Have you smiled today? I hope so! Smiling is a choice. Smiling is choosing the positive perspective. Smiling is recognizing life’s simple pleasures. Smiling brings a heart joy. Smiling is the first step towards laughter.
A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. ~Phyllis Diller
The overall benefits of that simple curve of the lips, that we call a smile, were outlined in a February 2015 article titled “11 Surprising Reasons Why You Should Smile Every Day.” For some people, like me, smiling everyday is a no-brainer. I mean, seriously, what is the other option? Who wants to frown all day? No one is asking you to paste a smile on your face twenty-four hours like the Joker in Batman. However, what I want you to do is recognize when you smile or what makes you smile.
Some smiles are spontaneous. Seeing your spouse for the first time on your wedding day. Seeing a newborn baby for the first time. Seeing a loved one in a tender moment with a family member. Seeing someone perform onstage, play a sport, complete a difficult task, or achieve a long-term goal. Seeing your child sleep soundly in their bed. Seeing your own hard work pay off.
Some smiles are choices. Meeting a person for the first time. Greeting people that you haven’t seen for awhile at a large family gathering. Attending a work-related function. Making eye contact with a stranger in a public place.
Smiling can save a person’s life. If you don’t believe me on the last one, think about the person who is feeling alone, under appreciated, or invisible. Your smile says, “I see you.”
A smile is the universal welcome. ~Max Eastman
Some smiles produce laughter, which is the ultimate life saver! I believe in the saying “Laughter is the best medicine.” Apparently, I am not the only one. According to an April 2014 article in the Huffington Post, there are current studies that prove the positive effects of laughter on a person.
Have you ever listened to the laughter of a baby? One of life’s greatest joys is watching a baby laugh for the first time. It’s contagious. Seeing someone laugh, who months earlier couldn’t even hold their head straight, is a miracle itself. I love that the simplest things can spark a baby’s laughter. The game “Peek-a-Boo” is a tried and tested tradition to ignite every baby’s laughter.
Laughter is the fireworks of the soul.
When was the last time that you laughed? Now, think about the last time you laughed so hard that you couldn’t stop yourself? My uncontrollable laughter spell happened recently while playing wallyball (volleyball in a racquetball court). I don’t even remember what started it; whatever it was, I couldn’t concentrate enough to serve the ball because I was laughing so hard. Oddly enough, during that time, I felt the stress of that workday disappear.
Have you noticed how a simple word, story, or gesture can ignite immediate laughter? Since my mother reads this blog, I’ll use her and my aunt as an example. Hey mom! GIRAFFE! My cousins told me the story of my mom and aunt playing a game of Pictionary and one of them scribbled something that was supposed to look like a giraffe. Anyways, you get the picture (no pun intended), it didn’t look anything like it. It’s not funny to any of us right now; but it is hilarious to the people who were present. This type of situation also happens often when my husband tells me a story. He has to stop periodically through the retelling because he’s laughing so hard. We’ve all done it though. My high school best friend and I got together this past year and were laughing about things that happened decades ago. What memory ignites immediate laughter with you? Are those people still around to share it with?
Laughter itself is funny, Have you ever caught yourself laughing simply because of someone else’s laughter? Sometimes, it is by watching another person laugh uncontrollably. The laughter becomes contagious to everyone in close proximity. Other times, it is because of a person’s actual laugh. Let’s face it. There are some unique laughs out.
Smiling and laughter are therapeutic, particularly laughing. Whether I have been sad, mad, stressed or lonely, I have chosen FUNNY. These are the times when I try to watch a funny television show or movie. Whose Line Is It Anyways never disappointed during some stressful years. They always made me laugh. Nowadays, I just look for the 30-minute sitcoms like Modern Family, Blackish, Cristela or reruns of Friends and Seinfeld. Does anyone remember the old show Make Me Laugh? Recently I found some episodes of the show on YouTube. There is no way that I would have been able to keep a straight face on that game show. By the way, I highly recommend searching YouTube for Whose Line Is It Anyways; I still found myself laughing loudly at the different clips.
Whatever you do today, choose to smile. Whatever you do tomorrow, choose to smile. Lastly, however it begins, let the laughter flow freely.
A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~Charlie Chaplin