Smiling feels good. Sometimes we just can’t help it! We can give a smile, yet still have one. We can have our smiles returned, yet the returnees retain theirs. One of my all-time favorite quotes is Victor Borge’s “The shortest distance between two people is a smile.” Close the gap!
I can always find a reason to smile. Sometimes I have to look harder than others. Sometimes I forget to look. But once I remember it’s always worth the effort! Of course there are certainly times in life when a smile isn’t appropriate. Fear, anger, and sadness need to be felt and processed. But sometimes we get stuck there. Sometimes we need to pull ourselves out, and oftentimes it starts with a smile.
As I sat at my desk tonight deep into a project I was not enjoying I saw my 101 Reasons to Smile bookmark. I was not expecting to smile, but I smiled. It felt so good I posted to Facebook: What makes you smile? The first response was giggling babies. YouTube here I come! One video of giggling babies and one of babies laughing at dogs, and my spirits were much higher. So much so I took to my blog to share!
Have you ever felt the change in attitude after an unexpected smile? There was an icebreaker at a recent networking event I attended. It was called Say “Ha!” Each person repeated then added another “Ha!” so the second person said “Ha Ha!” The third, “Ha Ha Ha!” It seemed silly to some, completely absurd to others. But by the time it was over almost everyone had been laughing and most everyone was smiling. Let the human interactions begin! It’s much easier to network in a room of smiling faces rather than a room full of people steeped in thought, worry, and who knows what else.
If feeling good (and making others feel good) isn’t reason enough to make us want to smile sometimes, there’s always the other benefits of smiling. “Over the long term, smiling can benefit your health, perception at work, social life, and romantic status.”
“In ancient China, the Taoists taught that a constant inner smile to oneself, insured health, happiness and longevity. Why? Smiling to yourself is like basking in love: you become your own best friend. Living with an inner smile is to live in harmony with yourself.” -Mantak Chia, Taoist Master. If that’s too deep, just start with the outer one!
I challenge you. At some point today, out of the blue, smile or laugh. Smile or laugh at something. Smile or laugh at nothing. Just smile and see how it makes you feel. Maybe do it again tomorrow? And the tomorrow after that? I have often said “I don’t care if you are laughing with me or at me, as long as you are laughing.” I love to see people smile. It makes me smile. Maybe I’m selfish. 🙂
So? What makes you smile?