Smile More

Ever walk down the street and look at the other people on the sidewalk?

How often do you see anyone genuinely smiling? Most of the time, I see people buried in their cell phones sending text messages and not even looking up at the people right in front of them!

Technology is putting a real damper on human connection. The busier we get, the more we have on our minds and the less we SMILE.

According to a recent study, smiling can actually reduce stress. Of course we don’t need a study to tell us this…you can feel it all by yourself.

On average, kids smile up to 400 times a day, while most adults only smile 20 times. WHAT!? That’s a crazy difference!

How sad that more adults aren’t smiling more and enjoying or appreciating the small things in our lives.

When we smile, the muscles in our face contract and a positive feedback loop is created that reinforces feeling of joy. In other words, smiling can stimulate our brain’s reward mechanism in ways even chocolate cannot.

The interesting fact is that if you pay a little attention, you can practice getting back to that joyful state more often. Here are a few simple ways:

1. Before engaging in any conversation or business meeting, try visualizing something that makes you genuinely happy. It will not only make you feel more calm and happy, but a genuine smile can get you a long way.

2. Practice smiling in front of a mirror. (sounds weird, but do it anyway!) You’ll know when it is honest because you will instantly feel relaxed and happy.

3. Make eye contact and smile at random people throughout the day! If you’re at the grocery store, walking on a sidewalk, or passing someone in the hallway at work, look each person in the eyes and give them a big, genuine smile.

Your challenge this week is to do all you can to smile often and from the heart, because smiling makes you happier and helps you to live longer!

Are you in with me? Let me know!