Among English idioms I’m most fond of is laughter is the best medicine. Whether most people have thought much about it, I don’t think many would disagree. If you didn’t, what would you say is the best medicine? For the rest of you who do agree, have you ever thought what the second best medicine might be? Laughter can be quite hard to get, at times, sadly.
For me, smiling is the second best medicine, even arguably the best because of its accessibility relative to laughter. It can sometimes be hard to laugh, but you only need to clench a pen or pencil horizontally with your front teeth to make you smile and lift your mood, as science has shown. It may even make you laugh to lift your mood even more. That mood lifting outcome is the same one that makes laughter the best medicine, and which most people probably deem to be more potent from laughing than smiling. I have no problem conceding that, though not by enough that I think anything else can beat smiling for second most impact. That’s why I think smiling is the second best medicine.