The morning is the most magical part of the day.
As the whole world rises, let us take that gift with a smile and spread a little happiness to those around us.
Here are some why’s and how’s to starting your day with a smile:
• It feels good. Smiling can increase the release of endorphins and other mood-enhancing hormones. It can calm your heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress, contribute to a heightened sense of well-being, and support good health.
• It looks good. When you smile, there’s a better chance other people will perceive you as attractive, likable and memorable. They are also more likely to find you approachable and see you as trustworthy. And they’ll think you look younger.
• It’s contagious. We are hardwired to mirror each other’s happy looks. When you smile at colleagues or clients, they may automatically return your expression. More importantly, as you exchange smiles with another person, the two of you connect in a more fundamental way. They actually experience the positivity underlying your smile, and as a result could be more satisfied with your conversation.
• It spreads. If your smile makes a team member feel good, his mood will improve and he’ll be more likely to smile at the next face he sees. The wave of good feeling can become viral, moving from one person to another.
• Even fakes work. The most powerful smiles are genuine, emanating from deep within you. But social smiles, that require some effort on your part, are effective as well. And they can start a virtuous cycle. If you struggle to smile, but then I smile back, you will respond to my facial expression. Soon your tentative smile can become heartfelt.
• You can get better at it. The more you practice a positive expression, the more likely it is that you’ll experience spontaneous smiles. The trick is to start your smile from the inside, by thinking about something that makes you feel good. Simple techniques include summoning up the image of a loved one, or remembering a particularly happy event.
If you smile more regularly, the new habit can retrain your brain to see the world in more optimistic ways. The new dose of positivity might boost your creativity and help you to be more productive.
An excellent way to get started is to begin each morning with a smile. When you first wake up, summon up a happy thought and practice your best grin. Then your smiles will come more easily for the rest of the day.
Credit: Beverly Jones Photo: Unsplash