Smile Therapy

Veera is a published Author (‘Endured’ and ‘#LoveBitesLifeHacks’) and Columnist; a passionate Educator and Counsellor; Poet and Philosopher… but most of all, a lover of all things literary. 

Did you know it was World Smile Day on the 2nd of October, 2020? A smile can win a thousand hearts. A smile can mend a broken heart. Try smiling a bit more and you’ll see a noticeable difference in the fabric of the air around you. Do you want positivity to illuminate your life? Would you want that law of attraction trekking on the ‘mind’-fields of your desires? Well then, learn to smile just a little bit more.

The benefits of an authentic smile are profound and contagious. I’ve seen the dazzle, felt the magic of a simple smile. I’ve had long, engaging conversations with practically strangers, spending an hour or two of an otherwise long, tedious journey flying by, or exchanged pleasantries in long queues, amazed in the knowledge that it really only takes so little to break the ice! I have forged friendships, made contacts, taken back rich experiences just on the basis of a smile!

Smile when you have a reason to, smile when you don’t, smile when the world is shining but smile a bit more when its grey. Smiling is a universal language that needs no filter. In the words of Emily Dickenson, “I kiss the corner of your smile and I can taste the laughter in your soul,” smiling creates an aura of attraction and irresistibility around you. More than all else, smiling is free therapy; it improves your emotional and physical well being. It’s the best make up you can wear – you’re never fully dressed without a smile.

Smiling produces happiness hormones – basically a mix of chemicals: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. Smiling is a giddy cocktail that has a positively intoxicating effect on your life. Smiling actually makes you look a lot younger – I sure am grateful for this one! I have been walking around  sometimes peering into mirrors, making a conscious effort even when I don’t feel like it, plastering  a silly smile or a loopy grin on my face, regularly checking to see the  visible effects of those paradoxical laughter lines fading! Nope, those greys and wrinkles cannot belie the age! But what the heck, I walk the day with my age-defying smile, hoping that someday, someone doesn’t cart me off to the loony-bin all in my pursuit for that mini- facelift.

Now here’s one for all you Chocoholics – we all know that chocolate can elevate one’s mood. But now British researchers have discovered that a smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation, as up to consuming 2000 bars of chocolate!! While I’ll merrily accept these findings, my question is, who participated in this experiment and what happened to the person who ate those 2000 bars? For now, I will take their word for it and continue smiling, irrespective.

Smiling people are a lot more likable for sure. When you smile, you make others around you comfortable. You are unconsciously sending a message of reaching out to them and the world at large. Smiling is all about putting on that Happy Face. It’s a gesture that tricks your mind and others into feeling buoyant. Walk into your favourite Starbucks, put on a happy smile and chances are you’ll land up with that extra dollop of cream on your frappe or some extra sprinkling of cinnamon and chocolate on your brew!

That happy curve on your face makes you more fulfilled in your relationships – happy couples smile a lot more. Smiling has been shown to increase creativity, confidence, productivity and positive relations between clients, employees and management. The funny thing about smiling is, even if you don’t work face-to-face, it can still enhance your work, environment and relationship. It’s because you can almost hear and feel a smile.

Smiling can actually rewire your brain into expecting positive things. Lost your Mojo coz you’re down in the dumps? No problem, cheat your brain and your senses into a happy vibe. Each time you smile, you are actually throwing a feel-good party in your brain. These ‘happiness smiling loops’ can serve up a mean drink of endorphins acting as natural pain relievers, stress busters and your body’s own opiates.

Finding it difficult in these times to flash that brilliant smile, all masked and covered? Don’t fret – a true smile speaks through one’s eyes. Women in the Middle East and elsewhere too, all covered in Abayas and masks, have communicated and expressed their beauty and sentiments perfectly well for centuries. Their beautiful eyes can flash smiles more brilliant than those diamonds they flaunt on their hands!

 So walk a mile in your smile, and make it the prettiest thing you wear!

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