“Your wrinkles either show that you're nasty, cranky, and senile, or that you're always smiling.” ~ Carlos Santana

In your busy life, have you burdened yourself so intently that you go for weeks without smiling?  Do you remember how your own kids smiled over simple little things?  Do you still smile and enjoy simple little things?  Do you have a case of terminal seriousness, or can you stop and smile over your own intensity?

Smiling Helps You to “Lighten Up”

Life seems to be complex, but when you stop and examine it, you’ll discover that it boils down to fairly simple tenets, and one of those is smiling.

I am sure that you’ve all heard the saying about how many muscles it takes to smile and at least four times that number to frown?  Research cannot nail down an exact number for either smiling or frowning, but we do know this: the saying was created to teach people that the underlying attitude around frowning is so much more unpleasant than the underlying attitude around smiling.

Smiling is good for grouchy people you encounter, sad members of your family, and for you.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to see what getting the whole world to smile on one particular day might do to international relationships?  It would be so much easier to create good things on a day devoted to smiling.

Smiling Benefits You Individually

It is impossible to feel poorly inside when you are smiling. Test have shown that those who put a smile on their faces – even when they know for sure it’s nothing more than an act – end up feeling happier than those who would not smile.  You would be well served as you go through your family challenges, to make a conscious effort to smile.

It’s true that our wrinkles do display whether our dispositions have been happy or sad.  It will be much easier in our older years to know that we smiled ourselves into our wrinkles. 

Happiness Should Be Our Norm

If we can train ourselves to look for what is good in each day and keep those good things as our inventory, we will be more likely to smile than to frown.  If you stop right now, and think beyond the pressures of yesterday to see if you can find three good things that were there in the background, just awaiting your recognition. Were your clothes clean and pressed? Did your car operate without malfunctioning?  Did you enjoy enough meals to make you feel satiated?  Was the sky blue? Did you love the rain? Was your pet affectionate?  Or did you only focus on the problems?

Maintaining an inventory of what is good will keep a smile on your face, and, as the old song lyrics say “and a melody in your heart.”

And the things that make us smile and be happy are the simple things in life that are free. It would be most interesting to see a list of your favorite things in life.  Me, I like tabouli, sweet tea, and bubble baths.

Smiling makes us all feel better.  It doesn’t solve problems, but it does make them easier to solve when there is a smile on your face and happiness in your heart. Smiling takes the edge off sadness and helps us work our way to resolution.  There is a lot of truth in the old saying “Just grin and bear it” and I know you will be able to use these ideas throughout many parts of your challenging days!  Here is my smile for you.

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