It's a Good Time to Smile

I saw a sign the other day. It said: “Toilet stolen from Police station. Cops have nothing to go on.” That made me smile. In fact, I almost laughed out loud. It is always a good thing to smile.

It didn’t surprise me to read that smiling triggers activity in our brains. In fact, I would say that there is a serious mind-body connection. Doctors will tell you that this brain activity takes place in the left frontal cortex, which is—not surprisingly—the area of your brain that registers happiness.

There are so many benefits to smiling. I’d like to highlight a few of them.

First, smiling can help you feel happy (even if you’re not). Remember that mind-body connection? It turns out that smiling sends a signal to your brain, a signal telling your brain that you are happy. Your body then reacts to this signal by pumping out all kinds of feel-good endorphins throughout.

Second, smiling is contagious. It has a strange power to be able to make other people happy! Sometimes it’s just what they need. A long time ago a song was made famous by Louis Armstrong that expresses this very point. “Oh, when you're smilin', when you're smilin' — The whole world smiles with you.” It is a very rare occurrence that a smile isn’t returned when given away!

Third, smiling makes a person more attractive. Seriously! Someone has said, “I have never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful!” Have you ever heard someone with a camera say, “Everyone frown!”? Never (unless they’re trying to make you smile). No, the person with the camera is asking for smiles.

Fourth, smiling can lead to laughter. Everyone knows that laughter is good for you. The wisdom of Solomon says that “a joyful heart is good medicine.” He knew thousands of years ago what doctors are telling us today. Laughing is like a mini workout where you burn calories and strengthen abs! Laughter also helps blood flow, lowers blood sugar levels, reduces stress and improves sleep. So smile and laugh often, right?

Finally, smiling feels like the right thing to do. The Bible says “work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God” (Eph. 6:7 The Message).

So, next time you’re down, try smiling. Read the funnies. Watch some comedy on television. While you’re at it, try sharing a smile with someone that doesn’t have one! “Say cheese!” Now that’s beautiful!