Why do I smile?

Someone asked me “why do I smile so much?” I was caught off guard because I didn’t know that there was a limit on how much a person can smile. The person then goes on to say that, “you probably never had a rough life, you were probably spoiled.” I had to think before I answered because I didn’t know where all the bitterness was coming from. After some thought to what he said, I responded by saying, “that I prefer smiling over frowning any day.” I think back to the times when I had it rough, but I still made it through. I was a single mother, at one point of time in my life, taking care of a toddler and an infant at the same time. I was having trouble with my car, and I was working at a job, getting paid only minimum wage. Though I didn’t have a luxury car or a big house, I was happy with what I had. My children didn’t go without food or clothing, and I made it to work daily, despite the issues I was having with my car. I smiled knowing that, though I didn’t have much, I made the most with what I had. My children were happy, which made me happy. I try to find happiness in all the moments in my life.

I remember walking to work, and it was hard the first time I did it, but then it became easy. I knew that I was striving for more, and if I gave up on going to work because my car wasn’t working, then who would provide for my children. Once my boss found out I was walking to work, he came to pick me up, until I could get my car repaired. If I would have given up, admitted defeat, then I wouldn’t have been able to deal with anything that life throws me. Life throws you bad days, but you must figure out how to respond. My response was to remain happy. My mom taught me how to remain happy, and that’s the best asset I possess. She is a very tough woman, and life hasn’t always been on her side, but I never seen her let life remove her smile. Yes, there was been days that I saw her down, but she smiled more than she frowned. I knew that I wanted to be like her, strong, happy, and resilient. I know that it’s not going to be easy some days, but smiling works for me.

I can change my whole day, when I begin it with a smile. Someone once told me that “when I smile it makes them happy,” you never know who life you can impact when you chose to smile. I didn’t realize that what was helping me get through the day, was helping others. When I found that out, that made me wanted to smile more. There more people I could help with my smile made me feel like I was making a difference in the world, even if it was only a small percentage of the world. Scientists have proven that it takes less muscles to smile then frown. So why do we frown? Don’t let your circumstances effect your happiness. Even when it seems like the rain won’t stop. Remember there’s a rainbow after every storm. After everything I have been through in life, I still have a million reasons to smile. Be Blessed

Benefits of Smiling according to Jennifer Smith at lifehacks.com

1. Neurotransmitters called endorphins are released when you smile. The endorphins are triggered when the movements of the muscles in your face, are interpreted by your brain, then releases the endorphins. Endorphins are responsible for making us feel happy, and help lower our stress levels. If you fake a smile or laugh our brain interprets as the real thing. The brain doesn’t differentiate between real or fake it only interprets the positioning of the facial muscles in the same way. This is called the “facial feedback hypothesis.” “The more we stimulate our brain to release this chemical, the more often we feel happier and relaxed.” (Smith)

2. Endorphins make us feel happier and less stressed. Endorphins are our body natural pain killer. So, release more endorphins to help yourself feel better.

3. While the release of endorphins is increased, the stress hormone cortisol is reduced. Cortisol is released when we feel unhappy, stressed, or anxious. When we lower the cortisol levels, it reduces negative feelings.

4. Smiling is an attractive expression, which is more likely to draw people to you rather than push them away. People are drawn to approachable people, so if you always frowning people might want to avoid you.

5. A happy, positive expression will serve you well in life. “A smiling, relaxed persona indicates confidence and an ability to cope well in stressful situations.” (Smith)

Smile more, do what makes you happy, hang out with people who makes you smile, and live your life being happy. Life is challenging, but if you go at it with a smile on your face, with your head held high, you can conquer anything.

“Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.” -unknown

Jennifer Smith Article on Smiling and Laughing: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/7-benefits-smiling-and-laughing.html

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