If you take 30 seconds and study the photos above, what do you see?
What’s your first impression of the people in the photos?
What was it about the people that influenced your impressions? Was it their clothing, their body language, their expressions or all of these things?
Well, all of these things influenced my impressions. But let’s start with their clothing. Our clothes make a statement about who we are. Are they neat, wrinkly, high fashion, casual, mismatched or coordinated? It also can suggest the persons’ profession. For example, in photo number 1, I would guess this girl is a student. But in photo number 3, I would guess this man works in a professional job. Either that or he is getting married.
Just like our clothing, our attitudes also tell people about us. We wear our attitude in our expressions, our body language and perhaps in our clothing choice as well. While our expressions easily tell people what we are feeling and thinking, our body language gives silent clues to our feelings. When I look at the body language of the children in photo number 2, I see friendship. Don’t you agree?
Like we chose our clothes every day, we make a choice on what attitude we will wear as well.
Do you choose to wear a smile, a frown, be confident or indifferent? Did you know that the scriptures tell us what we should choose to wear?
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves in
tender compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Colossians 3:12 (TVL)
So, the scripture tells us to wear attitudes of compassion, kindness, etc. But what if everything is going wrong? How can we wear a “good” attitude?
It may not be easy, but if you want to give it a try, then try saying “No” to a negative attitude.
We can say “NO” to an attitude like we say “NO” to wearing an item of clothing. How do we do that? By refusing to dwell on negative thoughts and refocusing on positive thoughts. Did you know that the scriptures actually encourage us to think about positive things?
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
The scriptures go one step further and also encourage us to be thankful. That certainly will affect our attitude!
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:18
Thankful! That sounds nearly impossible!
It is not always easy but I will let you in on something that helps me; counting my blessings. In fact, I keep a blessing journal and record something I am thankful for every day. On those days when I am struggling, I go back and read it for encouragement. It helps! Perhaps that is one reason why The Lord directs us to be thankful.
But being thankful does more than encourage us.
The Lord in His wisdom and love for us designed thankfulness to be beneficial for us!
It’s actually healthy!
What happens when we count our blessings? “Feelings of gratitude boost immunity, lower blood pressure, and speed healing. Oxytocin, our ‘bonding hormone’, is secreted by the heart whenever you feel open and connected, switching off your stress response.”1
What about smiling?
A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones. Proverbs 17:22
Did you know that research shows that “one smile can generate the same brain stimulation as 2000 bars of chocolate or receiving $25,000?” 2
“When we smile, fake or real, the contractions of the facial muscles leads to an increase in blood flow into the frontal lobes of the brain and increases in the release of dopamine. As a result, walking around all day with a smile on your face will bias your mood to be happier. Not only will you be happier but your smile might spontaneously induce the release of dopamine in someone else’s brain—now that truly demonstrates the power of a smile.”3
As the saying goes, “Smile and the world smiles with you!”4
Our attitudes can be contagious!
So, what do you want to wear today? Do you want to wear joy or sorrow, confidence or indifference, fear or faith? Making a choice about what attitude to wear each morning, just like we make the choice on what clothes to wear, will set our tone for the day. The attitude we chose to wear on our face will influence the way we feel, and influence those around us!
How can I maintain a positive attitude throughout the day? It will take practice and faith to choose to smile. As each new situation arises during the day, take a moment to look at your clothes before you react. Perhaps this will help you remember what choice you made on what attitude to wear today.
And if you are having a hard day?
Take a deep breathe, whisper a prayer, count your blessings and in faith, SMILE!
WHAT WILL YOU WEAR TODAY?
Have you ever felt like the day was going to be bad, and it was? Do you think wearing a different attitude may have influenced your day?
Heavenly Father, as I write Colossians 3:12 and say it out loud, help me to clothe myself in Your loving attitude. Each day please help me, in faith, to choose a positive attitude. Let me see the blessings of choosing a smile and a merry heart.
IN FAITH, CHOOSE TO WEAR A SMILE!
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Thanks so much!
May your day be filled with love and laughter!
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2. Ron Gutman, The Hidden Power of Smiling.
3. psychologytoday.com, addicted to smiling
4. Stanley Gordon West
Photo of girl Alex Shaw, unsplash
Photo of children, unsplash
Photo of man Gift Habeshaw, unsplash
Photo of young girl Thomas Park, unsplash
Photo of baby, pixabay