Smiling reduces stress.
drkiranhania / Pixabay – Smiling reduces stress.

I’m sure that you see people all the time with genuine smiles.  It seems they can’t help but smile – it is part of their personality. I go out of my way to tell people who have genuine smiles that they have great smiles.

There is the other side of the spectrum also – those who frown, scowl, glare, grimace, glare, mope, sulk, etc.  You rarely see a smile on their face, even when they are happy.  I believe that very successful people have great smiles.

Look at the successful sales people in any line of business.  People like to do business with those whom they like.  A scowl or grimace doesn’t appeal to a lot of us, even if they are the best technician in the business.

Are all smiles created equally?  I’m sure you’ve seen someone put on a fake smile – usually when you are trying to cheer them up.  There is something missing in their smile.  We pick it up through our subconscious mind – we are constantly evaluating other people’s body language.  The smile is only one part of the true picture.  If everything isn’t true, then the picture is false or misleading.

As much as you can’t make someone else smile on command, you can’t do it yourself either.  The fake smile is overridden by the rest of your body language.  A smile is not automatic to those who hide them all the time.  I believe the outward manifestation of our true inner feelings is not shown in the totality of your smile – something is being held back because of something else has preoccupied your attention.  It affects your behavior which overrides the genuineness of your smile.

There are ethnic, cultural, family history, genetics, medications, bad teeth and other factors causing emotional withdrawal from smiling.  It is difficult on your best day to cause that person to smile genuinely.  Even in the workplace, your emotions show through the façade of your face.

If you are not happy working there, it is extremely difficult to smile.  Get away from work with some friends and your genuine smile returns.  The negativity inside your subconscious mind is overpowering your ability to act normal or to be happy.  Yes, there are some people who can hide their inner emotions, but it is not the norm.

If you suspect someone is hiding his or her emotions, watch how they deal with others.  Do they show genuine interest or make others feel important?  Do they listen more than talk?  Do they help others or offer hints or tips to make their job easier?  It’s the little things that permeate from your subconscious mind that you can’t hide easily – those things that support a smile or detract from it.  It’s easy to tell the real from the fakes.

A genuine smile is not a magic bullet, but it certainly is a silver bullet. Smiling like any muscle group needs to be exercised.  Fortunately, it is one of those muscle groups in your body that can be worked every hour of every day.  You don’t have to start working on your smile an hour a day three days a week.  You do have to work on your mindset to complement your smile to make it more natural and authentic.

Mindset is the key to almost everything in our lives.  Mindset allows us to conquer the world or mope around endlessly.  Smiles keep your mindset positive.  Smiles change your mood and are therapeutic – they release stress.  Smiles release powerful neurotransmitters, similar to endorphins and serotonin – they lower your blood pressure.  We are more attractive, younger and look successful when we smile.

When you make others smile, you might be changing their day for the better.  I use smiles very often to counter negativity, especially when something happens that used to make me upset or irritated.  When driving and someone cuts in front of me – I smile and say to myself something along the lines of, “They must be in a hurry.  I hope they get there safely.”

General Psychiatry published a study on optimism a while back.  They compared elderly optimists to elderly pessimists.  They found that optimists were 71% less likely to die from certain diseases than pessimists.

You can choose to smile often and mean it. Start today and make 2018 the best smiling year of your life.

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