, African Yogi

A Smile a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Why did the Mona Lisa become one of the most famous paintings of all time?   That’s a question an incredible amount of people have asked themselves in the past.  And one possible answer is this: because of her unique smile.

I love smiling.  And although I don’t have a Mona Lisa smile, but rather an all-wrinkled up one, I still feel it is the purest gift I can give another human being.  To me, smiling is not simply a facial expression. Every day I see the impact a simple smile can have on a person and I truly believe it is one of the most beautiful things we humans can do.

1. It is yours and only yours. Your smile is your unique trademark. There is no makeup to enhance it; it cannot be faked.

2. A smile says what words cannot. A smile can mean a multitude of things. It can be a form a flirtation, a silent way of saying hello, a healthy dose of sarcasm, you can have a full conversation with a smile.

3. Smiling boosts your immune system.  Smiling can also boost your overall health. The act of smiling actually helps the human immune system to function more effectively. It is thought that when you smile, immune function improves because you are more relaxed (thanks to the release of certain neurotransmitters). In addition to taking precautions like washing your hands, why not try to prevent the cold and flu by smiling?

4. A smile has the power to break barriers.   It has the ability to break down tough barriers such as different languages or the anxiety that goes hand and hand with meeting new people.  It does not only soften the smiler but also the receiver.

5.  Smiling reduces stress. It’s true, a smile has the power to make someone’s day, but it has the power to release your own stress levels too!  When you put a smile on your face, the movement of the facial muscles releases those naturally-occurring feel-good chemicals, endorphins. The small rush of endorphins trigger positive feelings and can lower stress levels and improve your mood.  Waking up with a smile on your face can improve your mental health and make your overall outlook on life more optimistic!

And if for whatever reason, you wake up, incapable of mustering up even a grin, you can take up a Laughing Yoga Class.  The forced laughter, and watching the other students, will soon have you erupt with real belly laughter.

Here are some of my favourite quotes on smiling.

 

  1. The Dalai Lama:   My practice when I see someone, is to smile
  2. Mother Theresa:  Peace begins with a smile
  3. Shari Arison Even a smile is a good deed.
  4. Thich Nhat Hanh:  The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.
  5. Thomas Paine:  The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.
  6. Chris Hart: All the statistics in the world can’t measure the warmth of a smile.
  7. Maxime Lagacé:  How can you feel bad and smile simultaneously?
  8. Giovannie de Sadeleer: She wrote love with her smile and magic with her eyes.
  9. Unknown: One who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger.
  10. F. Scott Fitzgerald: It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.
  11. Minnie Mouse: Smile, and let the world wonder why….