5-18 Powell's City of Books, World's Largest Indie Bookstore by Judith Ashley and Sarah Raplee

Monday, April 9, 2018

It all begins with a smile

By: Marcia King-Gamble

Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers penned the lyrics of a song that’s stood the test of time, and still brings smiles to our faces today. But it was Julie Andrews who executed  that song in such a manner that when you hear it you see and feel Julie's smile.

It’s the simple things that make you smile and laugh.  Yet many of us forget to smile. Think of how you react when you hear a baby gurgling, and how  you feel when raindrops kiss your cheeks. What's your first reaction after reading a well written sentence in a book, or receiving a thank you card when you didn’t expect one, or a phone call from a friend you haven’t spoken to in years?

There are so many reasons to smile. Yet there are people who choose to go around with frowns on their faces, and those are the people you stay away from. Life is stressful enough. Who needs that negative energy?

What I’ve learned is wealth and possessions don’t equate to happiness. Some of the most successful people I know are some of the most miserable. They’ve lost their sense of humor and the ability to appreciate the little things in life.  Smiling and laughter are not something they do well, or maybe they have simply forgotten to appreciate anything that doesn’t cost money. The sight of a rainbow, the feeling of sun on their faces. A hug for the sake of a hug, even a kind word or nice compliment. What about random acts of kindness, like a stranger handing you his parking ticket because he still has an hour on the meter? A neighbor bringing you dinner because she made too much. These are all reasons to smile.

It’s said laughter may add to your lifespan. 

It’s considered the best medicine. And there's lots of evidence to back that up.
According to an article in Psychology today, laughter reduces pain and allows us to tolerate discomfort.
Laughter reduces blood sugar levels, increasing glucose tolerance in diabetics and nondiabetics alike.
It improves your job performance, especially if your work depends on creativity and solving complex problems. It’s considered the glue of good marriages. It synchronizes the brains of speaker and listener so that they are emotionally attuned.
Laughter establishes -- or restores -- a positive emotional climate and a sense of connection between two people. Some researchers even believe that the major function of laughter is to bring people together, and that the health benefits may simply result from the social support that laughter stimulates.
New evidence reveals laughter helps your blood vessels to function better. It causes vessels to relax and expand, increasing blood flow. I's good for your heart and brain, two organs that require the steady flow of oxygen carried in the blood.

 Laughter also plays a big role in mating. Men like women who laugh heartily in their presence.
Females laugh 26 percent more than their male counterparts while men are more laugh-getters.
 The laughter of the female is the critical index of a healthy relationship
 Yet laughter in relationships declines dramatically as people age. Is it because we’ve forgotten its healing power, or we’ve become too beaten down by life?  
 Like yawning, laughter is contagious. It improves your relationships and makes you more open to new people. It helps you build and strengthen relationships.
Additionally, It improves the health of diabetic patients, lowering stress and inflammation and increasing good cholesterol. Just anticipating a funny event boosts immune function while decreasing stress-related hormones.
Laughter makes you a better learner.  A good laugh while learning new material helps you engage more.
Laughter makes you attractive. This is confirmation that humor and playfulness are highly valued traits in potential romantic partners.
Overall laughter helps you make the world a better place. Why? Because it's contagious.
So like an apple a day, a good laugh might just help you live longer.
Why let the world get you down when you can smile and laugh your day away?

About Marcia King-Gamble

Romance writer, Marcia King-Gamble originally hails from a sunny Caribbean island where the sky and ocean are the same mesmerizing shade of blue. This former travel industry executive and current world traveler has spent most of life in the United States. A National Bestselling author, Marcia has penned over 34 books and 8 novellas. Her free time is spent at the gym, traveling to exotic locales, and caring for her animal family.
Visit Marcia at or “friend” her on Facebook:


Sarah Raplee said...

Enjoyed your post, Marcia!

Maggie Lynch said...

Wonderful post. I wish there were more smiles to pass around. I've always been a smiler myself. I'm not much of a laugher unless it's a great standup routine or something that builds over time. I think it takes some time for me to build up to that big laugh. But once I get going, it is hard to stop. :)

I often wish I could look at the world like some great comedians do. Trevor Noah comes to mind. He has such a world view of history and politics that he can present that information in the most absurd way to make me laugh. Ellen Degeneres is great for making me laugh about the everyday things that drive me crazy. Being able to look at that absurdity and laugh, instead of get angry, is so refreshing.

Know I am beaming a big smile in your direction Marcia. Thanks for the uplifting post.