This is a little different post. In this post I tell you to do something and you have to try it out.
Yes. I think everyone should smile more often. There was actually a great exercise in a book by Joe Navarro, an ex-FBI agent trained to be a human lie detector. The book focused on body language and how the body reflects inner feelings. One chapter in his book was dedicated to an idea that not only do your feelings reflect on your face, but your face reflects on your feelings also.
The idea is that from the beginning of time, a wrinkled and shrunken face with a tight mouth and lowered eyebrows has meant that the person is experiencing angry feelings. On the other hand, the same goes for a cheerful mood and raised eyebrows with an open smile. These connections are strongly entwined. When you are happy, you smile and when you are mad, you frown and when you feel proud you walk with a forwarded chest etc.
But what about the other way? Can you become infuriated, when you frown all day or more importantly, can you become happy when you smile all day? Well, try it and you will see that it works. The face brings the mind along. That is why I practise the following as much as I can: where ever and whenever I remember, I try to smile as authentically as I can.
Caution: Side effects may include – mood swings toward the positive, happy thoughts, social acceptance, good relationships.
There are, of course, the nay-sayers: “I can not smile when I do not feel like it,” or “it will not work in a million years.” And in some ways they are right. This smiling practise won’t work on them, because they do not believe in it. If they would just for once shed their doubts, it would work in an instant. Whenever I try to smile out of the blue, I lose control of my face – I’m just so surprised every time of how wonderfully this method works. And when you smile like that, you become positively radioactive. Everyone feels your positivity and wants to hop on the train. Smiling is the best thing you can do when you interact with people.
I think that possessing this kind of fail-switch that you can pull, when the current mood itself is not the best, is extremely useful. I like when everything falls together and I feel happy, because nothing is wrong and good things happen. But relying only on things that you can not control is a risky business. Everything can not go right all the time. Practising the “smile to become happy” gives you control over yourself. When you rely only for others to put you in a good mood, you give the power away and the side effects now include mood swings that are not guaranteed to be 100% positive.
Here rise some interesting philosophical questions, but they can be postponed to the future. For now, it is important that you smile:)
Be positive and enjoy your day!
(The book: Joe Navarro, “What every body is saying : an ex-FBI agent`s guide to speed-reading people.”)