The Power of a Smile

By The Ruth Institute Published on September 26, 2023

From Faith Hakesley at “Advice from a Survivor.

Smiling seems so basic but it can be a challenge for someone who is contending with trauma. When we are upset, the last thing we feel inclined to do is smile or laugh. I am sure most of us sometimes neglect to smile especially during hard times. I have certainly been there many times! However, I have realized that smiling (especially when it goes against what we are feeling) is powerful for our overall health and well-being.

You might be asking, “What’s the big deal? Who cares if I smile or not?” Believe it or not, smiling matters. Making an effort to smile can be so healing and make a huge difference in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

Keep reading.

Can Religion Improve Your Health?

John Gravino is a Catholic author who explores the intersection of health and religion. His books are The Immoral Landscape of the New Atheism and Confronting the Pope of Suspicion. Gravino shares how studies in neuroscience prove that religion has the power to heal the human mind.

Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and others saw religion as harmful to human flourishing. However, a study of Buddhist monks and Catholic nuns by a Harvard professor proved otherwise, specifically noting that prayer and meditation improved mental health and reduced stress.

Others, skeptical of these conclusions, conducted more tests, which gave the same results, including reducing anxiety and depression.

This completely undermines and contradicts the thesis of New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, Gravino points out. Instead, “the relentless pursuit of human desire leads to addiction and mental illness;” whereas, “religious practice leads to improved health outcomes, physical and psychological.”

Learn more, including how the Humanistic psychology of “trust your impulses” directly led to the sex abuse scandals in the Catholic church by joining our Locals community, or by watching on YouTube, Rumble, or Bitchute.

P.S. It was a soft deadline anyway. 😉 You can still support the Ruth Institute’s Resist Pride: Back to School campaign here.

Married with Children Equals Happiness, Report Says

A September 12 survey by the Institute for Family Studies shows that marriage is the biggest factor in people’s reports of happiness.

Married parents report the highest levels of happiness, with 40% of married mothers and 35% of married fathers describing themselves as very happy. By comparison, only 17% of unmarried women and 12% of unmarried men with children say they are happy.

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Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., said: “This does not surprise me. Pope St. John Paul II repeatedly taught that the human person is meant for love. In his first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis (The Redeemer of Man), he wrote: ‘Man cannot live without love…. his life is senseless if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter it and make it his own.’”

“We are happiest when we are loving and being loved,” Morse said. “Married women and men with children have the best chance of receiving stable, reliable love from their spouses. They also have the opportunity to give love to each other and to their children on a regular basis. No wonder married parents are the happiest demographic group!”

“The idea that independence and autonomy are the key to happiness was never more than an ideological fantasy. Advocates of big government promoted this out of self-interest. Employers loved the idea that having a job would make women happy. They could position themselves as the good progressives who just happened to benefit from a new pool of workers who were eager to prove themselves,” Morse said.

“I personally never doubted that I wanted to be a mother. I can honestly say that the years I spent at home with children, adopted, birth, and foster, were the happiest years of my life.”

Dr. Morse has spoken around the world on marriage, family and human sexuality and authored six books on these topics. The Ruth Institute also has a Marriage Resource Center which explains the importance of marriage to both the individual and society.


The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization, leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love. The Ruth Institute’s Founder and President, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village. Subscribe to our newsletter and YouTube channel to get all our latest news.

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