Offering You a Smile

A smile is a gift. It is a welcoming recognition of another person’s spirit and serves to connect with others in a meaningful way. On, April 12, 2019, a team of psychologists from the University of Tennessee found that smiling can make people feel happier. They combined data from 138 studies testing more than 11,000 participants and found that facial expressions have an impact on our feelings. This rings true for me. I certainly feel happier and more synergistically inclined when anyone, be it a stranger, or a friend, flashes me an honest smile.

Smiles are impossible to find these days, in the streets or in the stores, and while we may feel a temporary jump of joy at buying such things as; soap in the shape of a big toe, or a pair of it’s okay to fart socks, or a Maserati sports car, eventually the glee of owning something new fades away leaving only emptiness in your heart. Truthfully, the only substance in our lives is created by maintaining and forming new connections with other human beings. Joy is better times two. We are without a doubt happier, healthier and stronger with regular human interaction.

Harvard Health Publishing, printed an article; The Health Benefits of Strong Relationships, declaring that, ‘Good connections and social support can improve health and increase longevity.‘ And it went on to state: ‘For many of us, the holidays mean family gatherings, getting together with friends, and participating in special religious, community, and workplace activities. Such occasions are an opportunity to check in with each other, exchange ideas, and perhaps lend some social support to each other.

Social connections like these not only give us pleasure, they also influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking. Dozens of studies have shown that people who have social support from family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.

Conversely, a relative lack of social ties is associated with depression and later-life cognitive decline, as well as with increased mortality. One study, which examined data from more than 309,000 people, found that lack of strong relationships increased the risk of premature death from all causes by 50% — an effect on mortality risk roughly comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, and greater than obesity and physical inactivity.’

We all know at our very core just how important human touch is for our health and welfare. It is the weakest among us who need people around them the most. The miraculous healing benefits of a loving touch has been seen time and time again in hospitals and care centres, and was clearly demonstrated in the CNN story on YouTube called, The hug that helped change medicine. Doesn’t everyone deserve a hug from someone who loves them? It is time to reevaluate the data on asymptomatic spread. There is more and more information coming out which proves people without symptoms pose no threat. We must use our good sense instead of our fears. There is always a tipping point when good intentions fail. Have we gone over?

“Sometimes I feel so— I don’t know—lonely. The kind of helpless feeling when everything you’re used to has been ripped away. Like there’s no more gravity, and I’m left to drift in outer space with no idea where I’m going.”

-Haruki Murakami

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