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When I was a child, I used to think that smiling was a form of nonverbal communication which helps people greet and show respect for each other. After graduating from middle school, I acknowledged that a smile was also an attractive expression which was more likely to bring people closer to you rather than push them away. One of the major challenges that I faced when I started a new school was making new friends. Due to weak social skills and lack of self confidence, I was struggling to meet new people and develop quality connections. My teacher told me that smiling is the best way to attract people. Smiling makes you appear more friendly and approachable, so that the interactions with others is easier and more comfortable. During these school years, not only did I have such great friends, but I also participated in a performing arts club where I found amazing people who had the same interests as mine. I believe smiling is an essential element for building healthy and genuine friendships.
I believe smiling is one of the powerful connections between all humankind. When you smile at someone you not only make them feel that they are welcomed, accepted and respected, but you also share all the tremendous benefits of smiling to that person. Every morning when I wake up, I start with the goal to smile, whether to myself or to another person, even a complete stranger. I know an elderly woman who lives opposite my house, I have no clue as to what her name is, yet every afternoon when I leave the house, I always see her standing outside the front door, and we smile to each other. One day I had a chance to talk to her and started to know about her situation. She has been living alone since both her husband and daughter passed away. Her husband died of heart attack, and her daughter unfortunately inherited some kind of genetic predisposition to the same condition. The daughter tragically died after being diagnosed with coronary heart disease. I was deeply saddened by the loss that she has encountered and prayed that God may grant her the strength needed to overcome her difficult time. She gently looked at me and said my smile reminds her of her beloved daughter and it has the power to calm her fear, hurt and anxiety. Through this story, I strongly believe that smiling is a wonderful gift that you can give to people. That small gesture does not only have ability to lift another into a feeling of amusement, but it also removes loneliness and makes physical and emotional pains miraculously go away.
Many people assume that stress is mental illness which caused by some of the common factors such as an exhausting work schedule, financial problems or negative relationship. Besides taking medication to relieve stress, scientists claim that smiling leads to a decrease in the stress -induced hormones that have negative effects on the human body. In a recent article called the science of smiling written by Leo Widrich, the author showed the example of UC Berkeley 30- year yearbook study, which tracked the lives of women who had the best smiles in yearbook photos compared to the rest. Specifically, by measuring the smiles of the students in the photographs, the researchers were capable of anticipating the women’s well-being and success throughout their lives. Surprisingly, the women who smiled the most had a higher score on standardized tests of well-being and general happiness.
I believe in the power of a smile. I believe smiling is a universal symbol of happiness which has the power to embody our ability to create and express infinite love to people.
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