I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Nothing was going right and even the bright sunshine looked a bit ‘off’ to me.
I was looking around for something to kick – a can, a wall, anything to take it out on. But nothing was there.
Suddenly, coming towards me was a total stranger. She was an older woman with white hair and she was using a cane to steady her steps. It looked like walking was a bit of a struggle for her. She met my eyes as people sometimes do and suddenly, her face broke into the most beautiful smile! Her eyes were twinkling and that smile absolutely transformed her face – it transformed me too.
What was I so worried about? Everything was going to be fine. I just needed to change my perspective and look at things from a different angle.
We said good morning and kept on walking but my day had completely turned around. Just from some simple powerful smiles.
Sharing is caring
So, I decided to pay it forward. Since someone had passed their beautiful smile on to me and transformed my emotions, I would do the same to someone else. No, I would do the same to everyone else. For the rest of the day.
And you know what? Every time I smiled at someone, they smiled back at me and not only did they get a bit of a buzz from that smile (from the change in their expression), but I renewed my wonderful feelings from earlier in the day.
It’s so simple – and yet so powerful! A smile amongst strangers – the little bit of human connection that speaks volumes without saying a single word.
Did you know that:
- Smiles aren’t just fun – they have medically-proven benefits for your entire body including your immune system. Smiling releases endorophins – our ‘feel-good’ hormones – which can reduce stress and just plain make you feel better.
- Smiles are contagious. When that woman smiled at me, I just had to smile back. Imagine if everyone smiled at others – how much better would the world be if we just smiled more often?
- Smiling can be a great career move! Studies have shown that employers are more likely to offer promotions to people who smile because they feel that smiles indicate confidence.
To read more about on the physiological and psychological benefits of smiling, click here.
The smiling action plan
Why don’t you try it the next time you’re on the street? Smile at the people who pass you by; meet their eyes and say good morning or good afternoon. See what happens.
What if you did that every day? Even if you didn’t mean it in the beginning, if you had to force the smile and greeting, after a little while, it might start to come naturally.
How can a smile change your day? Can smiles amongst thousands of people change the world? Let’s start an experiment to find out. We have nothing to lose but our terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.