They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I like to say a smile is worth a thousand words—happiness, optimism, and love just to name a few. A lot can be remedied with a smile—you can break down barriers, automatically make someone feel at ease, express your joyful mood, convey confidence along with thousands of other actions, feelings and emotions. Not only can a smile lift your mood and those around you, it increases your likability and has tremendous health benefits.

Smiling reduces stress, releases endorphins and can even increase your life span. Who knew that something so simple (and free) could have so many benefits and is easily implemented. Now, we all may not want to have a grin plastered on our faces at all times, but we can probably do better. I know I can.

When you are in a state of discomfort or nervousness, smile. It breaks down barriers and immediately emits warmth. My belief is that people trust those who smile and they want to root for someone who emits positivity, which brings me to Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

I use her example for the effects and success of the smile. Prince Harry’s wife was thrust into a life that was foreign to her. Although she may be regal, she was not born into royalty and did not grow up in the pomp and circumstance and ceremonial rituals she now must follow. Many brides are nervous on their wedding day. It’s a lot of pressure (especially if it’s your first wedding). It is quite daunting to know what to do when and nerves and emotions can take over. I imagine Meghan Markle had worries like any bride, but her stress was likely elevated by the fact that her wedding was on display to millions of people, watching and judging how she looked and how she performed on this very large stage. All eyes were watching. As I anxiously tuned in (as I had for the other British royal weddings), it’s clear she is still learning and working hard to successfully assume her role of wife and dutiful member of the royal family.

Although she is working diligently to absorb everything she has to learn, she has experienced inevitable missteps as any of us would. But, one thing that is consistent is her smile—her bright, warm smile that lights up the room. The stoic Queen Elizabeth has even softened and has been so accommodating, inclusive and helpful to the Duchess and dare I say a bit playful?! Could it be they just have a natural chemistry? Could be. Or, could it be that Meghan has thrown out all conventional wisdom and decided to do it her way—smiling every step of the way. Beaming actually. You want to embrace her and hope she always remains sweet and joyful. Hopefully, the stress does not overpower her essence. So far, so good though. As I continue to observe her, I see poise, elegance and confidence. Exactly what I want for my daughter. There will always be uncomfortable moments in life, many of which are quite fantastic at the same time if we allow ourselves to experience it that way. It’s all what we make of it. And, sometimes you may even have to fake it. If you put a smile into practice, ultimately it will be who you are—positive, upbeat, endearing and someone who others want to see succeed.

When in doubt, channel your Meghan Markle Sparkle and smile.

And, of course, say cheese!

Roopa Weber
About Roopa Weber
Roopa Weber is a blogger and children’s book author who aspires to inspire better lives through kindness and gratitude. Her motivation came from the values and love provided by her mother. Roopa wanted to find an avenue to instill her mother’s wisdom in her own daughter and carry the message forward generationally. And, so she wrote.