I have always been a positive, happy person, even in the face of inescapable adversity, but the last 10 days have been trying, sometimes to the point I’m not sure my joking, silly self will find her way home. Not being comfortable with this “down” Brenda, I have taken some of my own advice and gone in search of things to laugh about, starting with myself.
This week’s Blog photo always cracks me up! It is a self-portrait taken while I was in the dentist’s chair. It’s one of those faces mothers warn their children not to make for fear they’ll freeze that way. While that didn’t happen, once again, that toothy face made me smile and has made me feel better. More importantly, it’s made me think about the power of a smile.
We’ve all heard laughter—we are smiling when we laugh—is the best medicine, but research indicates that is true. Smiles make us feel better about ourselves, help us cope with stress, lowers blood pressure and improves our immune system. Smiling also releases endorphins, which act as natural painkillers, plus serotonin, which influences mood, memory and social behavior. Sounds to me like a smile should be the first “drug” we take in the morning.
Smiles are of no value to anyone unless we give them away, even to ourselves in the mirror. While smiles are free, at times they are worth everything to those who receive them. Have you ever noticed how readily a young child smiles? Unlike some adults, whose smile looks like it’s been hastily pulled from their pocket and pasted onto their face, a young child’s smile is instant, genuine and filled with pure delight.
Children are happy, inquisitive, little love sumps. As a matter of fact, it just occurred to me we haven’t sat behind a child, at church, for the last two Sundays, so I’m hereby putting our congregation on notice: Hang on to your children next week, cause I’m gonna’ smile me one.