Self-Happiness Manifesto Part 2: How to Smile More!

23 Feb

Smile!, originally uploaded by minty mentos.

“Put a smile on your face…make the world a better place.”

Sound cliché? Maybe. Truthful? Definitely.

Smiling and You

Smiling is one of the most beneficial techniques to help make your day – and life – a bit brighter. And what’s more: it’s simple, effective, and FREE. (And who doesn’t like free stuff?!) Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin – it’s a natural feel good drug! And unlike the other resources on this Earth, there is no scarcity.

Cognitive psychologists have debated on the influence of smiling on your overall mood – but studies have said there is a strong connection to emotion and facial expressions. Studies have concluded that your emotions cause your expressions but the two become so inextricably linked that smiling can often cause a Pavlovian reaction of happiness.

Try it: next time you’re down, smile – even if you don’t mean it at the time – and hold it there. Don’t just give it a few seconds, try a minute or so. See what happens, and if your results aren’t satisfactory, you can return your defective product for a complete refund of $0.00 (feel free to convert into whatever currency you wish) But honestly, it couldn’t hurt, could it?

Smiling does not only change how you feel, though – it can also spread to others! People who smile more often have a more positive effect on their environment, and are better received by others. People can even tell if you are smiling over the phone!

Smiling and Others

Have you ever smiled to yourself while walking down the street, only to have a stranger return that smile back to you? No? Try it sometime!

“But Tara,” you say, “I can’t smile!”

I’ll look stupid, you continue. I’ll look goofy and strange. They’ll wonder who this wack-a-doodle smiling at everyone is, and that won’t help me!

Well, I’ll say – you are you. Barring any extensive surgical modifications, this is the you that you’ve got, so flaunt it! Why waste your precious smiling opportunities on random souls anyway who don’t appreciate it? They aren’t a reason not to share your radiant smile to the world!

Unless you walk around facing a mirror all day, you can’t see your smile anyway, to be honest. What does the opinion of the randoms on the street matter?

Smile more! It can’t hurt. And you never know who might appreciate it.

xoxo,

Tara

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6 Responses to “Self-Happiness Manifesto Part 2: How to Smile More!”

  1. 4changenow February 24, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Yah Tara! I enjoy this…a little inspiration for our generation! Kudos to u missy!

    • Tara Melissa February 24, 2010 at 11:19 am #

      I’m glad! There’s more where that came from =)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Happiness Manifesto Part 5 – How to Listen and Love « love, tara. - March 17, 2010

    [...] say “actions speak louder than words”! As noted in one of my previous articles, about smiling more, your physical actions can have a profound effect on how you feel and behave. Holding yourself in a [...]

  2. Self Happiness Manifesto Part 7 – How to Embrace Change! « love, tara. - March 24, 2010

    [...] 2.  Smile More [...]

  3. Fifteen Ways to Brighten the World Around You « love, tara. - April 7, 2010

    [...] most basic, so I’ll list this one first. I have already documented why it’s a good idea to smile more, but notably, it can have a great effect on others! You don’t have to direct an intense, [...]

  4. My Happiness Manifesto/a! « xoxo, tara. - August 29, 2010

    [...] SMILE MORE – This is a simple and straightforward one – making a point to smile more can do wonders for your self-confidence and mood! Studies have shown that smiling can actually help increase your mood and happiness. Some cognitive psychologists believe this is because you closely associate certain facial expressions with mood, and keeping a smile on your face may help convince you to be happier. In that same study, it was mentioned that people seem to “catch” emotions, so smiling at a stranger on the road may help them feel happier as well. Give it a try! [...]

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