The Art of Smiling!
A smile can convey a lot of unspoken messages, way more than a frown or a scowl, at least that’s how I see it. I love smiles. They make me happy. I love smiling. Nothing beats having a genuine smile on your face, with the exception of seeing someone else’s smile which prompts you to smile!
You might be able to tell, dear blog reader, that I’m all smiles today. Nothing special has happened, I haven’t won the lottery or found the love of my life. I simply woke up happy! Yay! And what a marvellous feeling it is. Most mornings I wake in a fairly neutral emotional state and it’s not until I greet the dog’s that I smile. They’re always bouncy and happy to see me after a good nights snooze.
Today I was smiling before I left my bed. I grinned at wagging tails, laughed at my reflection in the mirror and sang all the way to work. The sun was out, it was pleasant but not too hot. The green trees and fields looked particularly lush and full of energy. A very nice start to the day.
At Sainsbury’s I strolled in with a smile on face, grabbed a bottle of water and smiled at the cashier.
She smiled back.
Someone else was happy too!
I walked into work, smiling obviously, passed on my happy expression to customers and spent the day smiling at my computer screen. I love my job but the fact that I spend time in windowless room with nasty strip lighting overhead can get me down sometimes. I was busy all day, smiling, chatting and feeling that little bit more inclined to go that extra mile to help out my colleagues.
I drove home, radio on, windows down, singing and smiling.
Okay Dave, you’re happy. We get it!
It’s not just that I’m happy, but I like to think that my smile marathon has lifted the spirit of those around me. There’s a difference between the false smile we flick on and off, the polite “I’m smiling because it’s socially acceptable” sort, and the genuine good-natured smile. You can tell a real honest smile because it shows in the eyes, that slight twinkle of what my dad calls “smiling eyes” makes a huge difference.
Smiling is like laughter in many respects. It can be infectious. When you smile at someone and you pass on any number of messages, such as:
I’m enjoying this moment.
Life is good.
I’m in high spirits.
I’ve just had good news.
The weather is great.
My car is running well.
I’m on holiday.
I love my job.
I’m in love.
Someone just told me a joke.
Someone has smiled at me and lifted my spirits.
I’ve worked through a problem and feel relieved to get if off my chest.
It’s an endless list I’m sure you’ll agree. Whereas I think a frown or scowl has limited emotional communication:
I’m preoccupied with stuff.
I don’t have time to accept your smile, stop smiling at me, hey, your overwhelming happy nature is really annoying!
I hate the ones who love me and they hate me.
Yuk. I’m not a fan of frowny scowly people.
Turn that frown upside down!
I’m smiling right now as I write this, how cool is that! C’mon, smile with me! I’ve had a snoop around the net and found some quality reasons why smiling is so much better than frowning.
Smiles are uplifting.
Watch smiling people and you’ll notice that when they smile they seem to have an aura around them. It’s like a bubble of happiness, short-lived or long-lasting, it doesn’t matter, that bubble can replicate itself and float on over to embrace you. People will be drawn to you, react to you differently and in turn pass that feeling on to others.
A simple smile can effect your mental, physical and spiritual state. It’s like a vent, let the nasty negativity stream out and make room for positive happy joy-joy feelings to rush in. It might sound a bit hippy but a genuine smile, even when you’re alone, can make you feel better.
It helps you de-stress.
When you find that slither of stress sneaking in, maybe your favourite outfit is feeling a bit tight or the meal you’re feeling a bit rushed and chaotic, take a few deep breaths and dig out a good memory. Don’t fake it. Don’t force it. Take a moment and let that warm light-hearted emotion settle in and nudge aside the anxiety and stress. Smiling can help reduce anxiety, your brain will understand that happy is here and your heart rate will lower. It can help reduce blood pressure too.
Talk without words.
There are times when we communicate through facial expressions and body language when words aren’t enough. If you see someone who’s unhappy or depressed, words can fail to soothe or reassure them. A smile can often let them know things aren’t as bad as they think, that the world isn’t grey and dark and if someone else can smile then they can too. Modern life can be pretty hectic and we’re often caught up in thinking about the next thing, so catching a smile or throwing one out tells people they can let the river rush around them and enjoy the moment.
Smiling is a confidence booster!
Scroll back up to the top of the page, take a look at the smiling people in the picture and see how confident they look. Okay, Buddha is just a statue and the baby is probably just happy it’s lunch time, but the rest look confident. Smiling people seem more approachable and easy to talk to. People are drawn to them because they seem open, happy, inclined to talk or listen and above all happy. And who doesn’t want to be around happy people? You can talk yourself to death repeating positive mantra’s to yourself in the mirror, but if you ain’t got the smile you ain’t foolin no one but yourself!
Go smile awhile!
I’m a natural smiler. It’s not in my nature to be down or negative. Sure I have my dark days like anyone, but they’re short-lived and the smile always trumps a scowl. Not everyone can smile so easily, some people are born to rage, moan and whine. If you’re one of these scowly negativity chewing sour faced types, ask yourself what harm will a smile do? Go on, try it on for size.
Smiles are a silent exchange of emotional states. We need them like we need air.
Smiles are free so hand them out whenever and wherever you can.
Someone will benefit from your smile just as theirs will lift your spirits.