I don’t like being told to smile. Maybe I just got some really bad news and don’t feel the need to be happy for you. Someone telling me to smile makes me want to physically hurt that person. No one wants to smile on command. It’s not a genuine smile and it certainly isn’t going to change anyone’s mood.
What will help to change your mood into a positive one? Smile. Here’s the difference, I want you to smile for yourself, not anyone else.
Trust me, I’m not asking you to be happy 24/7. I want to give you a valuable tool to use when you need to make a great first impression, or need an energy boost. I want to help you feel good about yourself.
Fun facts: Did you know that babies in the womb smile? They also smile in their sleep. Babies born blind smile like sighted infants. In other words: we were born to smile.
Adults smile more than 20 times a day whereas children will smile 400 times a day. Why do we have to grow up? Maybe the key to feeling and being young, is to remember to smile more.
Smiling brings numerous health benefits. The simple act of smiling will reduce your anxiety, lower blood pressure, and heart rate. Research has suggested smiling reduces your bodily and mental stress like a good night’s sleep does.
Dr. Isha Gupta, a neurologist from IGEA Brain and Spine explains that certain hormones, dopamine and serotonin, are released in our brains when we put on a happy face. “Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress.”
Just picturing yourself smiling will bring up positive memories. This is a great help when you are feeling nervous or tense. It gives you a chance to relax and calm any anxiety you are dealing with.
Smiling is contagious. When someone smiles at us, we automatically smile back. It’s a wonderful exchange of positive energy. My friend Carolyn, who is a serial smiler, told me the following. One evening she walked out of her office and stood in front of the elevator. An elderly man was waiting there as well. She looked at him and flashed her pearly whites. The man looked at her and broke into a big grin. He said, “Thank you for that smile. I’ve gone all day without anyone even looking at me. Thank you for seeing me and giving me that gift.” The power of a simple smile can lift up our spirits and remind us to share our good thoughts.
Smile for yourself, smile for someone who needs some compassion and smile because it’s the fastest way to feel good. Or not, I’m not going to tell you what to do.
Celeste DeCamps has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Miami. She worked in radio and television, was a professional belly dancer, drummer, percussionist, nightclub owner, and a sales rep for Southern Wine and Spirits for 12 years. Throughout her different career moves, speaking to and teaching women how to be more confident is Celeste's most fulfilling job.