Smile like you’re changing the world. Because you are. 🌸
We often think of changing of the world as some great big, grand gesture. Performed on stage with millions of people watching. When in fact it’s just you and me (and 7 billion others). Smiling, connecting, caring, and loving. Every moment. Every encounter. We are the dominos.
So it’s no wonder that I love this very cool day dedicated to smiling. If you’re also interested, you can check out the World Smile Day website. It’s filled with articles, history, and fun events happening around the world. Smiling rocks!
Fascinating research on smiling.
Smiles are more than skin deep.
Have you ever wondered why you can’t help but smile back when someone smiles at you? And why it feels so good when someone (strangers included) smile. It turns out that smiling is linked to a specific type of neuron called mirror neurons.
“Neuroscientist Giacomo Rizzolatti, MD, who with his colleagues at the University of Parma first identified mirror neurons, says that these neurons could help explain how and why we “read” other people’s minds and feel empathy for them.” Source: APA Monitor
The ripple effect of positivity.
Mirror theory helps us understand why emotions are so contagious. Just like mirrors reflecting back visual images, mirror neurons cause us to instinctively mimic the facial expressions and emotions of others. Simply seeing someone smile generates a community chain reaction of positive emotions and behaviour.
One more reason to share your good vibes with the world.
Choice is a powerful tool when it comes to stress perception. What we give attention to grows.
Which is why we must make the conscious decision to talk about our blessings more than our challenges. Our strengths more than our stressors. Our excitement more than our fears. Our possibilities more than our problems.
Every day is a new day filled with abundant opportunities.
Today’s story begins in the middle of my kickboxing class. The point in time where you feel like giving up the most.
Because the middle is always the hardest. Whether it be the middle of a semester, the middle of a week, or the middle of a dentist appointment. Ugh!
It was thirty minutes into class, and we had just finished a really tough round. I wanted to celebrate how far we’d come, so I began clapping and cheering.
Despite my excitement, my instructor gave me a curious look and said: “Why are you clapping Andrea? We are far from being done.”
She was right. We still had a significant amount of time left in our workout. But I wasn’t clapping because we were finished. I was clapping because we had hit the wall and survived. I was clapping to energize!
CHEERING in the MIDDLE
A cheering strategy that I often use in my own classroom. Students are geared up at the start of the semester and pumped up at the end. It’s in the middle that their commitment starts to falter.
This is when I clap wholeheartedly simply because students show up to class. A fun gesture underscoring how much I value their commitment to education. And they love it!
Today I am reminded how small gestures energize big time in the midst of a challenge. Be it a high five. A wide smile. A kind word. Or calling students by name.
Because beginnings have their own ticker parades. And endings take care of themselves.
It’s in the middle of a challenge where we need positive energy the most.
What keeps you motivated in the midst of a challenge?
We live in a world weighed down by disaster, debt, and divorce. So it’s no surprise that we’ve been conditioned to believe that tragedies require tragic mindsets. That serious issues demand serious attitudes. That hardships necessitate hardened spirits.
Thankfully we also live in a world overflowing with abundance, joy, and love. Same world. But we can’t see the good when we’re overwhelmed by the bad.
From overwhelmed to OVERFLOWING.
Making the shift from stress to strength can happen in a number of ways.
Laughter is my favourite instant stress reliever. Taking a long deep breath runs a close second.
Laughter breaks the panic spell. The not enough mindset. The woe is me attitude. The negativity downturn.
Laughter is an instant vacation to a better place – withoutthe travel bills!
Today’s challenge / opportunity:
Today’s challenge is to lighten up. To breathe deeply into what stresses you. To leave room for grace. To respond with a light heart and an open mind. To dance a little dance. To laugh with friends. To nourish your soul.
Ultimately to remember who you were – before life weighed you down. For it’s in our joy that we find our voice. It’s in our abundance that we embrace our authenticity. It’s in our laughter that we save the day.