Smiling Creates Joy

Smiling is the forerunner of laughter. In fact, our ability to laugh is serious business. Did you know scientists have discovered if we suppress our laughter, it sucks back down into our body and spreads out at our hips? When we radiate happiness, it is reflected back to us. The opposite is also true. Remember the last time you felt grouchy? Wasn’t it amazing how everybody around you seemed to be having a bad day as well? In the morning when my children leave for school instead of saying, “Have a great day,” I say, “Make it great day. The choice is yours!”

When is the last time you laughed so hard your face hurt, your eyes watered and your nose ran? When is the last time you did something really dumb or embarrassing then laughed yourself silly right away instead of waiting for ten years to see the humor in the situation? When is the last time you shared a funny story or joke instead of your latest tragedy or ailment?

Smiling is also a great way to meet new people. I’ve learned strangers are just future friends I haven’t smiled at yet. Once I was sitting in the Marriot Center at BYU during a Women’s Conference. I was one of the speakers that day but none of my family or friends could make it to listen to my talk. I was feeling sad and alone even though there were thousands of women all around me. At that very moment, the woman sitting next to me turned and smiled. I smiled back.

“You have such beautiful skin,” she said.

Shocked, I looked into her kind eyes and answered, “Thank you.”

It felt like she’d tossed me a ball of sunshine. My usual response would be to dismiss a compliment with something like, “My skin? Are you kidding? I have such greasy skin and I still get zits.” Yet that day I felt the need to accept her gift with the same graciousness it was offered. I could tell she was sincere. In the end, it didn’t really matter what she said. She could have said, “You have such beautiful hangnails.” What mattered was that she smiled at me, acknowledged I existed and said something kind to me. Instantly, I no longer felt alone or sad any more. I had the impression that if this woman and I knew each other, we would be friends. It occurred to me that I was surrounded by family and friends. I just hadn’t met or smiled at them yet.

We unlock our personal power for good when we offer the gift of a genuine and loving smile. Turning up the corners of our mouths helps us spread sunshine every where we go. So on those days when we feel less than, worried, diminished, sad or lonely – we need to get out there and start smiling. I’ve learned my day usually goes the same way as the corners of my mouth.

No comments: