Our Bible verse for today: “A happy heart makes a face cheerful …” Proverbs 15:13 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Being happy makes you smile, and smiling makes you happy.”
It comes as no surprise to us that when we’re happy we smile. But did you know that smiling also makes you happy? It does. There’s an old saying that goes, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile is the source of your joy.” The truth of this has been scientifically proven in numerous psychological and neurological studies.
Psychologically there is a theory known as “self-perception theory”. It holds that acting as if you feel something will eventually lead you to actually experience that feeling. If you act like you are brave, soon you will begin to actually feel brave. If you act like you love someone, and if you continue in those actions, eventually you will begin to experience true feelings of love for them. Likewise, if you act happy, soon you will begin to actually feel happy, or at least happier than you were.
Most of us acknowledge that if we feel happy we will act happy. But it’s also true that if we act happy soon we will feel happy. Smiling is a major part of the happiness equation. When you’re happy you smile. So conversely, if you smile you will begin to feel happy. The self-perception theory proves it over and over again. If you want to have something to smile about, just go ahead and smile, and soon you will be smiling because you feel like it and not because you are trying to.
There’s also a neurological element to this smiling business. Smiling results in the secretion of endorphin hormones in the brain. Endorphin has an opiate kind of effect on us in that it makes us feel good. The physical act of smiling generates a release of endorphins in the brain. That in turn makes us feel good, which gives us even more reason to smile, which then releases more endorphins, which make us feel even better, which makes us smile even more … and on it goes. Smiling makes you feel good. And the more you smile, the better you feel.
This is good stuff, man. And it’s legal! You can get high on endorphins and there’s no law against it! The more you smile the better you feel and the better you feel the more you smile. Smiling is also contagious. If you smile at other people other people will smile back at you. Then they will experience the release of endorphins, they will feel better and happier, they will smile even more, which will cause yet more people to smile, releasing endorphins in them, causing them to smile at other people and … Wow. This stuff could change the world!
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile is the source of you joy. So smile today! Smile a lot.