The Science of a Smile

How is yours?

Faith & Friends

I’ve been reading about the science of a smile. And 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 wanna save energy? Smile. You wanna bring joy? Smile. 

On average, women smile 62 times a day. Men? Eight times. Ouch! Guys! 

Kids smile about 400 times a day; adults, 35 times. Where did we lose 365 laughs a day? That’s 133,000 a year. 

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. They can’t see me smiling, but I’m told you can hear a smile. It changes your tone.” 

And what helps me smile? Well, let me be honest, this has already been a year filled with uncertainty, and we’re not even a third done. Yet, in the midst of it, 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 10, who sends me jokes: “Why did the old man fall in the well? Because he didn’t see that well.” 
  • Thinking it was Thursday when it was Wednesday. I got a bonus day.
  • A 30-minute walk with my wife to church. 
  • Proverbs 15:13: “A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day” (The Message).
  • 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 and the reminder of the awesomeness of our Creator.
  • Fixing something by smacking it.
  • Spraying canned whipped cream straight into my grandkids’ mouths. (And mine.)
  • 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 a gracious wife and a smiling God. (Or is it the other way around?) 

So, go look 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!”

Photo: Ron Nickel


On Thursday, April 25, 2024, Patsy Oldford said:

Love this article. God Bless you all

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