A Q4 Focus on Reducing Physical and Mental Stressors
(1) People prefer happy faces. We can spot a smile at 300 feet, which is the equivalent of a football field. Furthermore, research indicates that we like and remember those who smile at us. This is because, according to Duke researchers using fMRI to examine brain activity while doing "smile tests," the orbitofrontal cortices (a “reward center” in the brain) were more active when participants were learning and recalling the names of smiling individuals.
(2) Smiling directly influences how other people respond to you. When you smile at someone, they almost always smile in return. And, because facial expressions trigger corresponding feelings, the smile you get back actually changes that person’s emotional state in a positive way.
(3) Smiling is also a double-dip of success. It not only stimulates your own sense of well being, but also tells those around you that you are approachable and trustworthy.
(4) Today, skip the emoji and go for a real smile. Begin by finding something that makes you smile: a YouTube clip, a song, an animal or something in nature. Then, go out into the hallway, onto the street, into a local establishment, and look someone in the eye (eye contact is a huge contributor to success in conversations which require decision-making and trust) and say, "hi, how are you?" with a huge smile on your face. Can't stomach it? Then pay someone a compliment, even if you don't mean it: "that's a great color on you!" or thank someone for something they have done "thank you so much, I appreciate it!" These actions elicit smiles from others, and you are likely to return the favor.
(5) Nothing working? Well, go outside and pick up the first piece of trash you see, find a garbage can, and throw it away. Best case scenario: someone sees you, is happy, and pays forward the good deed. Worst case? Your community is a little cleaner, because of you. ...Now, doesn't that make you want to smile?