Never Underestimate the Power of a Smile – It’s National Smile Week!

 

I tell my boys that the most important thing they wear each day is their smile! My oldest son may disagree and say that it is more important for his younger brother to wear a diaper (if you have ever forgotten that before, you understand his thinking). However, it’s true, a simple smile can easily brighten someone’s day.  A smile is so important that an entire week is dedicated to the facial expression that everyone loves. National Smile Week takes place during the second week of August each year, giving me yet another reason to tell my children to flash their pearly whites!

When you think about it, a smile is the most easily recognizable facial expression across the world. It can instantly tell someone how you are feeling and in turn impact the attitude of the person staring back at you. You are often more approachable and interact more easily with others when you smile. So if you are trying to persuade someone to listen to you, like a toddler or your boss, the results are often more positive if you have a smile on your face.

Did you know that there are 44 muscles in your face? These muscles allow you to make more than 5000 different expressions, including many that are smiles!

There is a mind-body reaction going on with a smile, too. Smiling sends a message to your brain that you are happy. It is like a natural drug! When you are happy, your body pumps out feel good endorphins, naturally improving your mood. Have you ever tried to be sad or angry with a smile on your face? It is pretty difficult, same with trying to frown!  Even faking a smile triggers the brain to stimulate and release those endorphins, which will lift your spirits! If you need another reason to smile, know that you can reduce your stress levels with a grin on your face. Smiles are contagious too!  Think about when you see someone smile at you. It makes you smile back at them. It’s a universal way to say hello without speaking.

To celebrate National Smile Week, I challenge you to do the following:

  1. Make a list of what makes you smile and try to do more of those things.  Remember, smiling is a natural drug and usually results in happiness. Hence, do more of those things.
  2. Have a smile-off competition to see who can smile the longest, or see who can stare at each other the longest without smiling.  This is one of our family favorite activities when someone is mad or sad.  It often results in lots of laughter!
  3. Tell a joke! One of the fastest ways to a smile is through laughter.
  4. Smile at everyone as you pass by them, watching their reaction or their attitude change.  Recall that smiling is contagious, like yawning!  So smile first and watch it spread to others.
  5. Take photos of your children and watch the many types of smiles that take place.  Typically, the child is smiling because of you! I often look at these photos when facing a difficult situation or I am stressed, because they can instantly bring a smile to my face.

SMILE!


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