Of course it is not enough to put on a fake smile, or pry the corners of your mouth up with chicken-wire attached to your ears. Your smiles have to be somewhat genuine to have the desired effect. Before I get into how to develop the habit of genuine smiles, let me talk about all the wonderful ways smiling improves lives.
A smile is an energy booster, it is your face’s reaction to feelings of joy, amusement and happiness. If you smile, even if it is not a spontaneous reaction to something funny or pleasant, the simple act of smiling will evoke similar feelings in you. A smile sends a signal of peace and acceptance to others. Think about the difference a nice genuine smile makes on a new face you’ve just met, as opposed to a blank face or even a slight “professional” smile. So in short, smiling makes you feel better and it makes other people feel better, about the situation you share and about you as a person. Smily people are more charismatic and attractive. Their smiles are contagious so their effect lingers even after they are gone.
So how does one go about developing the ability to have a wonderful smile on ones face all the time? It’s a skill which take a little practice, but can be mastered by most. At first your smiling is going to feel a little forced and awkward, especially if you’re not a naturally smiler. But little by little you will start to feel more comfortable and relaxed, and eventually it will come naturally and feel great. You need to use mindfulness to start to incorporate smiling into your routine. The easiest first step is smiling at the various service people you encounter during your daily routine: The person ringing up your groceries, parking your car, serving your food, or painting your toenails. I am sure most of you already smile at most of these people, but I am sure you could improve the quality and consistency of those smiles. Next step is smiling at your coworkers, clients and bosses. We all do a pretty good job at smiling at our clients and bosses for good reason, but those smiles will be greatly improved by habitual smiling, since smiling will be part of your personality and thus will feel more natural and genuine and less like brown-nosing. Your coworkers deserve good smiles every time they enter your field of vision. They will love you for it and you will get a lot of good smile energy in return. The most important smiles and the ones which should demand the least effort are directed at your friends and family. If you do have a problem sending genuine smiles at your loved ones, a significant underlying problem exists which you should identify and find resolution for.
Smiling is a positivity habit, it is a result of a positive outlook on life. If you practice other positivity habits, smiling will come easily. The positivity habits promoted on eGOvolution and by positive phycology in general are: Daily positive journaling (every day write at least one thing you are grateful for in your journal). Remembering pleasant positive experiences in the past. Performing acts of kindness to people every day.
Other habits which will make smiling come easier are exercise, meditation, and positive physical connections (Sex). Exercise is the foundation for physical wellbeing and will promote pleasure hormones in your body. Meditation will clear your mind of negative thought and stress and pave the way for positivity. Having a positive physical connection with someone will greatly improve the foundation for feelings of joy.
So hit it from both sides. Smile in spite of any trouble or pain you may be feeling, and work on your physical, mental and emotional health to make smiling as natural as possible. Then practice mindfulness around smiling and positivity throughout your daily routine.
let’s start a smiling movement people. Let’s send as many warm smiles out into the world as possible and enjoy an explosion of positive energy in our communities. Share this post on various networks! Create your own tweets on the topic, encourage smiling!
One last important note: A genuine smile is in the eyes! Look in the mirror and notice how you can move the corners of your mouth up and keep your eyes unchanged, and end up with a fake looking smile. If you think of something wonderful at the same time and allow your eyes to express your feelings, you will see you eyes light up and your smile be genuine and warm. So the trick is to have a few go-to images or scenarios in your mind you can conjure up to trigger your real smile. This goes back to the positive habit of recalling positive events from the past. I am very fortunate to have a lot of positive things in my life that I can think about, and I have a natural goofy smile on my face most of the time, but I try to think of little things which give me joy as well. Ideally I try to find positivity in the current situation to find my smile power. If you do that, your smiles will become totally genuine, not just a mind trick. So even if you don’t have obvious joyful things in your life to help you pull out your good smile, practice finding joy in the little things happening around you all the time. Even if you are in pain, find your joy for any other aspect of your life and smile!