I was struck today, whilst out walking my dog, by the number of people I saw wearing frowns.  Deep lines between their brows. A hard expression in their downcast eyes. I was curious, so said ‘hi’ to them all, with a smile.  In most, not all, what a transformation! Their eyes lifted and creased at the corners; a little softer.  They stood up a little straighter.  A beautiful smile around their mouth.  Cheeks squeezed up a little.  Well, that made my day, if not theirs, and got me to thinking about a smile

A google search will tell you that it takes more muscles to smile than frown (I’ve not done my own research, but I’ll believe it’s true).  So, smiling uses more muscles – more exercise and a good workout!

A poem

There are many poems about smiling – my favourite by Spike Milligan;

Smiling is infectious
You catch it like the flu
When someone smiled at me today
I started smiling too
I walked around a corner
And someone saw me grin
When I passed I realised
I’d passed it onto him
I thought about the smile
Then realised its worth
So, if you feel a smile begin
Don’t leave it undetected
Start an epidemic today
And get the world infected.

Spike milligan

Reasons to smile

Research tells us that smiling releases endorphins.  These are our body’s natural painkillers and increase feelings of wellbeing.

A smiley face will often encourage someone to smile back – and you never know, you might be the only person to do that for them today.

A smile is often interpreted as trustworthy, so an important part of making good relationships

Dopamine and serotonin are released when we arrange our features in a smile – even if we don’t mean it. This means we can ‘trick’ our bodies into feeling a bit better.

Smiling can help boost your immune system and help you relax

Research has shown that smiling helps us look younger and more successful so might make a difference to how people respond to you

In fact, smiling when you’re thinking about something that has upset you can change the neurochemicals in your body so that your experience of the event changes. This can particularly help during times such as bereavement

It starts early

Newborns have already learned the importance of smiling and research has indicated that they can distinguish the purpose of smiles too.  Whether this is a smile that gets them something they need, or the one that is reserved specially for their caregivers, they learn very early on that a smile is important for their survival.

Pass is on

It’s likely that a smile is interpreted not only by the conscious brain, but will also trigger responses in the unconscious brain too.  This means that we might not be aware of the impact straight away.  It is, however, a global communication, so make sure you pack yours every day.  And, if you see someone without one, give them one of yours.

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one thing for wellbeing - for your horse