“Oh no. Don’t smile. You’ll kill me. I stop breathing when you smile.” – Tessa Dare, A Lady of Persuasion
Google defines smile as to “form one’s features into a pleased, kind, or amused expression, typically with the corners of the mouth turned up and the front teeth exposed” (verb) or “a pleased, kind, or amused facial expression, typically with the corners of the mouth turned up and the front teeth exposed” (noun). Interestingly, smiling, real or fake, can have positive effects from lowering stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins, to strengthening your immune system, to simple things like making you appear approachable, attractive and trustworthy. The list of benefits goes on.
As I write this I am thrown back to a yoga class I took a few months ago, Laughing Yoga. I initially questioned what crazy twilight zone I had fallen into, but as the Yogi lead us through our laughs and poses it really had an amazing effect. I left feeling really happy and amused. She talked briefly in that class about the benefits and how faking it gives similar if not the same benefits because your body doesn’t distinguish the difference.
That said, what made me smile this week? There are so many things to find joy in, but one of my top smile and laugh producers are my boys. This week as I was going through the regular routine of sorting school art projects that came home I got my first smile. I often struggle with the wonderful creations that come home from school because I would like to keep them all, but there is just so much of them that keeping it all is not realistic. So, as I was going through the pile I was starting to feel disheartened by the thought of disposing of any of it. However, the fridge and walls are full as is the scrap book (it’s only the first month of school). As I neared the bottom of the pile, thinking I have to keep it all, a simple page popped out. It was a simple portrayal of a smile.
That was all it took. I was smiling and I knew with certainty what piece from this pile of school work needed to be kept and displayed.
“It only takes a split second to smile and forget, yet to someone that needed it, it can last a lifetime.” – Steve Maraboli, Life, The Truth, and Being Free
By Shari Marshall – 2016
- This post was created in response to “The Weekly Smile” which you can find and participate in at Trent’s World (the blog) .