It’s easy enough to do. No one teaches you how to smile. There are no courses that teach smiling. This behavior is built into our DNA. Babies are known to smile in the womb and in their infancy. These smiles are simply reflexive facial movements, but as early as six weeks of age babies smile consciously – at first, usually in response to seeing a parent’s face. Children generally smile freely and easily, with grins of delight and pleasure. Grown-ups, on the other hand, tend to be more reserved and less spontaneous about smiling. With their personae securely in place, adults may sometimes flash calculated smiles — to gain approval, to win favor, even to deceive.
Do you realize that smiling is catalytic? It can change your internal chemistry. Now, for the smile to pack this kind of wallop, it needs to be an authentic, high-voltage kind of smile, not merely a half-hearted grin or a pinched, tight-mouthed grimace. You have to really feel the source of the smile within your being. You have to connect with the source of your happiness, pleasure and delight. And you need to be present, in the now, to connect fully with that which causes your eyes to twinkle, the corners of your mouth to lift and your lips to part – possibly setting the stage for a giggle, guffaw or hearty laugh to add to your merriment.
Whatever life path you tread, smiling is an essential tool for your journey. Smiling increases the release of endorphins in your body, perks up your brain chemistry and lifts your mood. Smiling also relaxes your body by releasing tension. These effects brighten your energy field and recharge your immune function. Additionally, smiling makes you more radiant and therefore more magnetic. You draw to yourself more positive possibilities. All in all, smiling is a no-lose proposition, so engage in some serious work in psychoneuroimmunology: smile.
(This is taken from my book, Balancing Act: Reflections, Meditations, and Coping Strategies for Today’s Fast-Paced Whirl.)