What’s in a smile?
Merriam-Webster defines the facial muscle responsible for producing a smile (zygomaticus major) as : “a slender band of muscle on each side of the face that arises from the zygomatic bone, inserts into the orbicularis oris and skin at the corner of the mouth, and acts to pull the corner of the mouth upward and backward when smiling or laughing.”
I’ll not go into how many muscles are used to smile versus a frown. There’s seems to be conflicting data relating to that question.
What I can say from experience is that smiling seems to be infectious. Have you ever walked into a public place and made eye contact with someone who was smiling? Does noticing a person smiling cause you to grin or smile? I’m not sure what the phenomenon is, but it’s truly a thing that happens. It may be that those of us that can relate to smiling in response to seeing a smile want to share in the joy. Sharing in others joy is something the world could use more of, in my opinion. Our need to share in another’s joy could be on a conscious or unconscious level. Or, it may be as simple as enjoying the view. If only for a moment, our smiles make us feel better. Walk into a place with people laughing hysterically and I dare you not to put on a grin or start laughing yourself. I’m sure there are people that would be unmoved by the previous scenario above. “Variety is the spice of life….” as William Cowper was quoted.
Have you ever been mildly upset and have someone try to make you smile? There are all sorts of medical data available related to smiling causing a reduced stress response. Check out the article on Medical News Today.
I’ve heard and read over the years that laughing adds time to human life. Whether that information is factual or not, the laughing starts with a SMILE.
By the way, Happy National Smile Day! Enjoy 😊!
R. H. W. Dorsey © 5/31/2019
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