When times are tough, smile and bear it

Times are still trying and money is still tight, but things are getting better. We all still have difficult days dealing with all that we have on our plates. There is so much to balance on a daily basis and it can become easy to lose your smile along the way.

There is a verse from a song that I used to listen to that spoke to these times.

“There’s hope. It doesn’t cost a thing to smile. You don’t have to pay to laugh. You better thank God for that.”

With so many worries and cares that consume most of our days, sometimes our smiles are lost and our ability to laugh is stifled.

My mother used to tell me, “Girl, don’t you let nothing steal your joy.” I grew to understand what that meant.

Do you know what’s in a smile?

A smile can make you feel better even when you don’t have the answers. Yet, it costs you nothing.

Taking the time to smile at someone as you pass him or her on the street or in the store can completely change the course of his or her day. You never know what a smile from you could do for the cashier as you over pay for those few groceries. Yet, it costs you nothing.

You know what? You just have to laugh at the bills you get in the mail because you will get another one tomorrow. Rather than becoming frustrated and down about things you cannot change, at least not immediately, learn to laugh. Laugh and refocus your thoughts and energy on the things in your life that make you feel happy.

It is interesting to think about how easy many of us find it to hold onto the things that cause us to feel stressed. Gas. Groceries. Rent. Tuition. Car note. Mortgage. Debt. Job. Negative people. How much is it really costing you?

Stress is known to contribute to heart disease and aggravate a number of other physical conditions. It can cost you your health. You don’t have to pay anything to laugh, and it actually benefits your health.

Make it your intention today and for the remainder of the week to use the hidden opportunities we refer to as problems-to smile. If you happen to have “one of those weeks,” then your face should really hurt from smiling so much.

These times are trying for most, but there’s hope for all. An old friend of mine shared one his favorite quotes with me from a Dolly Parton movie, “My grandma always used to say if you see someone without a smile give ‘em yours.”

Be encouraged.

Contact columnist LaTonya Dunn at ln_dunn@yahoo.com.