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  • Fleeting Moments

One smile can change the world- for better or for worse

I try to tell myself that there is good in everyone, but heaven help me when people try to use them for evil. Smug, condescending, fake- those types of emotions that shine through a person when they smile are like nails on a chalkboard for me. There are thousands of studies that focus on the effects of smiling and the effects on those around someone who smiles. A smile causes a release in your body to produce endorphins, which is the chemical that helps us be happy and lowers stress levels. Studies have proven that you can LITERALLY get high from smiles and laughter and can be addicted to it as well. A person who has negative emotions on a consistent basis is enabling their body to associate smiling with negativity. Their bodies start to crave smiling (producing endorphins, because your body cannot distinguish between real and fake) so their emotions stay negative in order to keep those endorphins running.

There really is a physical difference between a genuine smile and a "fake" smile. The expression that someone says when they know a person doesn't have a genuine smile, because it "doesn't reach their eyes"? That's because a joyful, happy, true smile causes a muscle on the outside of your eye sockets to squeeze.

We often read that yawning, smiling, and other behaviors are "contagious" and you can find a number of articles to support this. If you want to experiment for yourself- scratch your nose or ears a few times while you are talking to someone. People tend to mirror others that they are conversing with. Good friends, partners, coworkers, or spouses often start adopting expressions, words or behaviors from each other because of how much time they spend with each other. This is why it is so important to surround yourself with people who you strive to be like so that you can adapt to the environment you want in your life. Surrounding yourself with people who are genuinely kind and have generally positive outlooks on life will cause you to be happier, causing you to smile more, making your body crave those positive emotions. You could literally be "high on life."

Don't strive to be perfect, work towards living a genuine life. Offer those beautiful smiles as much as you can, minimize those negative attitudes, take care of yourself on the bad days, and be honest (and respectful) to those around you. Misery may love company, but the world loves a good hero who makes a difference. That difference can start with a smile and that hero could be you.

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