20 Ways to Change Your Story

11. Smile!

Healthy_Smiling_TeethIf you want to change your story for the better, SMILE!

Try a little experiment with me right now. Put a smile on your face – one that reaches your eyes – and hold it there for 30 seconds or more.

One thousand 30, one thousand 29, one thousand 28, one thousand 27 . . . one thousand 3, one thousand 2, one thousand 1. And, done.

Tell me you didn’t feel a difference inside of you. Tell me your mood didn’t lift even the tiniest bit.

Unless you were already smiling and laughing as you opened this post to read, I can guarantee that you did experience a mood lift.

Why? Brain chemistry. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between a “real” smile and a “fake” smile. The same chemical reactions are triggered either way – a flood of dopamine, seratonin and endorphins are released into your system each time you raise the corners of your mouth into a smile.

It’s a free rush of joy, even when there’s nothing particularly joyful going on in your life at the moment.

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Okay, you may be thinking, there’s a temporary boost – but how does that change my story over the long haul? Can it really change anything fundamental about my life?

Let me count (some of) the ways . . .

So, go on, smile! Smile at the people you meet and smile when you’re all alone.

If you’re finding it hard to force a smile, watch a funny movie, go to a comedy club, take a laughter yoga class or hang out with other smiling people.

Because smiling is contagious and it will change your story for the better.

Here’s a wonderful little TED talk on the superpower of smiling. Enjoy!


This is the 12th post in a 21-post series sparked by Chapter 9 of Fallen, The Adventures of a Deep Water Leaf, in which Lizard suggests that Alora change her story.

#20WaysIn20Days, #ChangeYourStory, #Fallen




Leave a Reply