Smiling everyday has many benefits, but keeping that smile on through tough times has its challenges. It is true… that people who smile more frequently have less stress in their lives, not to mention lower blood pressure as a result. Smiling is contagious and while studies show that it is a natural pain reliever, it releases those ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins along with serotonin. It can brighten someone’s day just by smiling; it’s a mood enhancer… yes, it has the ability to change a bad day into a better day. It also draws others closer to you, because let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be around somebody who is always smiling?

I’m sure you’ve all heard the term ‘Debbie Downer?’ This relates to people who are always looking at life with the glass half empty so-to-speak. They find nothing to smile about and usually look at the negative sides of their day, making it hard to smile. Also, I believe a part of this behavior affects the way they see themselves, as they are always frequently comparing them to others. This is a big no-no. We are all different in our own ways, and must understand that our uniqueness should be celebrated throughout our lives. We all have something to offer, but when times get tough we need to be able to find something to smile about. Dwelling about something negative for a period of time can bring on depression, among other health issues. Sure… we can’t smile when someone gives us bad news, but we have the ability to change our thoughts and what perspective we take on the situation at hand. One term I’ve heard often is “This too shall pass.” And in reality… everything passes. Time… it does heal the broken heart. Not necessarily will you forget, but you can move forward. Forgiveness is also a part of being a mood changer, as it has effects on our well-being and the ability to be happy. It is a necessary part of the process, in which it recognizes the pain or feelings of loss. So for those grieving, or having ill feelings towards another, forgiving will help release those feel good hormones instead of engaging bad ones, which lead to resentment over time.

The facts about smiling are enormous, and can only enhance your life in positive ways. I read an article that said for every person that smiles, it’s like there’s a party going on in the brain, activating neural messages that can only benefit ones’ health and happiness. Smiling more often can generate more friendships, and even promote a better work environment. People are definitely drawn to those who laugh and smile more. Smiling can suppress negative emotions, tricking our brain and thoughts into more positive ones. So even if the smile isn’t a genuine one at the time (meaning a forced smile)… it can still fool the brain into thinking happier thoughts.  It’s a win ‘win’ situation.

Multiple studies have shown that we can train our brains into believing we are happier than we may actually be, but the outcome is always more positive…just by smiling. There are several books on the shelves about happiness, so if you are having difficulty in this area, I recommend you pick one up; you have absolutely nothing to lose. We should give our lives a chance to make a difference in someone else’s, and it can be achieved by promoting something so simple… like a smile. If you are walking through a store, park or anywhere else… give the passing person a smile. You would be amazed at how many others smile back, with no words exchanged. Go out and try this somewhere… it’s a great practice to get in to. If you can even force a smile, at least once a day, you just might see your own life change in the long run. It’s the best practice we can get in to on a daily basis, cause let’s face it … the surrounding world hasn’t been the happiest place in a while, but if every being would do this… it might bring a little more joy to our daily lives. So SMILE… you just might be surprised as to how your life might change, or someone else’s. Be good to one another.

Make your week count.