Smiles are good for both giver and receiver

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about these things."

-Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

There's a saying that says that smiles is the longest, shortest, and quickest word in the English language. It's the longest because there is mile between the first and last letter. It's the shortest because it's an instant communicator. And it's the quickest because a smile is the easiest way to get out of the humdrums.

Smiles - who can resist them? Whether it be the toothless grin of a baby or the compassionate confirmation of a loving friend or stranger, when someone looks your way and flashes a big smile, the fears and cares of moment seem to fade away.

A smile not only lifts the spirit of the recipient, but it works wonders to lift the soul of the giver as well. Practice a smile. When you do, something within you seems to become lighter.

Experts say it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown. Speakers, teachers or preachers are encouraged when they look into a crowd of smiling faces. A smile is like an unspoken affirmation. It's a sign of acceptance. It's also part of our positive body language.

As a nurse, I've been taught that a smile can help you get well. Whether sincere or not, just the act of smiling increases the flow of thymus secretion necessary to keep the immune system well-balanced. Many pain control clinics prescribe their patients to try a few smiles a day.

Smiling is profitable in many ways. It can increase our health benefits. It can improve relationships.

The apostle Paul must have known the value of a smile. I believe it's one of the reasons he instructed us in Philippians 4:8 to think about the good things. Try thinking about something good today and watch it bring a smile to your face.

• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. She can be contacted at or (847) 543-8413.

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