If all you had to go by was the look on people’s faces, you might come to the conclusion that most people are bored, depressed, and mad or zoned out. If someone was watching us, I wonder if they might come to the same conclusion.
Why is that?
I’ve had candid shots taken of me that made me grimace when I saw them. It looked like I was in a horrible mood, or off in another world, even though I wasn’t.
I have come to realize that most of us have no clue what our face is saying to others. Unfortunately, our facial expressions are a big part of our body language, which can speak volumes about us to others; many times giving a wrong or mixed signal.
I don’t know about you, but I want people to be comfortable around me, I want to be approachable.
So, why do most of us walk around with less than happy looks on our faces?
Is it because we don’t have anything to be happy about? I would find that hard to believe.
Could it be a negative attitude, we’re just crabby people? Well, that may be true for some, but I’d like to believe most people don’t fit into that category.
How about stress, or maybe just too much on our mind? I’m sure that can be a contributing factor at times, but I don’t think it’s the main reason. Any one of us can have a bad or off day, but I’m talking about our average day. Nothing in particular is wrong, no one has offended us, we didn’t just have a fight with someone, yet we walk around looking like we lost our best friend or with no expression at all.
Why is that?
Well, I have a theory about it. Now, this isn’t scientific or anything, but it makes a lot of sense to me.
I think the majority of us live on autopilot most of the time. It’s like driving. Once you learn how to drive, you no longer have to think about it. You just do it. I believe life can become like that. Unless we consciously choose to be present, or are interacting with someone, we just push the autopilot button and go about our lives.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could put our smile on autopilot? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go about our day taking care of business with a smile on our face, and feeling happy?
I believe we can, and I believe its well worth the effort it might take to develop that habit.
Let me ask you, have you ever been around someone that almost always has a smile on their face? I have and it feels great to be around them. It doesn’t seem to matter what they’re doing whether it’s walking, working, shopping or just sitting by themselves, they have a smile on their face; they seem genuinely happy. When you see them, you can’t help but feel good. Wouldn’t you like that? I would!
I once ask a guy I knew, a long time ago, why he was always so happy and smiling. He looked at me and asked, why not? He said most of the time he just felt happy.
I realize that life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, and sometimes bad things happen; but is that any reason we can’t be happy and smiling most of the time? As Christians we really have a lot to be happy about. Sometimes I think we spend a disproportionate amount of time focusing on the sins of man, and very little time focused on the gifts and blessing of God.
If you spend most of your time thinking about all the evil in the world, and all the problems that plague us, you will spend your days walking around with a sad or stern look on your face.
On the other hand you can acknowledge what’s wrong, and pray that God will use you to help make lives better. Then focus on God’s blessings, His sacrifice, His promises, and the beauty of His creation. If you focus on those things, you won’t be able to keep a smile off your face.
What it boils down to is this, what’s going on in our minds will be reflected on our faces. It will also tell people whether we’re approachable or they should steer clear.
So, would you like to try an experiment with me? I think I have a way of helping us all smile a lot more. If you’re interested, read on.
Okay, here’s what we’re going to do.
Get out several index cards and write SMILE on each of them with a smiley face added as well. Next, put a couple up in every room of your house, in your wallet or purse, put one on your bathroom mirror, tape one to your car’s dash board. I would even suggest asking your family to help by reminding you to smile when you are not.
If we can be reminded to smile enough times every day, before long I believe it will become a habit for us. It will probably even help us remember all the reasons we have to smile.
Do like the scriptures say in – Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
How can you not smile meditating on those things?
Now, I’m not saying to ignore evil or sin. We need to acknowledge it, repent of it, overcome it with God’s help, and try to make our part of the world a better place. What we don’t need is to walk around sullen faced, focusing on all the bad things of the world, or like a zombie on autopilot.
It may be hard for us to smile a lot at first, but I believe in time it will become a habit, and we will all find ourselves happier, and much more approachable than ever before.
Remember, a smile adds face value, and you are valuable! 🙂