“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening eat, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia
“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” – Mother Teresa
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite!” – Buddy the Elf
Monday’s aren’t usually something to smile about. It’s SO easy to get sucked up into the societal usual of hating on Monday’s, when really, I think they just got a bad rap over time. Sure, the weekend is over. But why not hate *Sunday’s* then? Sunday nights, in particular? They’re the ones that really signify an end. But Monday’s?
Monday’s are new beginnings. Fresh starts. Opportunities.
Yeah yeah, E…you can go back to your unicorn coffee now and leave us alone to our triple shots of espresso thankyoukindly.
But really. Think about it. If you go into Monday *dreading* it, already in a negative headspace before your alarm even rings…how does that day go?
Chances are, it sucks.
Alternatively, if/when you approach the day with an ain’t-got-nothin’-on-me vibe, where it’s just another chance for you to excel, impact, and make it happen…chances are, it goes a whole helluvah better than the former.
Granted, life happens. Life isn’t always easy, pretty, or coming up roses (see what I did there? 😉 ). Life sucks sometimes, too. But when we’re faced with situations that we just do not have the power or capability to change at all (in the moment, anyways), what do we do?
Do we just chalk it up to a sh*tty life and wallow in self-pity for the rest of forever?
I mean…we could. But that would be no bueno, for us and for everyone we meet. So instead, we vow to do whatever we can to change the moment until we see greater change down the road. The best first step to changing a moment: your smile.
If we’re talkin’ #science, smiling has been proven to:
- Reduce stress that you feel in your body AND mind (goodbye, cortisol!)…almost simulating a good night’s sleep
- Start a positive feedback loop in your brain, stimulating your internal reward mechanism as much as 2,000 bars of chocolate would
- Increase your health + mood (hello, endorphins!)
- Lower blood pressure
- Be correlated to living longer (correlation, not causation…but still. Smile more, live longer!)
- Make you appear more likable + courteous, AND make you perceived to be more competent (!!!)
How does one get + keep that genuine, I’ll-have-what-she’s-having, what’s-in-her-water, can’t-hold-it-in grin?
The right attitude
The whole “there’s so much in life to smile about!” quotable that you find on water bottles and ring dishes can seem too bubblegum happy when you’re feeling less-than-smiley. But it’s all about *perspective*. Life is not perfect, nor will it ever be. Point blank period. Get over the idea that perfection is at all reasonable and/or attainable, and feel better instantly. Smiling does not mean that you are perfectly happy, or perfectly anything. Smiling can mean as simple as being content in that moment, with being perfectly imperfect and always working to grow a little taller, stronger, better.
The right gratitude
Another win for #science – gratitude is a proven mood booster. The quickest way to smile is to start counting your blessings. Really, tho. COUNT YO’ BLESSINGS! Sit down for a hot 10 minutes and write down anything + everything that you’re grateful for, from your nana’s amazing meatball recipe to your dad’s sense of humor, from there being no lines at the store, to being genuinely complimented by a kind stranger in Starbucks. It’s all in the little things, and in the end, they’re not so little after all. Believe it, and bless it. Live with a spirit of gratitude, and start smiling.
The right toothpaste
Smiling is as much internal as it is external. You’ve already got that head start in attitude + gratitude, so make sure your pearly whites are just that – pearly! So funny story…
A few weeks ago, my hubby came home from picking up a few things at the store, and apparently, we needed toothpaste. He picked up the cheapest generic on the shelf, to which I was horrified. “WHAT IS THIS CRAP?! I will not put this anywhere near my teeth!” Dramatic? Maybe. 😉
Maybe I’m just a teeth/dental hygiene snob (am I??? I can’t possibly be the only one here…), but ain’t nobody got time! After years of braces, I’m so committed to taking care of my smile. First and foremost, since we only get one set. But also, ’cause YOUR SMILE IS REALLY HELLA IMPORTANT! And if you don’t think so, re-read all of the above. 😉
There are a few non-negotiables for me when it comes to toothpaste:
a.) is anti-cavity + safe on my enamel, especially since I’ve had issues with my enamel in the past (TMI, sorry not sorry). I’ve got super deep grooves in my back molars especially, just anatomically speaking, so I need extra protection on my enamel back there!
b.) whitening properties
c.) feels + tastes good and minty fresh, without being too strong or feeling like your face just got suction cupped by alcohol (you know the feeling)
I’ve gotten J to see the light, so I wanted to share one of my personal favorites with y’all, too.
I’ve been loveloveloving Tom’s of Maine toothpaste (specifically, their Luminous White™ tube!) lately, because it’s the perfect minty fresh feeling while working to whiten your teeth. Ya know how some whitening products taste…um, disgusting? I’ve used whitening products in the past that I literally couldn’t stand – and had to take out prematurely – because they were making me gag! No bueno! Tom’s of Maine’s Luminous White™ toothpaste is more than tolerable (it actually tastes *good*), and it’s their most advanced whitening toothpaste yet; it claims to make your teeth whiter in 2 weeks by removing surface stains better than just regular ol’ fluoride toothpaste. But unlike a lot of whitening products, you can use Luminous White™ everyday – it’s actually natural and made up of biodegradable/mineral-derived ingredients with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives (it’s also gluten free!), so it really doesn’t feel as chemical-y as some toothpastes and whitening products do. #bonus
Fun facts about Tom’s of Maine – they’ve been around for over 47 years, they donate 10% of profits to human + environmental causes, their packaging is all recyclable (click here to learn how!), and they don’t test on animal!
Some last thoughts on smiling + kindness + the world…
The world today is a royal mess. Natural disasters, terrorism, crimes, and just an overall hatred that tries to creep into anything + everything. It’s toxic, and it’s a straight-up disease. There are definitely no easy answers to any of the above. But there’s an easy start to some.
And kindness is easier than ya think.
It all starts with a smile. And it all starts with you. You hold the key to start spreading more love – the key to making people’s days better. You might never know the impact of your smile – but you don’t need to. Saying “your smile can change the world!” sounds cheesy + lofty + a little bit cray cray. But it’s got truth to it.
Sure, your smile might not reach the corners of the country, let alone all corners of the planet.
But your smile can positively affect everyone in your radius. In your city, in your town, in your community.
Your smile can change someone’s attitude about a day, which in turn, can change how THEY treat others. So while you personally might not literally impact everyone, you have the power to start a chain reaction, of inspiring others to just be better in that day – in that moment. Which, in turn, is how we change minds and lives. Because life is a series of moments. Every moment counts. Smiling counts.
How can smiling positively impact you + your world today?
Can we all take a lil’ vow together righthererightnow to smile more this week? To be intentional with our thoughts + words + actions to inspire smiling around us? And to be more Miss Brightside and less Debbie Downer, even when life is kinda sorta totally not-so-bright?
Let’s lift each other up. The world needs it.
Also also also, what toothpaste is your favorite??? Particularly of the whitening variety…if you’re loyal to one or another, let me know in a comment below!
Thanks for reading, y’all. You rock. Peace and blessings. Carpe Monday.
*Thanks to Tom’s of Maine for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions + thoughts presented are entirely my own. Thank YOU for supporting the brands that support Coming Up Roses!