The 10 benefits of a slight smile are powerful. And the opportunities to employ this technique are endless.
Do you know the power of a smile?
How it can change your day and the day of those you are smiling at? How it can lift your mood like a helium balloon floating skyward? Or how that smile can sometimes even turn into a laugh?
Here is a secret I learned a few years ago.
Your smile does not have to be a full-out-teeth-baring-grin that makes you look like the Cheshire Cat.
You can receive lots of benefit from a small smile.
The kind where you barely upturn the edges of your mouth. Where your lips are together the whole time. Where people can’t tell if you are really smiling, or just looking relaxed and pleasant.
It’s what I call a slight smile.
Put just a little conscious effort put forth to barely raise the corners of the mouth. That’s all. Nothing more.
It’s not the kind of smile you exchange with the waitress when she asks you how you are doing, which is followed by a short back and forth, ending with a quip, and both of you are laughing as she walks away to retrieve your glasses of refreshment.
This smile is simpler.
The power of a slight smile.
While the big smile, small talk, and laughter is good for our souls and necessary for us to indulge in (and leaves endorphins cursing through our bodies), a slight smile is easier.
A slight smile needs no other person and can be practiced anytime.
All you must do is barely raise the corners of your mouth. Now keep them there for a short while.
Go ahead and try it.
See, no practice necessary. No equipment necessary.
This slight smile can be replicated anytime and anywhere.
After you have managed a slight smile, answer this question. Did you notice anything when you slightly smiled?
I bet you did.
I always do. And what I feel is amazing. And what I feel never fails to surprise me.
Think about it. We do this automatically when we are caught being a sour candy. There we are in the middle of ranting at the dog who has just piddled on our clean floor, or we are lambasting the kiddos with a verbal battle. And the phone rings. What do we do? We walk towards the phone, hissing at our kids and dog to be still, and then as we pick up the phone. And what do we do as we pull that shrieking phone to our ear? We paste a fake smile across our lips and say hello in our most pleasant voice that we somehow manage to muster.
Notice what that fake smile does?
It adjusts our voice from shrieking Cruella De Vil to gentle Snow White so quickly and so convincingly that the person on the other end of the line has no clue that they interrupted a major house battle that was teetering on the brink of a hostile takeover.
That fake smile works, so we do it.
A real one works even better. And so, does a slight smile.
Forget the big fake smile.
Try the slight smile throughout the day to experience the benefits of smiling.
The benefits of smiling.
There are many benefits of a slight smile. And a big smile.
You do which ever one you want, but both work and provide results.
10 powerful benefits of a slight smile:
1. Things automatically look better.
Put a slight smile on your lips and now look around. My surroundings always look better. The colors are brighter and vivid. Suddenly my day seems better with this slight shift of facial muscles.
2. Mood improvement.
Immediately my mood improves, and often I notice something that really does make me smile or that catches my eye in a good way.
3.Feel more Positive.
Feel more thankful and start noticing the positive. I often feel more grateful and better able to see the big perspective as the negative diminishes.
4. That smile can turn into a bigger smile.
Once you start a slight smile, it sometimes can’t stop growing. You may even end up laughing.
5. Alertness restored.
Somehow a slight smile brings me awake. It feels like my eyes widen to take more in and I feel a small jolt of energy.
6. Confidence and calmness is restored.
Calmness is always a good thing. This helps me better tackle my day, thoughts, and frustrations.
7. Promotes smile lines, not frown lines.
I know which one I would rather have.
8. Relaxes the jaw.
Who doesn’t want that pleasant and relaxed look? I tend to carry tension in my jaw. A slight smile releases that tension and helps stall deeper tension.
9. It’s like a mini restart or pep talk.
Who doesn’t need a re-do? A slight smile is like a new chance, a new opportunity to head in the right direction or do the right thing.
Sometimes I even give myself a several word pep-talk at the same time (You’ve got this. Just breathe. Don’t take the bait. Relax. God is in charge. Or the day’s almost over.)
10. Promotes health and wellbeing.
Research has shown that smiling reduces anxiety, lowers blood pressure, fights stress, relieves pain, and boosts the immune system. That’s a lot of benefit for pulling a few face muscles up at the corners.
Need one or all of these benefits?
Try the slight smile trick.
And the cool thing.
You can do it multiple times a day. As often as necessary.
In the shower. In the car. While exercising. When scrubbing the toilet. During that board meeting. In the middle of a disagreement. When reading. And while falling asleep.
The possibilities and opportunities for you to employ the slight smile technique are endless.
Just try it. Then repeat.
Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.
Join the discussion: Have you tried the slight smile?
Two Mindful Techniques to use with the Slight Smile:
1. Look at your surroundings and slightly raise the corners of your mouth. Now look again and see what you notice (what your eyes land on). Observe the shapes and colors. Focus on your immediate perceptions. Thoughts.
2. Focus on one thought (you can do it; relax and breathe; let it go, this doesn’t really matter in the long run; love not fear; or, Lord, help me). Say it to yourself as you slightly smile. Take a few breaths and allow yourself to pause and start again.