"A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles." -William Hazlitt
The physical and emotional benefits of smiling have been widely documented - it relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, boosts your immune system and releases feel good endorphins and seratonin. As an added bonus, it also makes you looks younger, more attractive and successful.
Smile, right now as you're reading this. Regardless of your emotional state, whether you're happy or not, play around with a BIG smile or a little grin, and see how it makes you feel. You don't need to be happy in order to smile, it's a wonderful little feedback loop that works in reverse. Smiling is a little way to trick yourself into feeling happy.
Thich Nhat Hanh in his book "Being Peace" advocates the far reaching benefits of smiling. He believes that without a world full of smiling citizens, world peace is impossible. Smiling is an emotional contagion, smile and the world smiles with you! What a wonderful thing to pass on to everyone you come across in a day. Who knows the effects of something so easy, you could put someone having a bad day into a good mood, or even help lower their blood pressure.
He also offers the unique idea of smiling for your children - whether you have them or not. Because the seeds of our children and our future generations are inside of us, we have to protect our emotions for their sake. Whatever we do, whatever we feel, our children, our future generations receive it. Whatever is bothering you right now will not matter to your children down the road, so SMILE for them, and the effects can reach farther into the future than we can comprehend.
Try to gift everyone you see in a day a little eye contact and a big, genuine smile. Spread a little goodness everywhere you go.
It is that easy to become the centre of a positive change ripple.
Wishing you a day full of smiles and laughter!