Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Smile Project 2012

"A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile 
can work wonders and accomplish miracles."
Started out today wondering how many people I could get to smile by just smiling at them first. I admit, the results weren't as great as I'd hoped. Many people won't even give eye contact and then, for those who do, only about half smiled back. Are people unfriendly? Are they unhappy? This is my new mission: To smile at as many people as possible, whether I feel like it or not, in hopes of getting a smile back.

 It seems to me that people used to smile more. Am I wrong? Have I lived in a state of Pollyanna-ness my whole life? Today, during my little experiment, I observed more than a few people who demonstrated little or no warmth. No smile. No "hello" or "excuse me" or even with the accidental bump and expressed apology, no grace or forgiveness was returned. It made me sad for them. It made me sad for our world.
"Basic human contact - the meeting of eyes, the exchanging of words - is to the psyche what oxygen is to the brain. If you're feeling abandoned by the world, interact with anyone you can."
-Martha Beck

"Children learn to smile from their parents."
                                                                     Suzuki Shinichi

"If you keep making that face, it's going to stay that way." quoted by every mother in the world. Wouldn't you rather it stay in a smile? 

" Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.  

        It might be the only sunshine he sees all day."  

~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

There are many reasons to smile, not that I believe you need a reason...but if YOU need a reason and you are a logical thinker who believes that every action and word should have an intent and purpose, then below is a list from another website that listed 10 great benefits to doing so: 

1. Smiling Makes us Attractive-

-who doesn't want to be better looking. Smiling people are welcoming, seem warmer and draw you in. 

2. Smiling Changes Our Mood-

It's hard to smile and maintain a grumpy mood. Unless of course you are expressing large amounts of sarcasm, then you can probably do this, but you shouldn't. So, just stop. 

3. Smiling is Contagious-

Attitudes are contagious.  Are yours worth catching?  
~Dennis and Wendy Mannering

A quote from Andy Andrews:

"Smile while you talk."
Smiley face
Very few people do this. Even when people tell jokes, they don't smile while they talk. Most people talk with a serious or bland expression on their face. Get in front of a mirror and learn to smile while you talk. Add a little chuckle while you're talking, and have laughter coming through in your voice, and everything will change. When you smile at people, they will smile back. And I dare you to have people not participate in whatever it is you want them to participate in. If you want people to sign the deal or be your client forever, learn to smile while you talk. Your spouse, your kids, your neighbors, everybody will react to you differently when you smile as you talk.
Happiness is a choice and you are making that choice today. The bubbling laughter in your soul is an expression of enthusiasm, the fuel that moves the world. Your smile is the most potent weapon you have. Always remember to be the possessor of a grateful spirit, and to share that gratefulness liberally!

"Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."- Mother Theresa

4. Smiling Relieves Stress-

I'm telling you...does this boy look stressed? 


5. Smiling Boosts your Immune System-

So here's a tip for the next time you feel stressed and need a wellness break. It's called the Smile Time-Out. Take a deep breath, smile, exhale, and say "Aaah" while visualising all your muscles and cells smiling. Then add to that a memory of a time you felt really good and laughed and laughed. Remember, even when you fake a smile or laugh, you get the same physiological benefits as when it's the real thing, because your mind is smart, but your body is stupid and can't tell the difference!

6. Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure-

"There are many health benefits to smiling, including increasing your sense of wellbeing and pleasure with each day.Smiling also improves your health by boosting your immune system and lowering your blood pressure. It’s a great stress reliever..."

7. Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers and Seratonin

-Smiling is a natural drug. One that won't cause unhealthy side effects. One that won't interfere with your other medications. It will not cause nausea, constipation, diarrhea, suicidal thoughts, dry mouth, erectile dysfunction or death. You don't have to worry about overdosing but YOU MAY become addicted. 


8. Smiling Lifts the Face and Makes you look Younger

Nov. 11, 2011 -- Go ahead and smile. It may be Mother Nature's way of giving you a youthful appearance.
A new study showed that when people looked at photos of happy faces, they guessed the age of the person in the photo as younger than in photos of the same person with a neutral or angry expression.

                     “A smile will gain you ten more years of life"-Chinese Proverb quotes.

 (he'd hate this picture by the way. But if this doesn't bring an awkward smile to your face, I don't know what will.......)

9. Smiling Makes you Seem Successful

-“It costs nothing, but creates much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.”  Dale
 Carnegie, How to win friends and influence people

10. Smiling Helps you Stay Positive

The world always looks brighter from behind a smile”  Unknown

The Challenge:

Be a source of encouragement to someone this week. Smile for no reason, smile at your family, smile at strangers, smile at strange people, smile at children, smile at older people....just smile and watch the faces around you change.  

“Life is like a mirror, we get the best results when we smile at it” Unknown

"A glad heart makes a cheerful face..."-Proverbs 15:13

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