What can you give any other human being at a moments notice that won’t cost you a thing? It’s not a trick question. The simple answer is a smile. It has been proven it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown. Science also tells us that smiling has a direct link to the brain and can reduce stress. That’s pretty powerful.

Think back to the last time you were upset about something. Can you feel the stress escalate with just that memory? Now think about the last time you had a good laugh-out-loud moment. Could you feel the stress melt away to be replaced by a pleasant feeling. Maybe it would work better if you used a visual, like a picture of an accident then a picture of kittens or puppies playing. I think you get the point. Smiling is good for us.

I have some girlfriends that I sew and go to lunch with. They have a great attitude about life; if you can’t laugh then it’s all a waste of time. We all have things happening in our lives that are not laughing matters, but when I get a chance to spend a few hours with these ladies I always come home in a better mood because we look for things to laugh at, sometimes ourselves. It’s a rewarding group relationship.

I also have some friends that need a lot of support to get through their day due to depression problems. Those friends brighten with just a smile from a stranger. It takes  little effort to give a smile to another human being. We just have to remember to not be so focused inward and think about doing it as we pass someone whether it be in the grocery store, waiting in a line, or in an elevator.

So my suggestion for today and every day is think about saying a mental “cheese” as you go about your day. People will wonder what you are smiling about and you’ll give them a lift up at the same time. Smiles are the ideal thing to share freely.