A happy smile brings about a better-feeling mood. You can experiment yourself. Put a smile on your face (even if you don't feel like smiling) and try to keep smiling for about a minute. See if your mood shifts up a notch towards more happiness.
The muscles used in smiling seem to have that real effect. This means that even if you're not feeling too cheerful you can still 'fake' a smile for a short while and you will actually start to feel better.
Smiling reduces blood pressure
Research has shown that smiling brings about a definite and measurable reduction in blood pressure. And high blood pressure is a major health risk factor in these modern times.
If you don't believe this, the next time you're having your blood pressure checked, ask the doctor or health professional to let you smile for a minute or two after the first reading, and then take a second reading and see if it's the same or lower than the first one.
Smiling boosts the immune system
The immune system is what helps you stay healthy and ward off colds, flu and other illnesses. If you smile a lot you can expect your body's immune system to benefit, reducing your chances of getting ailments.
So, this is another reason why deliberately and frequently offering a smile can be of benefit to health and happiness.
Smiling reduces the feeling of stress overload
When I was a member of the Humewood Sea Scout Troop in the nineteen fifties,
the ten-point Scout Law
included as its eighth point:
"A Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties."
I guess Lord Robert Baden-Powell of Gilwell knew a thing or two when he put pen to paper to draw up the Scout Law for boys between the ages of 11 and 18.
The next time you're feeling a bit 'low', overwhelmed, tired, despondent, just decide to offer a smile.
Hold it for just over a minute or so, and see how it changes your 'vibrations' and improves how you feel emotionally. Repeat the process again, and you should find that your mood lifts even more.
Smiling is an excellent method for uplifting one's mood and energy, as well as one's effectiveness in the task at hand. Try it yourself.
Smiling releases 'happy chemicals'
A happy smile, whether you're actually feeling happy at the time or not, releases endorphins, serotonin and other biochemical substances in the body.
Working in harmony, the effect of these changes in body chemistry is that we quickly start to feel happier. So, offering a smile at any time will clearly uplift one's mood and cultivate a more frequent state of happiness.
Here's some smiling homework
Take advantage of this knowledge and make it a point to practise giving a happy smile whenever you can.
Here are some suggestions for you to try for yourself:
When you get up in the morning, make a point of smiling at the new day. Hold the smile for over a minute. (I've heard that 68 seconds is a good duration.)
When you make eye contact with someone, offer a happy smile and see how that lifts the mood of both you and the recipient of the smile.
When you're feeling in any way not on top of your form, smile for a while to boost your mood and energy levels.
As soon as you feel the slightest negativity starting to surface in you, take the conscious decision to smile a while, and see what happens.
Decide this minute that from now on you will smile as often as you can, not only when you're alone, but also when you're in the company of others. Watch how your life changes, how things go more easily for you, at home, work and socially.
To end this page, here are two videos I found.
Charlie Chaplin's 1936 silent movie 'Modern Times' with an orchestral version of his famous song 'Smile'
Here's an adorable one that is sure to bring a smile to your face.