What would it be like if we all took time to show kindness to one another?
A simple smile can go on for miles and can be shared in so many ways...a look, an acknowledgement, or lingering eye contact. As adults, we often forget to smile! We’re so focused on our own lives that we sometimes don’t remember to smile or wave and be kind and courteous towards others. I on the other hand, make a conscious effort to go the opposite direction - I intentionally engage with others to make them feel seen, heard, and acknowledged. It might not come as a surprise to you, but research shows that children smile more than adults. What is stopping us from feeling and tapping into the inner child?
The other day I was sitting in the nail salon and I intentionally smiled non-stop waiting for someone to acknowledge me and smile back. It was as if the more I smiled, the less they wanted to engage with me and would look the other direction. This made me sad, why does our community want to be disconnected? Was I invading their private time? Or were they afraid to be seen?
Smiling can actually trick your brain into being happy! A smile spurs a chemical reaction in the brain releasing dopamine and serotonin. By making yourself smile, you'll begin to feel positive emotions that will in turn boost your confidence! You are essentially commanding your brain to start feeling more positive and happy. Studies also show it's difficult to frown when looking at someone who is smiling. Those ladies in the nail salon must have been suppressing their smile - missing out on a beautiful connection and exchange between two souls.
A few years ago, I was walking the Avon 3 day walk. On our last day from Santa Barbara to Malibu, I found myself complaining about the distance - my internal voice nagging at me. Seconds later, I came upon an elderly man who was wearing a t-shirt that said, I’d walk a million miles for one of your smiles...it motivated me and pushed me to keep moving!
In fact, that day I decided that if I could walk 24 miles I could run 24 miles! And it was then I committed to running a marathon to support my friend with cancer. Seeing his shirt made me more conscious. I’ve always been one who comes at life with a glass half full perspective, how once you don’t have the opportunity to receive that it can affect your whole life. So as I walked by this elderly gentleman with a big smile on my face, I thanked him for giving me the gift of receiving, this connection, and interaction from him.
Laughing, smiling, and being kind & spreading joy has always been part of my personality (aka my Personal Brand😄) - and part of what my mother always instilled in me, because when you smile, you not only make yourself happy, but others around you. Research shows that when we smile we not only appear more like-able and courteous, but we’re actually perceived to be more competent. In the end, a simple smile can cure all, it can all start with a smile to spread joy.
“I will never understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish.” - Mother Teresa
It can all start with a smile….Spread love and joy my friends...it’s infectious!