe I wasn’t quite ready to let go of cranky. Why are people intent on making other people smile?
This morning I was thinking about smiling, remembering the above incident, and before you knew it, I was researching the benefits of smiling.
Before you read on, please know that I am not trying to make you smile. I’m simply sharing what I feel is useful and interesting information. If you want to grimace, frown, wrinkle your brow, contort your face into extremely unattractive shapes, I will support you. If you want to smile, I will support your taking that action! Either way! … (Sorry, couldn’t resist the smiley face.)
9 Reasons to Grimace or Smile, either way …
It’s your choice! Own it!!!
- Smiling makes us look younger. When I realized that smiling makes me look younger and, acts as an instant facelift with a $0 price tag, I smiled big! Apparently, the muscles we use to smile lift the face, and create a more youthful appearance.If for any reason, you want to look older (which in this culture is unfathomable), frown; create more lines in your face and crow’s feet around your eyes.
- Smiling pulls people in. On the other hand, frowns, scowls and grimaces push people away. On the other hand, smiles bring people in. If you want to be alone, frown; if you want to hang out with folk, smile.
- Smiling Changes Our Mood. “They” say (and I’ve experienced it as well and I’m guessing you have too) that smiling can change your mood for the better, as in shift you toward ‘happy.’ But, if you are not quite done with feeling down n’ out and don’t want to move into happy, go for the puckered brow look.
- Smiling is Contagious. You’ve heard the expression, “She smiled and lit up the room.” Maybe not, but it’s true. Smiling can lighten the mood of others. Again, you have a choice and seemingly lots of power to enter a room and either move it toward ‘happy’ or ‘crappy.’ Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a solid reason that I might want to or would benefit from moving a group of people toward crankiness, but hey, maybe you can.
- Smiling Boosts Your Immune System. Let’s agree that smiling can help you to feel more relaxed, and if so, then feeling more relaxed can have a happy affect on your immune system. You just might ward off the flu and colds by smiling. Now, if you are just ‘dying’ to call in sick, and don’t want to fake it, contort your facial muscles into an obviously unhappy position and see what happens.
- Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure. Again, ‘they’ say that smiling produces a measurable reduction in blood pressure. If you want to test it out, then grab yourself one of those blood pressure monitor at home kits and take a reading when you feel like your head is about to explode, and then again, when smiling. As for grimacing, frowning and worrying and monkeying around with your blood pressure, don’t! It’s too important a number to be glib about.
- Smiling Is a Natural Drug. Smiling can help to release endorphins, natural painkillers and serotonin. These three ‘releasing agents,’ make us feed good. Again, off the top of my head (a funny visual like steam rising off the top), I can’t come up with any good reason that one would not want to release natural happiness, unless maybe you’ve got stock in the big pharmas?
- Smiling Implies “Successful Person” In the House. Because smiling makes a person look more confident, and the more confident you are (or appear to be; don’t underestimate the power of perception),the more likely you are to be promoted and/or receive a pay raise. Of course, if poverty consciousness if your thing, or success equates to selling out, feel free to glower away!
- Smiling Conveys Forgiveness. Are you ready to ‘let it go’ and move on? If you are, smiling sends a signal to the other that you are open to forgiving or asking for forgiveness. If you are not ready to forgive, are determined to hold onto your anger, resentment, justified or not, then look hard and glare ‘peeved.’
Enjoy or not … up to you! Again, either way, I support you in your mood of choice!
Spread the word … not the icing!
Life & Wellness Coach
Self-Help / Weight Loss Artist
wise * fun * utterly useful
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