A Friend in Meeting today talked about an older woman he met as she was preparing to leave hospital. She smiled, genuinely, and he appreciated that. She shared that we all have something to give, and that a smile is often returned in kind. Another Friend noted that with Covid restrictions, it can be difficult to see a smile behind a mask, but if you watch the eyes, you can see it there.
“When you smile, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides to help fight off stress. Then other neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and endorphins come into play too. The endorphins act as a mild pain reliever, whereas the serotonin is an antidepressant.” (sclhealth.org).
I am frequently teased about smiling “so much”, but frankly I have reached an age where appreciation for every day scenes and events brings spontaneous smiles and even laughter.
It can be watching my dogs and cats as they romp, or sleep. A sleeping pet, or child, can be a beautiful thing. It can be a sunrise or sunset, or the birds that come to my feeders. It can be falling snow, or the flowers of Springtime. It can be a stinking hot day where luxury is found in a glass of iced tea, and doing nothing. It can be meeting with a friend, humor, kind words, and the honor of having such people in my life.
So I take the teasing, with a smile (!). Selfishly, it makes me feel good (God bless endorphins and serotonin), so why not share it?