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You may have come across these words of wisdom before and, perhaps, like us thought they came from a song. Well, no, they come from an American author, Stanley Gordon West, whose books revolved around life in rural America. 
However, this isn’t where the inspiration for this week’s post came from. Rather it came from one of those slightly random discussions about whether it takes more muscles to frown or smile. Modern folklore says it does, so why not smile instead? Or, to use another piece of conventional wisdom, “turn that frown upside down.” 
Having done a little research, it’s amazing on the range of figures quoted. The highest number being 47 muscles needed to frown and 17 to smile which, given the number of possible muscles involved, seems more like a case of creative accounting than anything else (!). It makes for good folklore though. 
The consensus seems to be that roughly the same number of muscles are needed for both a smile or a frown, 11 or 12, but – and it’s a big BUT – a genuine smile has many benefits beyond this. To start with, it stimulates the release of so called “happy hormones”, whereas a frown doesn’t. These give an instant emotional boost to ourselves and whoever we’re smiling at. But this is only the beginning. Happy hormones also improve the functioning of the body in many different ways. Boosting the Immune System. Lowering blood pressure. Reducing stress. Calming the mind. And much more besides. So, taking all that into account, a genuine smile – not the forced or gritted teeth variety (!) – easily wins the day. 
But it doesn’t stop there. A genuine smile or laughter, along with all other positive emotions, are all high energy – or frequency – states. They make us feel lighter, boost energy levels and wellbeing. 
By contrast a frown, along with other negative emotions, are all low energy states. Their heavier, lower frequency energy pulls us down, draining our energy levels and wellbeing. 
But here’s the thing that’s easily overlooked. All emotions act like antennas, setting our frequency and then drawing in people and events of a similar frequency. This is why you’ll find that those around you reflect the energy you’re operating from, both at the present moment and as your default setting. And, yes, we know this can be rather a bitter pill to swallow. 
It’s also the reason for misery liking company. Why? Well, if you’re in a heavy, low frequency, state you won’t want to be around those in a higher energy state. It feels uncomfortable, not least by highlighting your heavy state. Instead, you’ll be drawn to those in a similar state. Misery likes company after all. 
This is why people with negative emotions are so draining to be with. They’re literally pulling the lighter, happy energy, from those around them and dragging them down to their level. They may, for a little while, feel happier as a result but it doesn’t last. Very quickly they’ll be back to where they were before. Think emotional vacuum cleaners and you’ll get the idea. And we’ve all come across people like that, even if we haven’t realised what they were doing at the time… 
Sadly, we’ve seen this in action on a collective basis during the recent madness, with all the low frequency emotions being generated. And one in particular, fear, which makes people very easy to control. However, as so often is the case, fear is not what it seems. It’s not a bogeyman waiting to get us but a mirage. A sign that our imagination – aided by the Little Monster in our heads – is out of control. Yes, really! For a quick reminder why fear is never what it seems, click here
Now here’s a question to get you thinking. If you’re ready, here we go (!). 
Which is our natural state, happiness or misery? A high light energy or a low heavy one? 
If you need a clue, just look at children playing without any adult interference. Yes, happiness and high frequency energy really are our natural – default – state. That’s why small children are so good to be around. While we may think it takes a lot of energy and effort to be happy, the reverse is actually true. It’s the heavy, negative vibe that takes a lot of energy to maintain. And, here’s another very important thing to remember. True happiness comes from inside, not from outside or from “stuff.” It’s easy to create and part of who we are. 
We’re sure you can see where we’re going with this. Or, at least, we trust you can! 
Once again, it’s a gentle reminder why our default state – the vibe we put out as we go about our day – is so important. And it’s not just about what’s happening now. It literally sends out messengers far ahead of us, choosing the road we travel along and how we experience life. Whether in the short term or much further ahead. True, there are lots of variables that are outside our control, but our default state helps determine which of these cross our path and, more importantly, how we experience and react to them. It’s also why everything is sent to help us IF we allow it to – if only as a reminder when we’ve slipped into a lower energy state. 
As always, the choice is yours. 
Photograph by unknown author 
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