Science of a Smile How an upside down frown just might change your life.

How is your smile? I’ve been reading about the benefits of turning a frown upside down. Apparently it takes 22 of our 42 facial muscles to smile and 37 of them to frown. You want to bring joy? Smile. On average adults smile 35 times a day, and kids: 400! Where did we lose 365 laughs a day?

There are a thousand benefits to a smile. Here are five:

Smiling makes you more attractive, relieves stress, boosts your mood, reduces blood pressure, and helps you live longer. That’s reason enough for me.  Years ago, I asked Myrna, who worked for years as a switchboard operator, why she was so popular in that role. She said, “I smile on the phone. I’m told you can hear a smile.”  I keep that in mind when recording Laugh Again.

And what helps me smile? During a week filled with uncertainty, I know God loves me. Here is a list of things that help me smile:

  • A grandchild’s laugh.
  • Puppy breath.
  • Freshly washed sheets.
  • Seeing my wife wink at me across a crowded room.
  • Jesse, age ten, who sends me jokes: “Why did the old man fall in the well? Because he didn’t see that well.”
  • Finding a pencil with an eraser that doesn’t smudge things.
  • Thinking it was Thursday when it was Wednesday. I got a bonus day.
  • An on-time flight.
  • Old couples holding hands.
  • Seeing our grandson Liam take his first steps.
  • The cashier who opened a new checkout line just for me.
  • Looking into the mirror and saying, “This will be a good hair day.”
  • Completing a perfect parallel park.
  • Remembering that God is in control.
  • The evening stars.
  • Fixing something by smacking it.
  • Spraying canned whip cream straight into my grandkids’ mouths.
  • When the grandchild screaming in the mall isn’t mine.
  • Eating something past the expiry date. And living!
  • A wife who dislikes cilantro but puts it in my sandwich.

And behind it all is the outrageously absurd truth that a guy like me is loved and forgiven by grace through faith in a holy God.  So go looking for things to smile about today. It’s free therapy. My friend Jesse even knows how to get a mouse to smile. He says, “You just say cheese!”

Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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