Day 2: Kindness Through Smiling
Have you ever noticed that it is almost impossible to frown when another person is smiling at you, it’s because smiling is contagious. In a study conducted by Swedish scientist, it was found that the subjects had difficulty frowning when they looked at other subjects who were smiling. Their facial muscles twitched into smiles regardless of their mood. Go ahead and give it a try. I’m smiling just thinking about the subject of smiling. Smiling is not just contagious, it is also proven to improve your mood, boost your immune system, relieve stress and make you look more attractive. Also, consider how a smile can communicate so many different positive emotions and messages. A smile can communicate happiness, joy, interest, warmth, inclusion, acceptance and of course human kindness. All that from one small gesture. So go ahead and smile at everyone you see today and watch the miracles happen.
Kindness to Self:
This may seem silly or awkward at first, but practice smiling at yourself in the mirror or practice taking selfies. Then go out and smile, smile like you have a private joke or the best secret in the world, and I promise that people will notice.
Kindness to Others:
Smile at all the people in your life and see what changes you feel in yourself and see in others. Notice if your day was better than usual or if you affected anyone else in a positive way. Smile at your kids even when they make you angry or disappoint you. Smile at your spouse, your colleagues, your neighbors and your friends.
Kindness to Strangers:
Smile at every person you encounter today, even other drivers. Thinking of this now I am reminded of a car game my kids like to play called “Sweet and Sour.” They wave at every driver, passenger or pedestrian they see, and those that wave back or smile are sweet and those that ignore them or frown are sour. They keep a running tally as I drive to our destination and they get a kick out of people’s reaction to their game. It’s super cute and such a perfect example of spreading kindness through smiling.
Kindness to our Planet:
I suppose the planet subject may always seem a bit awkward when trying to apply a gesture or a kind act. I think, however, if we broaden our definition of what it means to smile at our earth, we can understand it as being grateful for our beautiful planet. Maybe it can be as simple as smiling while walking down the street and seeing a beautiful tree in the process of its leaves changing colors. Use your imagination and find a way to smile at what our planet provides us.
“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” – Unknown Author
Photo Courtesy of FreeImages.com/MichalKrzyman