19 September 2011

Simply Smile!

“A smile is the beginning of peace.”
– Mother Teresa

I can’t believe that I am seriously posting the picture above for the whole world to see ... but today I found smiles, joy and peace while reminiscing.

It all started when some of my high school friends posted old photos of our high school football team on FaceBook. Oh the memories ... Friday night football games, performing with the marching band during half time (thus the majorette picture above), post-game bonfires, bus rides home from away games, and of course, teenage sleepovers (hair in rollers and dippity doo) ... ahhh, those where the days.  ‘smile’

This weekend my granddaughter went to a homecoming dance and today she downloaded some of the pics ... the memories continued.... and so did the ‘smiles.’

I must confess that all the smiles not only made my cheeks hurt, but filled me with a spirit of peace. Realizing the change in my mood, I got to thinking about the benefits of smiling. There are so many reasons to smile. Smiling makes perfect strangers respond to us in positive, encouraging ways and opens the door for comfortable conversations.

Smiles also:

• change our mood – and can even change the mood of others around us
• improve our confidence
• help us stay positive
• make us more approachable
• are contagious

Studies have shown that smiles can be good for our health in the following ways:

• can lighten our spirits
• relieve anxiety and stress – lower blood pressure
• increase our immune system
• lift the face and make a person look younger

The final (and best) reason to smile can be found in the scripture: "A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit" (Proverbs 15:13).

If you seem to be having trouble finding your smile lately, try this little exercise. Using a pen and paper, draw a line down the middle of the page from top to bottom. On the left hand side, list things that rob you of peace and happiness. On the right hand side, list things that make you smile. At the top of the list on the left write THESE THINGS WILL NOT STEAL MY PEACE... and at the top of the list on the right, write I WILL CHOOSE TO SMILE TODAY.

Understanding what makes us frown or smile, and remembering that we have a choice, will bring peace to our lives. This week take pleasure in the little things. Remember what made you smile when you were younger and allow the memories to bring a smile to your face!

Smile and the whole world smiles with you!
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“Sweet peace is crowned with smiles.
– Henry Vaughan

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