A Smile To Make You Happy!

Did you know that smiling is supposed to make us feel happy!
This is the finding from a study by shoe brand Moshulu: Having studied 2000 people, they found that seven in ten believed that smiling at others made them feel happy.

Smiling Makes Us Happy?

If smiles and happiness go hand in hand, then surely the more we smile the happier we will be.
Psychologist Dr Jessamy Hibberd concurs: “When the number of times you smile every day is added up, it can have great benefits to overall happiness.”

One of our goals then should be to create as many opportunities to smile as we possibly can. And, if the experts are correct, we’ll be the happiest people in the world. Mmmmh!

Or…I Smile When I’m Happy!

King Solomon said many years ago, “A glad heart makes a cheerful face” (Pr 15:13). Now I can appreciate that: My broadest smile have been at some of my happiest moments. I can think of four in particular: One was a mid-Saturday morning, the second, a late Sunday evening, the third a Saturday morning, and the fourth, a very early Tuesday morning.
Yep, you’ve probably guessed: The first was the moment I married my princess-bride. The other three were the moments when I welcomed my beautiful baby girls into the world. My heart was filled with gladness, and my face was the mirror that reflected it.

Holding The Smile

But the problem with a smile is holding it! And I’m not talking about holding it while the photographer takes endless shots trying to get the best portrait.
I’m talking about holding it when the moment is gone. I’m talking about happiness beyond the smile. It doesn’t help to tell me that the more I smile the happier I will be. If that was the remedy for unhappiness, I’d set my alarm on my mobile phone to remind me every ten minutes: “It’s time to smile, It’s time to smile.” I can hear that fake “Sir-Lexa” voice beckoning a contrived smile.

The Smiles Just Aren’t Making Us Happy

The fact is: A smile may mean we’re happy (although not all the time), but it can’t make us happy: “Even in laughter the heart may ache” (Pr 14:13). And millions know it! Here’s a figure to consider: 64.7 million prescriptions for anti-depressants were written in the UK in 2016. That is an increase of 108.5% since 2006.

What does that tell us?

Surely the answer is as glaring as a £50 note on a sidewalk: Living in the first world, with all its luxuries and opportunities and advancing technologies hasn’t made us happy or content. I’ve seen more happiness in rural Africa than in modern Europe. Europe and North America are suffering a plague of mental and emotional breakdown, and rather than dealing with the root causes, we’re covering it up with medication. Indeed, medication works, but only so long as you’re taking it.

Here’s the problem with unhappiness and depression: It causes me to dwell on me. It’s a cruel place to be…I have been there. I’ve smiled while there, more than once a day, but I couldn’t hold the smile because I couldn’t hold the happiness.

The Smile That Really Makes Us Happy 🙂

I want to suggest that there is a way, a way that will hold the smile because it will hold the happiness: Connect with Kindness! I could direct you to some excellent articles, highlighting research that bares me out (see U.S News and  Greater Good Science Centre at UC Berkley ) Instead, I want to commend you to a simple experiment: Go out of your way to be kind, to be thoughtful, even if it costs you…today! Be creative about it! Give some thought to it…and be ready for a smile on the heart.

Because here’s the thing: The smile that makes us happy is not our own! When through our kindness, we focus on the smiles of others, we generate the greater, deeper happiness in our selves.

 

 

 

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