Leo Buscaglia coined that phrase, and I love it.
The Optimist Creed continues . . .
‘To wear a cheerful countenance at all times, and to greet every living creature that you meet with a smile.’
I remember years ago reading a book by metaphysical author Catherine Ponder. One section dealt with low moods and depression. ‘When things look bleak, look around wherever you are, and start smiling,’ she wrote. ‘Smile at the furniture!’
Really? I thought. That’s her best advice? And how phony, to boot.
That one sentence – smile at the furniture – began to churn around in my brain, though. Supposing I did smile more? Wouldn’t people assume I was happy? Then how would I get attention without a martyr face?
Since then, I’ve come to see the wisdom in putting on a happy face. Not when we are in crisis or a tragedy has occurred; no one expects a happy dance then. But there is scientific proof that smiling, even when we don’t want to, signals to the brain and even the immune system that we’re happy.
People think you’re better looking when you smile, too. Research conducted at the University of Adelaide found that 69% of persons found women who smiled more attractive than women who wore make up.
Not that anyone needs to throw away their Ulta credit card, but really, who knew?
‘Peace begins with a smile.’ – Mother Teresa
Exercise: Does smiling make a difference? Write about a recent not-so-important situation that you took very seriously. How would a lighter approach have helped?