Sunday, June 29, 2014

Choose Happiness

Getting my groove back on...

I haven't written much lately here, just been a tad overwhelmed with too much happening around me. With 80 things to do and energy for only 8, which do I pick? Getting well with alternative treatments is sure taking up a chunk of time and energy but for me, it's a lot less stressful this way. I had something wrong with my jaw, it hurt so bad, I couldn't smile! That sure put me in a funk.

But today, I woke up alive and struggled to smile. Well, frankly I had to force myself to plaster a great big smile on my face. But it was well worth the effort. Soon I was feeling great in spite of everything. You can't really force a smile, you have to let your eyes twinkle. A fake smile doesn't do much, except tell the world "Hey, look at my fake smile!" but if that's all one can muster, it's a start towards a genuine smile.

No idea how to explain that. But I always think of Bobby C. a good friend of mine (now passed on) who was never without a smile even when he went through some excruciatingly tough times. I would briefly see him down and out, as he lowered his voice to almost a whisper, updating me on his nightmare, then a moment later he would be smiling, laughing and that twinkle in his eye was unmistakable. He triumphed over tragedy. Perhaps it was his daily enthusiasm and smiling.

choose happiness instead of misery and practice it by smiling

Smiling is a natural happiness high. Sick and tired of drugs? Try smiling!

Smiling releases pleasure hormones called endorphins, antidepressant hormones such as serotonin  (Big drum roll here!) and natural painkillers. Smiling reduces stress and boosts your immune system.

Still not smiling?

Smiling produces more happy hormones than chocolate. One study suggests that smiling offers the same level of stimulation as 2,000 chocolate bars. (Um...who exactly volunteered to eat those 2,000 chocolate bars?)

Another study claims you can lower your blood pressure through smiling. The study says you can test your blood pressure, then smile for 10-20 minutes, then test it again, and it will be lower. I don't have a blood pressure monitor to try this but if you do, let me know what you find out.

Another study claims manic depression can be cured with 20 minutes per day of smiling. Why not smile all day long? Cure everything!

When I smile, I feel better and people are nicer around me. Funny how that works.

I've even tried this over the phone a few times. I had a big technical problem. Calling the company was sure to be a daunting task, in the past it was always difficult. But I sat at my desk and smiled. Then I made the dreaded phone call. Once I finally got a technician on the line, I continued to smile while I spoke on the phone. Amazingly, the person on the other end became warm, engaging and actually sought to fix my problem rather quickly. I was stunned.

Sure there are times to be sad and one doesn't feel like smiling, like when someone beloved dies. It's sad and heart wrenching. It's OK, to sulk in some misery. But soon enough you have to pick up the pieces and get on back to smiling. Your beloved would want you that way.

So no matter what is going on, I am trying to remind myself over and over, SMILE SMILE SMILE!



  1. My wife's brother died today. We couldn't talk about him without giggling. It's not proper but he would have gone with it.
    Thank you for your post; it means quite a lot.

  2. Smile at the world, and the world will smile back at you. :)


Life is goof!