A Smile Can Change Everything

My cousin and I were walking down the street together when I noticed he would occasionally break into a big grin.

When I asked him what he was so happy about he said, “Nothing. I’m just practicing smiling.” I thought it strange at first but later on after thinking about it I understood.

When we are worrying about something, it usually shows on our face. We often think we are looking and acting normal, but stress and worry usually manifests itself in some way. Smiling is often the last thing we feel like doing, particularly in the darkest of times.

Yet, when we learn to smile in spite of our problems, we open a door to a new kind of energy that can sometimes bring relief from the pain we are carrying.

Someone once said, “Smiling is a social obligation.” How many times has your day been brightened by the smile of a total stranger? In that instance, when you instinctively smile back at them you find yourself feeling a little optimistic, your day becomes just for a fraction of a second, not such a bad place to be after all.

There is a reason why we feel better when we smile and no doubt it’s a reason we love to laugh. When we smile, our brain releases a hormone that makes us feel good “endorphins.”

This immediately lifts our spirit and makes us feel more optimistic. Smiling soon becomes contagious, and as we smile at people, so more people smile back at us, which encourages us to keep smiling.

Most people when they feel stressed choose to stay at home because they say, “they don’t feel like mixing.” This may be the worst thing anyone who is feeling down can do to make himself feel better. Instead, go out with family and friends and don’t isolate yourself. You will feel your mood lifting and you will start to feel some optimism again.

Likewise, when you are not with your friends, find a funny book to read or watch something funny on television. Laughter produces the same feel good chemical responses in our brain. We do not need to feel pessimism or depression.

With a little bit of help from the “pharmacy” in our brain, we can learn to practice optimism, regardless of our situation. Counter negative feelings by focusing on things that will create uplifting thoughts rather than negative ones.

Surrounding yourself with happy people and fun situations will help you to think positively about your situations as their own optimism rubs off on you and you find yourself laughing and smiling with them. Over time, you will be in a much better position to make life decisions, or seek resolutions to the things that are creating stress in your life.

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