Smile, smile, smile.
Simple supposedly, takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown.
Spreads joy, it’s almost impossible not to return a smile.
So why is it that so few of us manage to produce one? Or why is it that we find it so hard to have a smile as a neutral expression?
You have to think smile to have one, unless it is a reaction. A reaction to a conversation, or an event or a drama or other outside stimuli.
Just look at most people as you walk along the pavement. Most people will try to avoid catching your eye, or having their eye caught. Afraid a reaction will be required. Afraid a smile will be required.
And yet we love to smile.
If you look at people in cars coming the other way, most of them are asleep. They don’t even seem to see you half the time.
Is it because we are lost in thought, worried about something that happened, or might happen, that then destroys the now?
If we see someone who has a perpetual smile on their face, we question their sanity. ‘He’s a looney’.
We’re almost hardwired to not smile.
And yet we love to smile.
Who’s mans best friend? Easy right! A dog.
Dogs don’t have the facial structure to let them smile, and yet almost every other part of them smiles. Whenever we return home to our pooches, the excitement is palpable. They jump, or raise their front paws, almost walking on two legs, tail wagging fast enough to power an aeroplane. Almost their whole body shaking enough to cause a mini earthquake.
In fact, it’s not just you, any human who show the slightest interest will generally get the same level of enthusiasm. Dogs unconsciously know how to show excitement at your presence.
That enthusiasm is infectious.
Now I’m not suggesting that every time you see someone you start jumping up and down and pretend to wag a tail you don’t have. However, how much effort would a little enthusiasm for other people cost you.
Smile and say ‘hello’ to everyone you meet or walk past. Most will smile and say ‘hello’ back. They won’t be able to help themselves, just as you can’t.
See how much that changes your day, I bet you’ll feel good by the end of it.
It’ll be hard at first, and you’ll walk passed many people and not remember until it’s too late, but you’ll start to remember.
If you’re lost in a world of worries, then make an extra effort. Smiling in itself will help to make you feel good, and lots of other people smiling and saying ‘hello’, will make you feel even better.
Lift your head up and look at the world around you. I’ll bet there’s something out there worth smiling about, whether it’s an amazing car, bird song, building, view or someone you know.
Because that’s the other thing we do when we are frowning, is to look down.
Look up and smile. What is around you that is worth smiling about? There will definitely be something.
Smile, smile, smile!
What will you smile at right now?
Simon Pollard Urban Countryman