"Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl
and have wrinkles." - George Elliot
“Plenty of people miss
their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy
Happiness does not have to be something you hope to have
sometime in the future. Often people search their whole lives for happiness and it becomes an endless search. The
result is the belief that the attainment of happiness can never be achieved.
One of the challenges is that people are searching outside of themself. Happiness is not found anywhere but within
you. We all have the power to choose right here and now. The things happening in your life are immaterial because
you choose how you are going to let these external factors affect you.
This choice isn’t Pollyanna, stick your head in the clouds and deny that stuff can be just plain ugly. Sometimes we
experience just how harsh reality can be. There are simply things that are way beyond our control. There are people
who we just can't or won’t change and circumstances that are just impossible to avoid. In times like these, we can
choose peace. We can simply opt to forgive and experience an inner calm that gives us the strength to move on and
In order for us to be able to use our power to choose happiness over everything else, we need to know what
happiness is and what it truly means to us individually. One persons definition of happiness will be different to
another persons definition. Happiness is relative. Because we all came from different backgrounds, we don't share
the same likes, dislikes, and pet peeves. In other words, only you can really define what happiness means to you,
and only you.
A lot of people are guilty of constantly making happiness a future occurrence by preceding every sentence they say
with an "if" and a "when". These phrases trap happiness in the future. Joy can be attained immediately by anybody,
no ifs and buts about it. To make this even more possible, you need to focus on those things that leave you with a
powerful feeling of gratitude. This may be your greatest tool because when you begin to focus on what you are
grateful for, you can't help but feel hopeful and excited.
So take time everyday to sit and write about what you are most grateful for. If you become vigilant with this
practice, you will notice more and more things to be grateful for. The fact that you are alive or that it's a sunny
day are the small things that you can smile about.
Another really basic way to create the feeling of happiness is
simply to smile. There are many health benefits to smiling, including increasing your sense of wellbeing and
pleasure with each day. Smiling also improves your health by boosting your immune system and lowering your blood
pressure. It’s a great stress reliever and increases your attractiveness to others.
It costs nothing, but creates much. It enriches those who
receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts
Have you ever heard it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile?
It can take as little as five and as many as 16 to smile. Like
any muscle the more you use your smile, the stronger it gets and the more smiling benefits you
Smiling has been found to release powerful neurotransmitters
like endorphins and serotonin - our body’s natural ‘feel good’ drugs. Endorphins are also released when laughing,
exercising, having sex, eating chocolate, sunbathing, during massages and meditation, when dancing, singing and
listening to music – just about anything that leaves a smile on your face. Serotonin is a vital part of regulating
our moods, sleep, sexuality and appetite. The serotonin/smile relationship goes both ways - good mood, getting good
sleep, good sex and good food will ensure the smiles and serotonin keep coming.
While happiness comes at all ages, smiling into your golden
years can actually promote longevity. In a study on optimism published in General Psychiatry, of those over the age
of 65 optimists were 71 per cent less likely to die from certain causes than that of pessimists. A life full of
smiles also exercises muscles in the face, which helps prevent drooping and saggy skin.
Here are some reasons smiling is good for
1. Smiling makes us
We are drawn to people who smile. We want to know a
smiling person and figure out what is making them smile. Frowns, scowls and grimaces all push people away, but a
smile draws them in.
2. Smiling changes our
Next time you are feeling down, try tricking your body by
putting on a smile. There's a good chance you mood will change for the better.
3. Smiling is
When someone is smiling they light up the room, change
the mood of others and make things happier. A smiling person brings happiness with them. Smile lots and you will
draw people to you.
4. Smiling relieves
Stress can really show up in our faces. Smiling helps to
prevent us from looking tired, worn down and overwhelmed. When you are stressed, take time to put on a smile. The
stress should be reduced and you will be better able to take action.
5. Smiling boosts your
When you smile immune function improves, possibly
because you are more relaxed. Prevent the flu and colds by smiling.
6. Smiling lowers your
When you smile, there is a measurable reduction in
your blood pressure. Sit for a few minutes and take your blood pressure. Then smile for a minute and take another
reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?
7. Smiling releases
natural feel good drugs
Studies have shown smiling releases
endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good.
8. Smiling makes you
The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a
person appear younger. Don't go for a facelift, just try smiling your way through the day - you'll look younger and
9. Smiling makes you
Smiling people appear more confident, are more
likely to be promoted and to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to
10. Smiling helps you
Try this test: smile. Now try to think of something
negative without losing the smile. It's hard. When we smile our body is sending the message, “Life is good”. Stay
away from depression, stress and worry by smiling.
My favourite affirmation is, “I’m so happy I
can’t stop smiling”. It always helps put a smile on my face. If I don’t feel like smiling, I try to “fake it
until I make it”.
Happiness can be yours now. It is entirely up to you to make the choice to claim it. Just know your worth. Everyone
deserves to be happy, no matter what kind of person they were in the past. The point is, you just have to be happy
about life in general and stop comparing yourself to others. No one has everything, and there are surely things you
have that others don't. Life is just a big box of wonderful surprises.
The term “keep your chin up”, has real physiological benefits.
Notice what happens when you stretch your neck backward and look up - a natural smile forms in the facial muscles.
There are many simple movements in the practice of yoga that produce this effect, which is probably why
participants have a giant grin on their face after a yoga session.
Though you may go through difficult days,
there are still blessings waiting for everyone along the way. Give yourself a chance and start seeing the glass
half full. What sets optimists apart from the pessimists is their ability to succeed by simply being thankful
for what they have, no matter how small it is or how little it is worth.
I pretend I am happy by smiling anyway and usually I find I am
feeling better in no time.
So lets review:
Happiness is a decision.
Happiness is your own
Happiness is within you
Happiness is a now feeling
Happiness comes from being
· Happiness comes from smiling
· Happiness comes from being
· Happy people are healthier
Health is not necessarily about having more
years in our life, but about having more life in our years.
I wish you health, happiness and success. Together let's stop those wasted years.