Smile, breathe, and go slowly. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
A friend told me her grammy had wrinkles between her lips and cheeks from smiling too much.
“Really?” I thought to myself.
Beach-bums who don’t wear sunglasses can get eye wrinkles from squinting too much.
Hypothetically, people who get surprised too much (perhaps they have a friend who pranks them every day or are always surprised by the weather) can get forehead wrinkles.
Skin wrinkles are created as skin is piled up by muscle force over time.
But smiling too much?
People Who Smile Too Much
Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Babies right out of the womb can detect whether you’re happy or sad by your facial expression. They will often smile in response, creating generation after generation of happy families.
People who smile too much are generally seen as more likeable. Their energy is felt as positive and the atmosphere as fun.
With a goal of enjoying as many moments as possible, not wearing a smile would prove difficult.
The truly healthy person is the one who can smile when she is depressed, stressed, or unhappy.
In my own depressed experiences, smiling was impossible when at my worst.
But when I was aware enough to notice a gleam of sunshine on a rainy day or enjoy a cup of tea to start the morning, smiling really did lift my spirits.
How To Create Smile Wrinkles
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
I don’t know if it is possible to create smile wrinkles.
But there’s only one way to find out.
That’s to smile AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
In the car. In your bed. When you read. When you write. When you eat. When you sit. When you stand. Without people. But especially, when you’re with people.
When I get face wrinkles, I want them pointing up.
In the end, what type of life do you think a person with smile wrinkles would have lived?
When you get wrinkles, which way will they be pointing? Up or down?
Dr. Christopher Stepien is a chiropractor, chronic pain specialist, and A.R.T. provider, and clinic director of the Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic in Morristown, NJ. He practices out of Crossfit Morristown.