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“Peace begins with a smile” – Mother Teresa

Do you remember to smile? Is it easier to frown?

I struggle with depression, and sometimes I cannot smile. When life is more complicated than it needs to be, that frown is steadfast on my face. I have learned that if I force myself to smile for an extended period – I feel better! Sounds a little corny, doesn’t it? It is trite but true.

There are many kinds of smiles. There are the ones where you look like you are:

· Hiding something (as us older people would say, “You look like you swallowed a canary.”)

· Nervous. – When I am put in a precarious position and don’t know what to do, I smile.

· Embarrassed. I have often been caught in this position.

· Gracious. For example, you are given a gift.

· Genuinely smile because you want to.

· And many more!!

Even though there are times I cannot smile, in general, I smile most of the time. I smile because I attempt to find the good in life, enjoy the moment, and smile. I am more approachable when I have a grin on my face and am naturally smiling.

It is not always good to smile. Don’t smile when

· You are in an argument – I learned this when I was married. We argued, and I would get nervous and start laughing (with a smile), and it escalated matters.

· During a funeral service – My father’s funeral was a law enforcement funeral. When all the law enforcement marched into the chapel and sat down, the building shook, and a couple of the officers caught their guns on the pew and had difficulty sitting down. I giggled and smiled and made my mom and grandparents angry.

· You are being scolded by a parent. As a child, I was often in trouble and getting scolded. I smiled while mom yelled; she would get so angry you could see steam coming out of her ears. That situation never ended well!

· When a person is sharing their hurt – I am very aware of this because when sharing something difficult for me, and the person smiles and laughs, it makes me feel like my issues are unimportant.

15 Ways to Find Something to Smile About Every Day

1. Start your day with nature

2. Hit the gym

3. Visit the office humorist.

4. Do one nice thing for yourself.

5. Do something nice for someone else.

6. Count your blessings

7. Listen to music.

8. Take the scenic route home

9. Eat a delicious meal

10. Stay off social media.

11. Keep smile inducers (posted notes with encouraging words, pictures of family, etc.)

12. Watch funny clips

13. Read something funny.

14. Chat with strangers

15. Spend time with loved ones.

I encourage you to enjoy life. Smile even when it hurts.

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