The second week in August marks National Smile Week, so put on a happy face and be prepared to give your facial muscles a great workout.
The late Phyllis Diller, one of the funniest stand-up comedians of our time said it best: “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight."
Here are 15 ways to celebrate your beautiful smile:
1. Your face has 44 muscles in it that allow you make more than 5,000 different types of expressions, many of which are smiles. And when you're happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins. This reaction has been studied since the 1980s and has been proven a number of times. An article on Smithsonian.com showed that smiling, even forced, causes our bodies to produce physiological changes that reflect the emotion, such as changes in heart and breathing rate.
2. Take every opportunity to make someone smile. One of the easiest ways to get someone to smile is to smile at them first—just like a yawn, smiles are contagious!
3. Make a list of things that make you smile and then post them in a place you’ll see them often.
4. Have a smile-off with your kids and see who can smile the longest.
5. When you get up in the morning, smile. Think happy thoughts in that one moment; it will set the tone for your day.
6. Have a contest with yourself to see if you can smile more times each day during smile week than the day before. Be bold and set a quota for yourself for the week—even 1,000 smiles!
7. Get into the habit of visualizing your smiles. The key to achieving what you want—whether it’s finding a better job or losing a few pounds—may lie in your ability to visualize it. By smiling during your visualizations, you cue your brain that what you are really wanting to happen, actually did, and then your body and mind can change more easily to the desired behavior.
8. Smile at yourself in the mirror. By practicing, you find out what a genuine smile feels like. People who smile a lot are perceived to be positive role models.
9. The next time you're stressed about your child's toilet training being a complete disaster or can't stand the fact that your kitchen counters are covered in clutter, don't fall apart. Instead, take a few deep breaths and smile! Smiling may help to reduce symptoms associated with anxiety. When that smile signals to your brain that you're feeling happy (even though you aren't), your body will usually slow its breathing and heart rate.
10. Smiling makes you more attractive. People usually look their best—and happiest—when smiling. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 96 percent of American adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing to members of the opposite sex.
11. Smile out of gratitude for all the blessings that surround you in life.
12. Be sure and take great care of your smile with proper teeth brushing, flossing (yes, super important!) seeing your dentist twice a year, and by limiting sweets and sugars.
13. Connect with your family by immediately sharing your smile with them after you’ve been apart due to school, work, or other commitments that separate you for several hours at a time.
14. Surround your home in framed photos of you and your loved ones SMILING!
15. In the words of the very funny and talented Will Ferrell, who played Buddy in the holiday movie Elf: “I just like to smile! Smiling's my favorite”.
For more tips, visit the Mighty Mommy page.