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Reasons To Smile More

“It’s better to be the one that smiled than the one who didn’t smile back…”

 I mean it would be super awkward to do that in real life, but it’s always good to look on the positive side of things. It was World Smile Day on October 7th, and World Mental Health Day October 10th, so with all the discussions happening on social media over the past few days surrounding happiness, I thought I’d share some thoughts I have about smiling. 

A smile is a beautiful thing. Whether it’s subtle and small, or a full blown grin that lights up your entire face like a Christmas tree, a smile can create a ripple effect in the people we pass by and has even been scientifically proven to improve your mood. We smile because it’s a good way to communicate our happiness to others and because sometimes a smile can be enough to make someone’s day. As the saying goes, “improving this world, one smile at a time”; we take for granted the simplicity of just offering a gentle tug of the lips in the direction of the people who need it most. Even those of us of with a neutral disposition have been known to crack a smile from time to time…

So what kind of things cause those dimples adorning your cheeks to become great big dents, or your eyes to sparkle like a myriad of stars in the azure night sky, or our faces to crease up like that old map in your family’s Vauxhall Zafira? Better yet, what are some of the things that should remind us to smile on a daily basis?

– Smile when you smell your first coffee of the day brewing and produce an even bigger, caffeine induced one when you take your first sip.

– Give a big toothy grin to your friends in the line for coffee (or shots, whatever’s your poison) because it’s been a while since you caught up and you’ve got some important goss to dish.

– Smile with pure, unadulterated pleasure when you inhale your fresh bed linen because they smell of citrus and lavender and you can’t wait to slip between the soft, silky sheets tonight.

– Smile a tired, lopsided grin at your phone because your lecture’s been cancelled. *rolls back over to the warm side of the bed*.

– Smile for no apparent reason at all, other than the fact that the sun is shining and you can smell the aroma of cornish pasties in the air, mingled with the scent of the sea breeze and freshly cut grass.

– Smile because it’s 5am and you’ve finally finished your essay *click* *SUBMIT* … And keep it plastered to your face as your head hits the pillow.

– Smile in relief when you step under the hot spray of the shower after a cold autumn day. Let the water wash all your worries down the drain and warm you right to your bones (plus your shower gel smells irresistibly like vanilla and raspberries and that’s also something to smile about!)

– Smile because your Mum is asking if you’re eating properly and you have to try and convince her that your highly nutritious diet consisting of ‘super noodles’ and ‘two for Tuesday Domino specials’ are enough to sustain the hibernating habits of a student.

– Smile reassuringly at that kid on your course in passing because they look a little bit lost and alone and your smile could be just the thing to get them back on track.

– Smile at that special person in your life… That reserved smile just for them.

Muster up a smile, despite the fact that it’s been a long day and it doesn’t quite reach your eyes. But do it anyway because, although life is tough, a smile is the best armour you can wear to protect yourself from the perils of the past and to shield yourself from the torments of tomorrow.

Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile today… even if that person is you :)

Exeter Student who studies English at the beautiful Penryn campus in Cornwall. Interested in travel journalism and exploring the world one day :)
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