A smile generates even more smiles

Somehow, I’m not sure whether I have a serious “sleep” problem or if I only have a long-time bad habit.
Either way, I wake up wide-awake between 1:30 and 3:30 a.m. every day. And when I wake up, there’s no going back to sleep.
But I really don’t mind. I just begin my day a little early–knowing full well I’ll have to take a generous nap later on.
In the wee hours of the morning, I immediately make my way to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. This daily coffee ritual is very important to me.
Since I like my coffee reasonably hot, I first check if last night’s thermal pot is warm enough. If not, I punch the switch of my two-cupper, which always is ready to go.
That taken care of, I give my attention to the second part of the ritual: choosing the perfect cup.
I store my personal coffee cups in a “lazy Susan” in the corner of the kitchen. In my collection are two fun snowman cups given to my daughter and me by a hostess at a luncheon a few years ago, a beautiful blue mug (a gift from my great-niece Ella), two small Christmas mugs, and a tall yellow mug with a “smiley” face.
Early last Friday morning, when it came to the ritual of choosing my cup, I immediately grabbed my favourite–the yellow mug with a smile on its face. As I filled my mug with fresh hot coffee, I was smiling.
Once at my computer, I still smiled every time I took a sip. And that was often!
That’s the way it works with a smile. On a cup or on a face, smiles generate more smiles!
If you are happy and have pleasant thoughts, it’s easy to have a smile on your face. On the other hand, when you’re glum and burdened with sorrows, it’s sometimes very hard to smile. There’s nothing to smile about!
But, the truth is that’s the time you really need the positive energy and encouragement of a smile. Unfortunately, you can’t expect smiles from other people unless you smile first.
So if you feel down and find it hard to smile, it’s important you do something about it!
Do anything! Stand in front of your bathroom mirror and make funny faces until you smile, or even better yet laugh. And when all else fails, remember that a forced smile is better than none at all.
For inspiration, sing or read the lyrics of Nat King Cole’s 1954 hit: “Smile though your heart is aching/Smile even though it’s breaking/When there are clouds in the sky/You’ll get by if you smile. . . and maybe tomorrow/You’ll see the sun come shining through for you.
“Light up your face/You must keep on trying/You’ll find that life is still worthwhile/If you just smile.”
So always remember that people–both friends and strangers—need your smiles. They need the positive energy and encouragement.
And that’s not all. You need the same things.
So please keep smiling, especially when you don’t feel like it! And all your smiles will come back to you.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@cox.net

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