The Positive Effect of Smiling

Well, I don’t know about you, but I have been noticing that a whole lot of people are driving around, walking around, biking around, and hanging around looking both angry and miserable.

It isn’t apparent why they look this way, but I’m guessing that, like all of us, they have their problems and issues.

We can’t know what’s going on in another person’s life. All we can see is their outside.

In our lives, things happen over which we have little or no control. The best we can do is to roll with the punches, and hope for better days. There appears to be no reason for many of the things that fall into our lives—there you are, on the road, obeying the speed limit, listening to your favorite music. It’s a beautiful day, and all appears to be right with the world.

Then BANG—you are sideswiped by another vehicle and all of a sudden, you are on the side of the road with a flat tire and a smashed-in bumper. What’s the reason? Why did this happen to you? How did you possibly deserve this?

Some things just have no answer; things can just happen. So, what can you do? Since there isn’t a way to predict the future (for now, anyway), all you can do is the best you can do. You can prepare, be ready for any emergency you can think of, and so on, but things will happen that are beyond your control.

I don’t like bad things happening to me anymore than you do. However, the only thing I know to do is to be as prepared as best I can, and to try to stay positive. Also, I keep a smile on my face.

I’m not saying that a smile will keep you safe from a crazy driver, a moose running out in front of you on the highway, or slipping on a banana peel and breaking your arm.

But what it does do is to keep you feeling good. It also gives people you meet an almost involuntary response of smiling as well.

Where this works the most for me is at the grocery store, where everyone seems to be in a mood about something, or while driving. I know that when I see someone smiling, it always makes ME smile. I’ll admit that it’s a funny phenomenon, smiling, but it does seem to work.

*Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D has this to say about the positive effect of smiling:

“Scientists and spiritual teachers alike agree that the simple act [of smiling] can transform you and the world around you. Current research (and common sense) shows us that a smile is contagious (1). It can make us appear more attractive to others. It lifts our mood as well as the moods of those around us. And it can even lengthen our lives (2).

Each time you smile you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness.”

How about that? I don’t know about you, but I am going to face this day with a smile on my face. I would much rather my face have smile lines than frown lines.

Smile on, everyone!

*From Psychology Today.

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