Four reasons why you should genuinely smile more:
1. Smiling keeps you younger and healthier
Studies show that smiling strengthens and activates the immune system to prevent illness and keep you healthy.1 Smiling also releases feel-good neurotransmitters; dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. They relax the body, lower heart rate and blood pressure, keep away stress and depression.2
One study found that facial expressions do make you feel more of what they are. For example, scowling makes people feel angrier, frowning makes them feel sadder, and of course smiling makes them feel happier. 3
Smiling is also important for staying young because you are keeping your facial muscles lifted. Think of it like a gym workout for your face. When facial muscles aren’t exercised, they can pull in the facial structure, making the face appear tighter. Keep your facial muscles toned by practicing to smile.
2. Smiling creates a good day forward
It is a great habit to get into, especially in the morning but also throughout the day. When you smile, think about all the things in your life that want to make you smile and feel happy. Maybe it’s the faces of your children when they tell you they love you, or when they show genuine happiness. Perhaps you can think of something funny that happened to make you laugh, or a piece of music that makes you feel good. It can be anything, just remember to feel these feelings of happiness and love while you smile. Not only will this create a welcoming day forward but it will also protect you from unfavourable events.
3. Smiling makes you feel happy and positively impacts others
When you smile genuinely, you are expressing a feel-good state of being. It tells you and others around you that life is okay. It shows others that you are at peace with your world, that you are accepting of who you are and that it’s okay for others to accept who they are also.
Doesn’t it light up your day when someone genuinely smiles at you? You feel as though you can trust and open up to them. It establishes a good feeling and adds enjoyment to whatever the experience may be.
Now think about how your genuine smile is impacting the next person in a positive way. It is as though you are giving them a little gift of joy without any strings or obligations attached. Doesn’t it feel good to spread love and joy and know that you have made someone’s life just that little bit more magic?
Naturally happy children are good at smiling. When they smile they seem to light up a room. They smile with their entire being, with bright and expressive eyes. They smile frequently and have reason to; they find life magical. Perhaps that is one of the main reasons as to why we love to connect and interact with them, because of their genuine smiles.
4. You get back what you give out: a spiritual reason
In Buddhism, karma is known as the law of cause and effect. It is said that each action we take leaves an imprint, and with each imprint gives rise to its own effect. 4 We may not be able to instantly see a direct connection to the law of karma, but we can intuitively understand that if we sow the seed of positivity in our thoughts, deeds and actions, we can expect to encounter more of it sometime in the future.
Giving the gift of a genuine smile begins as a loving intent of giving, which is then expressed. This loving intention will be reflected to you in your experience in some other way, just like a mirror. If you want to create a happier and more blissful world, unconditionally give out a genuine smile and you shall receive in return. You are constantly creating your world; how will you create yours today?
Try not to fake it because a genuine smile is always better than a forced one. Forced smiling can sometimes be difficult to avoid if you are not feeling happy but feel like you need to smile to be polite. Over time, practising a genuine smile will become habitual and will help to eliminate the forced or contrived smile.
It’s a good idea to practise in the mirror to get the hang of genuinely smiling. As you practise, ask yourself; do my eyes light up? Does my mouth look relaxed rather than forced? Do I exude a feeling of warmth and positivity with my smile?
Practising to smile, even if in the beginning you have a forced or strained smile, is still beneficial. The very act of moving the facial muscles in the right position will activate health and wellbeing through the immune system.
For people going through depression or hardship
It can be easy to feel as though life gets you down in these crazy times of world fear. Perhaps you just feel moody, went through a bad event, are experiencing relationship problems, feel depression or hopelessness, are grieving, going through financial pressure, or are just having a bad day. For whatever reason, it is easy to not feel like smiling because you just do not feel happy on the inside.
Do you find that you smile often to hide the pain? Do you find it difficult to genuinely smile at all?
Then there may be deeper issues that need evaluating and clearing. It’s best to identify underlying problems that make you feel this way. Always be honest with yourself and try not to supress any of your emotions. Talk to someone you trust and try to release what it is that is making you unhappy.
For deeper traumas, it usually takes time, unconditional love and support, and perseverance to heal .
Another step in moving forward is to recognise your spiritual connection to All That Is; to learn the truth about who you really are. It is always possible to find happiness again, but only with recognition of your true origin.
Discover more about your true value and importance in the article Celebrating you!
Photo used by Long Truong on Unsplash