The healing power of a smile

“The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.”—Dale Carnegie

The human smile has been a source of wonder and mystery for ages.  We are still fascinated by the smile – or the suggestion of a smile – on Mona Lisa’s face.

A lot of studies have been done about the usefulness and benefits of smiling. It has been shown that it can make us more socially attractive, for instance. It may be able to help us be more successful in business. A 1978 study found that smiling waitresses made more in tips than those who were merely concerned with getting the job done. A study published in Psychological Science found that when we are feeling flustered or stressed, even a forced smile will likely decrease our stress and make us happier.

Quite by chance, I made an interesting discovery myself recently about smiling. As I say, I hadn’t set out to discover anything or prove anything. But one evening, sitting quietly in my chair, I found myself simply closing my eyes and beginning to smile.

What a remarkable experience it was. As I continued smiling with my eyes closed, I realized I was becoming more relaxed. I could feel tension draining away from my face and body. I suffer from dry eye, and doing a little gentle smiling in this manner seems to help my aging eyes produce as few new tears.

But something else happens as I sit quietly in the evening, eyes closed and a gentle smile on my face. I remember that I am not a mere mortal. I remember the beautiful truth so eloquently conveyed in William Wordsworth’s poem, ‘Ode to Immortality’: “Not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory do we come from God, who is our home.”

I send my love and blessings to all. Life is hard, without a doubt. But though our bodies grow old, our spirit is ageless – and there is only joy and quiet peacefulness on its smiling face.

PS: Shining a light on the “hidden blessings” hiding in plain sight in our lives is really the intent – or the benefit — of my new book, The Secret Promise of Aging.  I’m very thankful to a blogging friend, Angela Artemis, author of The Intuition Principle, for suggesting this idea to me.  I would be very grateful for any help you could give me in spreading the word about my new book, by the way. It’s available at Amazon in print and Kindle editions.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Marisa May 29, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Dearest Christopher,
As you know, I am a teacher. Beside my desk are 2 baskets. One contains coupons for a hug. The other contains coupons for a smile. Why do I have these? It has been my experience that even young children need a safe place to let someone know they need a hug, or a smile. I have seen a hard day turn into a rainbow for many children, with a simple coupon.
Reading your posts always reinforce my belief in the spiritual being, the loving kindness of God and Man, and the beautiful gift of all the Universe has bestowed.
Thank you for giving me a smile today. Thank you for sharing your teachings, your life, and your beauty.
Marisa

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Christopher Foster May 30, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Marisa, what a wonderful story about the two baskets that sit beside your desk, one with coupons for a hug and the other with coupons for a smile. I want you to know how much I appreciate your comment and how much it means to me.
You have given me a smile, and more than a smile. I send love and blessings and — if it can make it across the ocean of the internet — I send you a hug.

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Angela Artemis May 30, 2014 at 6:01 am

Beautifully said Chris!!
I too make it a habit to smile even when I am alone. I have found smiling helps me to not only deal with stress better but to remain more cheerful throughout any ordeal.
I cannot wait to see your lovely book climb the charts on Amazon!
Best,
Angela
Angela Artemis recently posted..Intuition, Life Purpose & Signs: A Double Rainbow is a Very Good Thing!

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Christopher Foster May 30, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Thank you Angela. Your words cheer me and encourage me. I’m most thankful for your friendship and support. All the very best.

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Jamie May 30, 2014 at 8:57 pm

It makes a big difference in how I interact with someone if they smile more/show they are happy. Something about a simple smile puts me at ease and makes me feel more comfortable with them. I try to do this for others.
Jamie recently posted..Best Black Leggings For Women

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Christopher Foster June 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Jamie, I’m so sorry. Somehow I missed responding to your kind comment. I send my thanks and hope all goes very well for you. Hey, keep on commenting when you feel the urge, okay?

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Trefor May 31, 2014 at 5:03 am

A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.
Tom Wilson

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Christopher Foster June 17, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Trefor, so sorry for the delay. Thank you for your quote, it’s a good one.

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camilla May 31, 2014 at 11:21 am

thank you!

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Christopher Foster June 17, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Thank YOU Camilla. Blessings.

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Lisa June 16, 2014 at 2:16 am

Just the other day I was talking with my husband how some people put a lot on their outside look and forgetting on ther inner beauty. Thanks Christopher and of course we are spreading the word.
Lisa recently posted..Psychic Prediction

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Christopher Foster June 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Thanks Lisa. I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to your comment but I do wish you all the very best. Thank you so much for spreading the word.

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Jessica July 6, 2014 at 7:22 am

So inspiring blog. I keep saying my friends to look at world from good perspective cos life is so beautiful if we smile a lot.
Jessica recently posted..Free daily tarot card reading

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Melissa July 18, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Great article!

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Christopher Foster July 23, 2014 at 8:58 am

Thank you Melissa.

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