Happy Hump-Day! Something that most people know about me is that I smile…A lot. I have always been a smiler and it’s usually one of the first things people point out after meeting me. The crazy thing is, I usually don’t even realize I’m doing it. We all have facial expressions that we are somewhat unaware of until we see a video of ourselves or someone tells us. I like those kinds of facial expressions the most because they are real and raw and give light to how we are truly feeling.
The other really powerful thing about facial expressions is the impact that they have on others. There are many studies that have shown how smiling at strangers causes them to feel happier, and that it’s a domino effect. The idea that seeing someone smiling at you can not only cause you to feel better internally, but to then smile at the next person you see to give that same feeling right back is pretty amazing, right? Not to mention that the act of smiling boosts your mood and releases feelings of happiness in you as well.
We live in a busy world where people are constantly running from one place to the next. When we are in this state, we go into almost an ‘auto-pilot’ mindset where we tune out the things going on around us. By slowing down for a second to tune into yourself and be aware of not only what is going on around you but also the way in which you are presenting to others, you then have a chance to change your mood and help someone else do the same. This could look like smiling and saying thank you to the barista at the coffee shop, or smiling at the person walking by you on the sidewalk. You might get some weird responses, like an “um why is that person smiling at me?” facial expression, but so what? I would argue that those people might need that smile even more than they know, and that it still is making a positive influence on their day. Plus, the more people that smile the more normal and accepting it becomes.
I challenge you to check your facial expression the next time you’re in public and around others. If you feel comfortable, turn your lips up into a smile and see the effect it has on others. Most importantly, observe how it makes you feel and hold onto that feeling so that you remember how much of an instant mood booster it can be for everyone.