Remembering to Laugh and Smile

by Claire Minnaar


I recently went to my 4 year olds school talent show. He attends a small school here in Hermanus that goes up to Grade 7. To be completely honest, I wasn’t overly in the mood to go after having a long day working and having a sick child, but of course I went to go see my little guy perform on stage for a whole 2 seconds.

We got there and the kids were all running around excited at the back of the stage. Ryan and I headed off to sit in the hall in front of the stage where all the other parents were. Parents were yapping away to the grannies and to other parents and then ….the lights dimmed and the performances began.

The show was around 1.5 – 2 hours long. I haven’t seen so many adults laugh and smile so much in such a short time. My cheeks were so sore from all the laughing. The cheering and clapping for these young kids was totally contagious. And, quite honestly, other than feeling like a proud parent, I felt good and amazing after all that laughter!

When I climbed into bed that night, I thought about the show all over again and how it compares to our everyday lives. We get so stuck in our daily lives that are often filled with stress, worries, busyness and a term we often use “hecticness”. We are stuck in our own little worlds and although there may be the odd joke you hear or receive in an email that gives you a quick giggle, we actually forget to really smile or laugh….like a full on belly laugh.

I did some research about the whole laughing / smiling thing and read that our brains don’t actually know the difference between a fake smile and a real smile.

So today, I want to encourage you to make an effort to find something that makes you REALLY laugh and have a good smile. And, if you can’t find something, go for a walk and smile at the dog that is barking at you, smile at the first person who drives past you, go hire a comedy or watch some YouTube videos and start laughing!!

If you are busy person who is possibly often stressed out, this IS something you should be doing, so schedule 15 minutes IN YOUR DIARY and go smile (or even better, laugh!). It will reflect in other areas of your life.

So, stop thinking about doing it – just do it! And, if you’re fake smiling it, don’t worry about it and don’t feel stupid. Just be in the moment, feel it and reap the rewards!

Do it for yourself! Please!

Happy smiling! 🙂

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