We need to find something to smile about every day,

Photograph taken by Candice Sedigham

Photograph taken by Candice Sedigham

in fact, many times a day. I love the photo of the dog with the baby chicks. The chicks are young and adventurous. The 11-year old golden retriever named Champ is hospitable and gentle with his new friends. Adorable. It makes us smile.
Smiling changes our brain. Want specifics? Okay, here goes: It sends a neuronal signal from the cortex to the brainstem. The cranial muscles carry the signal to the smiling muscles of our face. It triggers the reward mechanism in our brain that is more satisfying than eating chocolate, and we know what that’s like. Think moist chocolate cake with creamy frosting. Our brain is getting excited just thinking about it.
I find it interesting that a recent study by psychologists at the University of Cardiff in Wales proved that women who have had Botox injections that restricted their ability to frown were happier than people who can frown. The study also showed that the women with the Botox injections were less anxious. It only goes to show that smiling reduces stress. Recent studies show that it is equivalent to a good night’s sleep.
I make it a point to smile at strangers as well as people I know. It’s a free gift. We never know what people are carrying around inside. Everyone has something going on in their life that brings anxiety, sadness, or stress. Maybe your smile can make a difference to them for a few moments or for the rest of their day. A smile says I care, or I don’t know you, but my smile is my acceptance of you. My smile says Have a nice day. ☺
In my neighborhood lives a man I call Mr. Grumpy. I have never met him, but I don’t think I ever will. When I walk by, I wave at him and smile. In return, he gives me a mean look. I don’t take it personally because he does that to everyone. He even put signs in his yard that says: NO TRESPASSING and NO DOG ZONE. The friendly family next door to him put up their own sign, sort of a protest. It says: DOGS ARE WELCOMED, PEOPLE TOLERATED. I love it! I actually feel sorry for Mr. Grumpy because I think he is very unhappy and lonely.
Even the Mona Lisa smiled. Why, we don’t know, but it is an intriguing little half-smile. So, find something to make you smile, or better yet, laugh. If you start to think negative thoughts about anything, suppress it with happy thoughts, cute pics, warm memories. Be glad, not sad.

See more of Champ and Chicks:

About Susan MIlls Wilson

Susan Mills Wilson is a native of North Carolina where she writes romantic suspense. She is the leader of the Charlotte Writers Club Mystery Critique Group and a member of Charlotte Writers Club. Subscribe to Susan’s blog at
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