If you’re an observant people watcher, chances are you’ve sat on a park bench and witnessed many interactions between others. You’ve also likely noticed people’s faces as they’ve stepped on and off the subway or sat on the highway in bumper-to-bumper traffic. It doesn’t take much to notice that many people are stressed, constantly in a hurry and feeling overwhelmed. One more important observation? Many people go through their days and forget to smile.
Smiling is one of the achievements that we celebrate in young infants. It shows not only happiness, but involvement and appreciation for those around you. Taking time to smile not only makes you feel good, but it boosts the morale of others in your circle as well.
So, if you are willing, try out this simple 2-part experiment.
Part One: Smile at Yourself
If anyone is deserving of your time and appreciation, it’s you! Your body carries you throughout the ups and downs of each day. It eases you through frustrations, worries, fears and excitements. Do you ever think to pause and say “thank you”? When you wake up in the morning, smile in the mirror. Whenever you pass a mirror, smile again. And as you smile, breathe deeply in and out, knowing that you are replenishing your body, mind and spirit.
Part Two: Smile at Others
Once you’ve mastered the art of making your own soul smile, pass that friendly gesture on to those around you. Smile at people that you pass on the street. Stopped at a red light? Flash a smile at the person sitting in the car next to you. Smile at the supermarket clerk, the doorman and the custodian. Smile at your boss, your dog and even the trees in your backyard. Just smile.
Spreading happiness to one another begins with a simple upturned grin. Do you think your smile can have an effect on others around you? You might be surprised! One smile can begin a chain reaction. And what better way to impact others than to spread a little dose of happiness.