Charlie Chaplin was a genius of his era, who rose to fame in the silent film epoch and also knew how beneficial a simple facial expression—a smile—could be. He not only made so many people smile with his clever acting but showed the importance of smiling with a song:
“Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you.”
(Music by Charlie Chaplin, Lyrics by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons)
What was Chaplin’s message? Just smile! He knew somehow that smiling could actually make things better; it could actually lift your mood. So, how many times have you smiled today? Well, why don’t you try it, right now, go ahead and smile. How do you feel? You may feel a little silly just smiling to yourself but you may also feel surprised to realize that your mood may have lifted a little. This is because when we smile, we release a few hormones, namely endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, into our bloodstream that in turn help our body relax by bringing down our heart rate and blood pressure.
Smiling is also contagious. Have you ever had a complete stranger smile at you and you’ve automatically smiled back, without even thinking? We tend to mimic other people’s expressions unconsciously. We are social creatures and it is by mimicking that we can understand (or try to) what the other person’s feeling. It is hard not to smile when everybody around you has a grin from ear to ear!
So, how can we smile more? There are so many ways, let’s have a look at a few:
Watch a series, movie, or TV show that makes you laugh. There are a lot of them out there. If you don’t have cable or Netflix, you can always use YouTube to look for funny sketches or Redbox to rent a funny new release.
Eat your favourite food. If you’re on a diet and don’t want to feel guilty later, look for a healthy version of the chocolate cake that you crave.
Go for a walk to the nearest park or if you live close, go for a stroll on the beach. The fresh air, children playing, dogs walking or running, and nature itself will definitely make you smile!
Give somebody a hug. Hugs are just as amazing as smiles. The feelings you get when somebody you care about hugs you will certainly bring a grin to your face.
Take your shoes off, put your favourite song on, turn the volume up, and dance like nobody’s watching! This will not only give you a reason to smile, it’s also a great cardio workout.
Set yourself a challenge to get your favourite photographs from your phone onto the wall or into a photo album. You’ll definitely smile at the magical memories you’ve created.
Buy somebody a small gift, or treat them to lunch. Making somebody else happy is actually very fulfilling and a great reason to smile.
Start the day by writing down three things that you are grateful for. You’ll realize just how good life is and you’ll start the day with a smile.
Read something funny. Everyone love memes—they can really hit a funny bone, but if they are not your thing, you can look up a comic you used to love reading when you had time, or you can look up funny quotes.
Love your smile. Sometimes we feel embarrassed to smile because we’re not happy with our teeth. NewSmile offers clear aligners for all ages, so if you were uncomfortable with the thought of those metal style aligners, NewSmile has a great solution.
Join the Smile Challenge and get smiling! It will not only make you feel happier and put you in a better mood, but chances are that you’ll make someone else smile, too.