Thoughts on health, happiness and sustainability

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7 reasons for you to smile more

People often tell me that I smile a lot, but it wasn’t until relatively recently that I realised the significance of this. We all know that it feels good to smile and good to be smiled at, but I don’t think we always appreciate the true value of smiling. It is easy to look at it as a pleasant but trivial element of daily life, but I believe that it is actually one of the most important things that we can ever do.

Here are 7 reasons why we should all smile more:

Smiling feels good

No matter who you are or what situation you are in, smiling feels good. It feels good not just because we are normally thinking positively when we smile, but also because the physical act of smiling releases chemicals in our bodies that make us feel more positive. Even if you are in a miserable situation and you force yourself to smile, it will reduce your physical and mental stress and make things feel at least a little bit better.

Smiling is infectious

When you smile at someone, they often smile back. By smiling at them you make yourself feel more positive, and make the recipient feel more positive. Then when they smile back, you get a dose of positivity back from them which makes you feel even better. Smiling can set off a chain reaction of positivity that spreads through the community.

Smiling makes people feel safe

When you are in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people, or feeling insecure for any reason at all, the single most effective thing to make you feel safe is to receive smiles from the people around you. When people smile at you with good intentions, you intuitively know that they wish you well.

Smiles are universal

It doesn’t matter where you are from in the world, what religion you are, how rich or poor you are, what language you speak, a smile is universally understood to mean that “I like you and wish positive things for you”

Smiles win trust

All healthy relationships and healthy communities are built on a foundation of trust. By communicating that people have positive wishes for each other, smiles help people to trust each other. Therefore, smiles are the true foundation of all healthy relationships and communities.

Smiling boosts your immune system

It is a known fact that stress weakens your immune system. The flip side of that is that reducing stress helps strengthen your immune system and smiling helps to instantly reduce stress. I have found that smiling is one of only a few things that has a tangible impact on my chances of falling ill. If I feel a cold coming, I crank up my smiling for the rest of that day and in almost every case I’ve found that the cold never developed. Anecdotal of course, but it works for me.

Smiling helps you to be a good person

Life is all about making decisions, big and small. To live a good life we simply need to make more positive decisions and less negative decisions, resulting in a happier life for ourselves and those around us. When you smile and feel positive, it is much harder to make negative life decisions and much easier to steer your life in a positive direction.

Is smiling always good?

Of course, there are cases where people fake smiles as a means to manipulate people, or where people are smiling because they are enjoying the humiliation of others, and in these cases the true benefits of the smile are lost. When someone smiles from their heart, it can be felt by the individual and those around them. When someone appears to be smiling but with negative intentions, it is no more of a smile than a wolf dressed as a sheep is a sheep.

Start now and smile

I have no doubt that I owe a lot of the good things in my life to the fact that I like to smile a lot, including my best relationships with friends and family and even the success of my business.

If I had to give people only one piece of advice in life, it would be to smile more.

The single easiest thing that you can do to make yourself happier is to smile more. The single easiest thing that you can do to make those around you happy is to smile more. The single easiest thing that you can do to make the world a better place is to smile more. And it costs you nothing in time, effort or money.

Smile at the people you love, smile at strangers and smile when you are alone.


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