I understood the power of a smile one day, when I was out strolling, my tiny toddler son in my arms. He was peeking behind me, when this happened.
I live in a neighborhood where people are generally interested in each others’ affairs, and when they meet you they want to hear latest updates. The last time that they met you might be as late as today morning or as early as one hour back!
‘Pokey!’, you may say; particularly if you are coming from a stiff upper lip, formal kind of environment. Well, it depends which side you are on.
I am quite sure, if you can drop your guard juts a bit, and can convince yourself that your life’s secrets are not that damn earth shaking, say as that of CIA or Mossad, then you will find lots of active listeners here, tons of advice and dozens of shoulders to cry on!
Slowly, you will become part of the ‘gang’, will have all the latest updates up your sleeves; but, most important, you will find yourself to be part of this large family.
So, when I heard a ‘Hello’ from behind my back, coming from someone I did not recognize, I was not surprised.
I stopped. The elderly gentleman, who happened to say this salutation with an energetic voice came from my behind and started shaking hands with my son, saying, ‘Son, you made my day. You have given me such a sunny smile!’
The gentleman then took him in his arms, said a few sweet words, handed him back to me, said bye to both of us and strolled on, a happy smile on his face!
My son was still giving a toothless cheerful smile, this time looking at me, happy with the conversation!
Unknowingly to him, he had just created a new smile in the world!
This small incident opened my eyes towards the power of a smile. I started observing that I tend to like people who smile at me when I meet them, rather than those who don’t. I am happier in the company of those who keep a pleasant, smiling expression on their faces, as compared to those who are always grave or neutral.
Starting a ‘Happiness Movement’
From then on I have made it a point to always smile when I meet some one, and always maintain a pleasant expression while I am with some one; even when I am having an earnest discussion on a contentious topic, on which I differ with the other person.
My purpose of sharing my experience with you is that I want to encourage you to start smiling more and more, and thereby start a ‘happiness revolution’. Do this as your contribution towards making this world a better and happier place to live in.
Every drop…err…smile counts!
There are many compelling reasons for you to want to smile more and more, some of which I have described below –
Smile Makes You Feel Good
When you are happy you smile. But the reverse is also true. Your emotions and facial and physical expressions cannot go against each other. If you keep on smiling for some time, your mood will change.
Try to smile when you are angry, or sad: you will notice that your anger, or sadness, gets reduced a little bit, making you feel better.
Smile Is Contagious
Have you ever noticed that when some one smiles at you, you smile back? This is almost spontaneous. That’s how my son was able to create a new smile in this world!
Why not start a chain reaction of smiles? Your smile will have a multiplying effect. The more you smile at others the more it spreads.
Let it go viral! This ripple affect is going to make the world a happier place! This happiness will come back to you some time in future: what you give away comes back to you!
Smile Costs Less
I am not talking about money, but the physical effort involved in smiling.
Smile requires less effort than a frown. You make use of 11 muscles when you smile; while there are 1 muscles collaborating in your frown!
So, if you have a choice between the two – smile!
Smile Is Anti-aging!
You always knew that when you smile you look younger and more attractive.
Now, the findings of studies conducted by research scientists at Max Planck Institute, Berlin have added another bonus to smiling!
Their experiments demonstrated that the age of ‘happy faces’ was under estimated by observers; while the actual age of neutral faces could be easily guessed. Women were found to be looking three years younger than their physical age.
You just found another reason to smile!
Smile Is Good For Health
A research conducted by Loma Linda Research Institute has finally proved what was always suspected – that laughter indeed lowers stress hormones and boosts the immune system. It also increases the neutral killer cells, whose function it is to fight with tumor and virus cells.
Doctors also believe that people who laugh more have less changes of being inflicted by the heart disease.
Smile To Make It A Better World!
So, when you smile at others, and start a chain reaction, you are actually doing a huge service for the humanity: you are spreading good health, you are multiplying happiness and you are making the world younger!