by Brandy Webb
So, it is now 2016, and every year I hear people come up with their “New Year’s Resolutions.” I think the number one resolution is to get in shape, but since I have never done a scientific survey on that, I am not totally positive I’m right. Yet, if I am right, then the first exercise we all need to do is smiling, so that our facial muscles stay in shape. I am calling anyone who is interested in feeling better, to start a smile revolution.
There are some pretty neat facts about smiling and even fake/forced smiling has the same benefits. Here are some that I found online:
• Improves mood
• Reduces stress
• Makes us more approachable
• Makes us seem trustworthy
• Retrains our brain to be positive
• They are contagious
• May strengthen our cells
• Boosts productivity
• Boosts the immune system
• Lowers blood pressure
• Releases endorphins and serotonin
(Sources used: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/08/smiling-benefits_n_6598840.html and https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/isnt-what-i-expected/201207/try-some-smile-therapy)
I ask, who doesn’t want these to happen to them? You may think this is a silly topic (no pun intended), but I actually feel it is important. I was asked one day why I am always serious. It caught me off guard. I asked the person why they thought that, and they told me it was because I hardly smile. I had not realized that I didn’t smile that often anymore, but the truth is, I have been rather stressed for a while. Yet, that doesn’t justify not smiling. We are taught over and over again to rejoice even if we are persecuted, going through trials, and being afflicted (Matt 5:12; James 1:2-4; Rom 5:3-4; 12:12). Could it be because it helps us to fight against the negative circumstances? I believe that being joyful, regardless of what is happening around you or to you, is a way of letting the Holy Spirit work through us.
One of the cool facts that I really liked was that smiles are contagious. We can brighten another’s day by just smiling at them, and it doesn’t cost us anything. In fact, it gives us something in return.
“A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good new makes for good health” (Prov 15:30 NLT). “A cheerful heart makes good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Prov 17:22 NIV).
Who wants dried bones? I know I don’t. I much prefer good health and longevity. I know we don’t always want to smile, but it is one small act that we can do to fight against the god of this world. When we stop smiling, we stop being joyful, and God wants us to have joy. It is one of the fruits of the Spirit that we are to grow. When we stop smiling, we are giving into despair, but we have a hope that should make us smile even through trials. This isn’t the only life we will live. This world and our bodies are only temporary. The glory we shall see in the future will make all the sufferings in this life seem like nothing (Rom 8:18).
Let us smile to brighten another’s day, let’s smile to battle the pain, let’s smile to get out of the funk, let’s smile to show some spunk, and, more importantly, let us smile to give ourselves and others some joy. Therefore, let us all smile and smile big. Let the smile revolution begin.