This favorite sounds totally cheesy, but in the last year, I’ve experienced two life-defining moments regarding smiling.
The first happened last summer, when I was together with an old group of friends. We played one of those little games involving a list of questions each person has to answer, and then everybody tries to guess which answers belong to whom.
One of the questions was something along the lines of, “What physical feature do you like the most about yourself?”
That kind of question just makes me feel awkward. How do you answer it in a way that doesn’t sound completely vain?
“Well, it’s so hard to choose ONLY one, but I have always considered my eyes to be my loveliest feature…” Or what? I felt so uncomfortable!
Like many women out there, I could easily rattle off a list of things I’d secretly like to change about my physical appearance. But my favorite thing?
I had to think about that for awhile.
I thought about the times when I looked in the mirror, and tried to envision what I liked looking at the most.
And suddenly it hit me – I smile at myself in the mirror.
I feel happier when I do. I like my physical appearance so much better in general when I’m smiling. When I smile, I don’t think about how I’ve never really liked my nose terribly much. A smile is hard to look past.
There. My secret confession is out. (I also talk to myself in the mirror sometimes, but that’s going a bit far, so we won’t explore that habit at all.)
The second defining moment happened when I read about how smiling convinces the rest of your body that you are happy and in a good mood. It gets happy chemicals going, just by going through the motions of smiling.
How fantastic is that?! I’ve thought of it often since. When I’m stressed or grumpy, I purposely try to smile more.
I started using it on Anika, too. Whenever she’s grumpy and complaining, we tell her she has to give us the very biggest smile she can possibly make. Without fail, this ends in laughter.
There is a certain man’s mother out there I’d like to interview, and get some parenting tips from….
Just after we moved to Niverville, an eavestroughing crew arrived to finish up some work on our new house. Anika and I were doing school work at the kitchen table, and I had a clear view of the guys installing the eavestrouphing.
One of them smiled all the time. He really never stopped. Ever.
At first, I thought he was smiling at the guy he was working with – maybe they were having a funny conversation or something. But he smiled when he worked alone, too.
I mentioned this observation to Anika, and we started sneaking around the house at random times throughout the morning, trying to peak out the windows without being noticed, just to see if the guy ever stopped smiling.
It would have been kind of freaky, if it hadn’t been so cheerful and refreshing.
I decided to make it my new thing.
I don’t smile ALL the time. I should smile more than I do. But I smile more than I used to, and I do it intentionally.
When things are going badly, grin like a fool, and something is bound to change!
There you go. Of all my favorite things I’ve been sharing, this one is BY FAR the easiest for you to try. Smile at everything for a day, and then come back and tell us if you thought it made a difference! Remember, there’s a prize involved! 🙂
If you’re just joining in, and you want to read more about “34 Days of Favorites”, click here.
And if you want to check out my favorite things from last week, here’s the list so far:
13 thoughts on “34 Days of Favorites: Smiling”
I can’t say that I smiled at absolutely everything yesterday (sometimes disappointment and hurt deserve a frown and a moment of sad) but I did try to do this in some of the more stressful moments of my day. Especially when it came to my littlest being grouchy. I picked him up, and instead of getting upset because I was hearing the millionth whine of the day, I smiled at him and said “Don’t you smile! No smiles from you!” and of course he dissolved into a giggling mess. It was cute. And it greatly improved his mood and mine. There were other moments where I just tried to remember to smile. It made a difference. Thanks, Kendra.
Oh, Juls, I love this! Such a fun idea to get your little guy smiling! I’m glad you tried it!:)
I was smiling while installing my soffits but it was wierd since the soffits were mere inches from my face. I usually smile a lot – or at least I like to think I do – but when I was smiling on purpose for no reason, it felt wierd. Just have to say. Then I started talking to myself about how wierd I felt and that was even more wierd. Would have been hilarious to watch me trying all kinds of smiles yesterday and then talking to myself! 🙂
I can see how it would feel weird to smile at the soffits! I would have loved to watch you smiling and talking to yourself! And you’re right – smiling for no purpose does feel weird. I think what I end up doing is smiling about anything that brings me joy. Before, I used to feel mildly amused or joyful, but now I stop to fully acknowledge it, and end up smiling.
But in this heat, I think you’d have every excuse for any kind of crazy behaviour, so I would take advantage of it if I were you!:)
I just read Julia’s comment, and I do the same thing over here sometimes. If one of my girls is grumpy I’ll say that line too: “Don’t you dare smile…uh-uh, no smiling!” Without fail, it works – every time!
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This is so simple and yet is usually not the first thing I think of (which is usually the upside down smile). I am looking forwards to seeing the results of making smiling about everything a conscious effort all this week 🙂
Can’t wait to hear how it goes. 😉
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