Everyone wants to be healthy and happy, right??? So many people struggle with stress, life, balance, challenges, and a top priority, if not the main priority, if is that we live a happy and healthy life. It seems so complex because people struggle with this. Yet depression is rampant in our culture and all over the world. In the United States alone almost 35,000 people commit suicide every year. Now more than ever, it is critical that we are able to find what makes us happy in life.
So what is happiness? We can easily tell when someone looks happy, just as we know if someone is not happy. You feel it in less than a second. How is it that we know it when we see it, and it is so hard, if not impossible for some of us to attain this “Happiness!”
As a double board certified facial plastic surgeon performing over 10,000 cosmetic procedures of the face and neck, I have found an answer to this question. It is simple, it is profound, and it is effective. I will give you the answer, and then please allow me to explain because if you gloss right over this, you will miss a life-changing lesson: The secret to our happiness is not our wealth, education, social status, health, or any other artifice of life. The key to is right under your nose…It’s the physical act of genuinely smiling ( :
What? It can’t be that simple! There are a lot more things that go into it than that!! OK, I agree, it is complex with many contributing factors. And, whatever those factors are, if they include a genuine smile, you will create happiness. We often think that we must have a meaning with our happiness, and it certainly helps to have reasons for smiling or for feeling good. However, we can also have meaningless happiness. Mindless, wonderful, child-like happiness, and it feels just as good as meaningful happiness.
Happiness is a physical act. We have endorphins released in our brain, we relax our stress, and we FEEL GOOD! We can stimulate this physical act of happiness the same way we stimulate our blood pressure and heart rate to rise or fall with or without exercise. We can also change our blood sugar by eating different types of food. And we can change our happiness by smiling more or less frequently.
Let’s just test this out, shall we? Find a mirror, or put your smartphone on selfie mode, and give yourself a BIG SMILE! For some of us, this comes easily, and for some of us it is a bit more of a challenge. Push yourself a bit, and give yourself a big smile, as if your happiness is on the line, because it is ( : Does it make you want to laugh a little bit? If you show this to someone else, it is very likely to make them smile or laugh. The bottom line is that it feels good to smile, it is infectious and almost a reflex for others to smile back at us. What is going on here?
Most people will agree, we live in a visual society today, and my job exists because people do treat us differently based on our appearances. We are treated differently based on how young or how old someone thinks we are, and we are treated differently based on how much or how little we smile. And the most important person that treats us differently is OURSELVES!!! So take on the smile challenge, and invite yourself to smile more often and in situations where you normally would not do so. I promise you, it will feel uncomfortable and a bit awkward at first, though it will become natural as you change how you feel and how those around you feel as well.
Today’s smiles will pay tomorrows dividends. Invest in yourself and those around you by wearing your smile and showing others your confidence, self-control, and self-acceptance. No one will treat you with respect unless treat yourself with respect first. This is the formula for happiness. Please apply this liberally in your life, I promise that you won’t overdose. If you want to learn more about making yourself and those around you happy, please visit us at www.TheSmilePrescription.com
The Smile Dr.
Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and
Author of The Smile Prescription