smileDid you know, that LOL also means Little Ole Lady? Did that make you smile?

It doesn’t matter if my jokes are good. What matters is that either you laugh at me or you laugh with me. Either way, you are smiling :)

 

Why is smiling so important? It naturally relieves stress, releases endorphins, slows down your aging process, stimulates your brain, and improves your health. Socially, it makes you more approachable and likable to others. Smiling can improve your relationships, your work productivity, your sales, and your opportunities in life. And, it just makes you feel good!

When your smile is natural and authentic, you project a presence that people respond to.

 

Facial Expressions

There are 3 basic relaxed facial expressions. The straight mouth, which implies a person is serious or deep in thought. The frown, which often conveys a person is thinking a negative thought or criticism. And the smile, which characterizes a positive disposition and optimistic attitude.

 

And while all of these are perceptions that people subconsciously attribute to a facial expression, there are studies that show that these are the common traits of the individuals with the expressions.

 

So, having a smile, is a powerful state of being, and can transform your life. I actually speak from personal experience.

 

For years, people thought I was too serious, or critical. And for the first 27 years of my life, I wore a frown more often than not. And I realized that I was always in some form of criticism. Generally of myself, but often of others. So, I decided to change, and take positive control of my life. I started to smile.

 

smileYes, it was forced. And yes, I had to remind myself often. Did I say often, I meant continuously.

 

And over a few weeks, I noticed that my attitude about myself was changing. My internal criticism was  waning. Today, it would be difficult to find me without a smile. And similarly, difficult for me to feel critical.

 

Here is how to gain a natural smile:

1. Always think about something funny. Always think about something that you want to bring into your life, that is positive.

2. Surround yourself with more positive people.

3. Avoid depressing music, movies, television, and books. (places to find funny things to watch: youtube…search cats and dogs)

4. Avoid all forms of “self medication,” such as alcohol or drugs

5. Increase nutrition, especially fruits and vegetables, and magnesium helps reduce stress

 

Most importantly

Practice facial exercises. Just hold onto a big smile for as long as you can. Treat it as a workout or exercise regimen. (Adjust your body posture while doing this, to upright, with shoulders back and chest up)

 

I didn’t have all of this information when I first started to change my own facial expression. I only had the last tip, and it took me just a few weeks to feel a permanent shift. But if you do all of the above, you will probably experience a rapid shift. The more you practice this, the better the results.

 

Forgive someone every day, and think about something you appreciate about  yourself or someone else every day. In short, be grateful.

What makes you smile?  Tell us in the comments below.

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