"Because of your smile you make life more beautiful." ~Thich Nhat Hanh
What makes you smile? One thing that everyone in the world has in common is the propensity to smile. It is perhaps the easiest and most effective way to positively impact yourself and those around you. But, what exactly is smiling and why do we do it? Why is it that people throughout the world perform the same bizarre act of baring their teeth and squinting at each other?
While there are many reasons to smile, the most obvious one is because you are happy. Your smile is a reflection of the joy you are experiencing on the inside. Pleasure is another reason to smile. Whether you are enjoying a delicious meal or receiving a really good massage, you’ll find that your mouth will naturally contort into a smile. You might smile when you feel comfortable, when you feel satisfied, or when you are connecting with others on a deep level. You are also more likely to smile when you witness beauty or perfection in the world, like a rainbow or a colorful sunset.
The funny thing about smiling is that it is appropriate in seemingly opposite situations. For example, you may smile when you feel nervous, but you may also smile with confidence. People smile when they do something exciting like skiing, but also when they reach a state of relaxation, like soaking in a hot tub. You are just as likely to smile when you are embarrassed as you are when you are proud.
When is the right time to smile? Whenever possible, really. Studies have shown that frequent smilers tend to be happier and have a more positive outlook on life. Furthermore, when you smile, your brain releases endorphins, which helps improve your mood and reduces stress. The best part about smiling is that it’s contagious, triggering others to smile in response. In this way, you can literally spread joy wherever you go. So, as the saying goes, don’t let the world change your smile, instead use your smile to change the world!
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About The Author
Nick Hughes is a massage therapist, yoga instructor and co-owner of Well Being. Influenced by the ideas of Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, and Deepak Chopra, Nick presents his unique take on human existence with the goal of helping others live a happier life.