“Let us always meet each other with a smile for the smile is the begging of love” – Mother Teresa
It’s such a simple act and one we learn in the earliest days of our life – a smile. Nothing brings a new parent more joy than seeing their child’s face light up with a smile. A smile brings a shared moment, an understanding, a desire to reach and connect with each other, if only for a fleeting moment. A smile conveys a bond or an understanding; a recognition of our humanity. We connect and bridge the chasm of indifference with a sign of amusement, joy, or pleasure and invite people into our present, our now.
The smile is the “the symbol that was rated with the highest positive emotional content” concludes scientist Andrew Newberg. Have you ever noticed when you are around a smiling, happy person, you also begin to feel happy and share that smile? “Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match.” Smiling, then, seems to give us the same happiness that exercising induces in terms of how our brain responds. To make a long story short, our brain feels good and tells us to smile, we smile and tell our brain it feels good and so forth.
Smiling reduces the stress that your body and mind feel, almost similar to getting good sleep, according to recent studies. Finally, smiling helps to generate more positive emotions within you. That’s why we often feel happier around children – they smile more. On average, they do so 400 times a day. Generally, happy people still smile 40-50 times a day, the average of us only does so 20 times. For those of you who knew Greg Smith, “Mr. New Bern”, he was never without a smile on his face and you couldn’t help but to smile in return and you always felt a little happier in his presence.
Not only in February but every day, let us celebrate love and friendship and those with whom we share our smiles.
By Contributing Author, Brooke White CSCS, CES, SOUND FITNESS, Owner / Personal Trainer / USATF Level 2 Coach, 610 Airport Rd., 252-639-2582