For the past several years, I have enjoyed a little ritual that I enjoy doing on my drive to work. At every red light or stop sign, I look over at the person beside me and smile and wave! It’s amazing the responses I receive! Many people smile and wave back and I’m sure as they are driving off they are saying “Who in the heck was that?”. Some I see laughing because I do it with child-like enthusiasm. Of course I get the occasional one finger salute but I don’t let that deter me. Typically I grow my smile even bigger for them! Try what I am saying. Start out by looking at the expressions on most people’s faces on their morning commute. Most just have this look of stress and anxiety! They are heading to a job they can’t stand; running late to drop the kids off at school; fed up with the traffic; YIKES! They look like they could scream at any moment! Then you come along; big smile and a friendly wave; and at the moment that negative thought pattern they are caught up in is interrupted and knocked off track. They may allow it back in later on but know this much; you did your part!
“A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.” Proverbs 15:13. How important is it for us, through a smile, to bring joy to the hearts of others? There are so many positive things that can come from smiling and I wanted to share a few.
1. Smiling Makes Us Attractive – There is an attraction factor to those that smile; we are drawn to them and want to know them and figure out what is so good. Disgruntled, angry, frowning cry babies push people away; but a smile draws them in!
2. Smiling Changes Our Mood – Smiling can literally trick the body and help to change our mood. The next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile and watch what happens!
3. Smiling is Contagious – Someone that smiles can light up a room and literally change the mood of others around them; it is as though they bring their happiness with them and by nature we all want happiness; so bring the smile and share the gift.
4. Smiling Relieves Stress – When we are at our wits end with stress, it literally shows on our face. Putting on a smile can prevent us from looking tired, overwhelmed and worn out. This can help to reduce the stress enough allowing us to take action and make the changes we need in our lives.
5. Smiling Boosts Your Immune System – It’s been scientifically proven that smiling makes us more relaxed; and when our bodies are more relaxed, they are able to fight sickness and our immune system gets a boost!
6. Smiling Reduce Pain and Makes Us Feel Better – Studies show that smiling releases endorphins, serotonin and natural pain killers within the body. These 3 things together can make your feel like a million bucks. Face it, Smiling is a natural drug.
7. Smiling Reduces Your Blood Pressure – There have been recorded instances where a simple smile can create a measurable decrease in you blood pressure. Next time you are at Wal-Mart, go to the free blood pressure monitor and check your reading. Then sit for a few minutes and smile; then check it again. Did you see a difference?
8. Smiling Lifts Your Face and Makes You Look Younger – What a work out of the face muscles. Just smiling helps to lift the muscles of the face and helps a person to appear younger! Who needs a face lift when you can smile?
9. Smiling Can Help Your Success – Smiling people look more confident and in doing so attract people and opportunity to themselves. You are more likely to be considered for that promotion over Mr. Frowns or you may even be approached by another company that sees value in you; and that value? You bring happiness and success with you wherever you go!
10. Smiling Helps You Stay Positive – Give this a try! Put on a smile; now while smiling think of something negative without losing the smile. Pretty difficult isn’t it? It’s because the smiling body is telling itself “Life is GREAT”! This will steer you clear of depression, stress and worry! Put on a smile!
So what do you have to lose? Absolutely nothing, but you have tons to gain! So on your next drive out and about town, remember to smile and wave to your fellow brothers and sisters out in the world. I promise you will feel better and if you get one other person to smile, you can call it a success and a positive impact!