Smile, Wolf Pack Published April 4, 2012 By Master Sgt. Zamanta Triche 8th Force Support Squadron first sergeant KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- I've been told, "every time I see you, you are always smiling." However, trust me when I tell you my life is not perfect. I sometimes feel anxiety, stress, and loneliness like anyone else. I miss my family, my home, and even the long strolls through Target; but these things will not stop me from smiling. The truth of the matter is that a lot of times I smile as a proactive gesture rather than as a reaction to something funny. Don't get it twisted, I laugh at funny things all day long, but a smile is extremely powerful. Charles Darwin once said, "Even the simulation of emotion tends to arouse it in our minds." This means, if we frown, we will frequently be upset, sad or mad but if we smile, even if there is nothing to smile about, our minds will enable us to feel better. It will literally change the mood you are in. I once read somewhere on the internet (and you can Google this) that smiling makes us look younger and more attractive because people like to be around people who smile. Maybe that's why I look so good. As you can see, smiling can make you feel more confident and approachable, which causes people to think you are more competent and knowledgeable. Those are just some of the benefits of smiling. Physically, smiling can boost your immune system and lower blood pressure making you healthier overall allowing you to live longer. It is a natural drug that can relieve the sensation of pain and alleviate stress. Smiling is not a learned behavior, that's the beauty of it all. Many of us have seen an unborn child smile on an ultrasound or infants smiling in their sleep. Even better, it is a cross-cultural. Although it is said that love is the international language, and I think it is true to some degree, sometimes love can be interpreted differently internationally. A genuine smile, on the other hand, has the same effect cross-culturally. You don't even need Rosetta Stone to learn the meaning of a smile. Have you ever been told, "Wipe that smile off your face!" by a parent, teacher or first sergeant? Most likely not. Smiling is contagious and the individual directing the seriousness is afraid that they could potentially smile too. Can you imagine the ripple effect it could have across the 8th Fighter Wing if you smile at everyone you come across, and they pay it forward with a smile to those they cross paths with? You can potentially change the outcome of the upcoming consolidated unit inspection by just smiling. I challenge you, Wolf Pack, when you think about the long hours you've invested during the exercises, or when stress and anxiety start to get the best of you, just smile. When you think about living in the dorms or having to deal with your quad-mates, just smile. When you see me walking around base, smile. Turn your frown upside-down! It will make a world of difference.