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Monday, June 2, 2014

A Smile a Day

We've all heard the adage an apple a day keeps the doctor away. So we wash those pesticides off, gobble up our apple a day, and hope it's true.

There are also things to enjoy every day for emotional well-being--like a smile! Have you ever walked into a gathering and didn't know anyone? Maybe, if you're like me, you look around for a friendly face. Awkwardly, you move to your seat or table, wondering if you should make a run for the exit and forget all about attending the conference or meeting. Then, suddenly, someone smiles at you.

In that moment, everything changes.The breath you've been holding in eases out. You relax. You smile back. Then, you know everything's going to be okay.

One time a lady came up to me in church and, with tears in her eyes, shook my hand and thanked me for smiling at her. Yes, for simply smiling! She said my smile had encouraged her. Now, that floored me. I didn't have a Colgate-smile, and in fact, I felt quite self-conscious about my teeth. But, apparently, my smile had been welcoming to her during a lonely time in her life, and it was a cool moment for me.

How little effort it takes to smile, yet the simple facial expression can say so much. It can say...welcome, I care about you, I'm glad you're here, you matter to me, I've missed seeing you, the world is a better place with you in it, you belong.

All that in a smile? Yes, and moreThink about what someone's smile does for you. What does it tell you?

Have you ever stood behind a mom holding a small child and had that baby or toddler grin and grin at you? I have. Right then, it changed how I was feeling. The child's smile pulled me in and warmed me. Like a big hug.

Oh, to smile and laugh like a child who cares nothing about what her teeth look like or about the wrinkle lines around her eyes. Haha...such freedom!

Everyone needs cheering up sometime. A smile can go a long ways in making new friends, in encouraging coworkers, in saying hello across a crowded gathering, and telling family and friends you care about them. Without saying a word, you say they matter. Because, in the end, we all need to know that.

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