What’s in a Smile?

I’ve mentioned previously that I love to smile. In fact, I am a walking, breathing smiley face emoticon. It’s weird. Nobody taught me how, or drummed into my mind that it is something one should do as often as possible. It’s just something I do.

Lately, I have been digging deep and looking into the whole ‘self-improvement’ thing that comes along with being between birth and death, and this thing called life. Some things are easy to admit – others I’d like to run from….but since I am not a runner, and possibly couldn’t even if I tried, they need to be faced.

But before I harp on and give you an endless list of my failings and the very many things that need to be improved on….before I spill all the juicy details…..before I devastate myself and have to do the pep talk that goes something like ‘don’t look at how far you have to go, instead look at how far you have come’….

Before all of that, let me tell you, a smile goes a very long way!

It can be slightly annoying to someone who’s feeling grumpy though – a friend of mine, before her morning coffee, will often ask me, “What the hell have you got to be so happy about?”

As I mentioned in a recent article (you can read it here, if you’re interested) I simply can’t think of any better reason to annoy someone, than to do it simply by smiling.

And in all honesty I don’t have a whole lot to be happy about. But I have enough. It’s all about perspective – and knowing that in order for there to be a rainbow, there sure does need to be rain – and rain is better than drought. I like to smile. That’s it. It makes me feel pretty. I don’t necessarily do it because I am happy. I just do it. It comes naturally to me. Perhaps I should add to my list of self-improvements, ‘learn how to smile a little less’?

So what’s in a smile? According to researchers and medical studies and people in the know, a smile exudes complete confidence, and makes you look successful. Apparently, a sincere smile can show others that you are willing to open up to them, thus making you more approachable. It also triggers positive responses in your brain – which encourages a general sense of well-being and happiness.

What I found amusing, and really made me smile, was a comment by some psychologist saying that if you want to fill up your social calendar and spark romantic interest, then the place to start is by smiling more often.

I smile all the time. I’m single, and I can’t remember when last I did a proper ‘adult social’ activity (having coffee with a mommy when I pick up my daughter from a play date does not count)!

I’ll keep smiling though (or smile less, slightly confused here) – who knows what might happen!