Just a Smile
Where’s the smile?
That was how I was greeted as I walked in the gym one day last week.
Walking into work one morning recently, Jonathon, motioned for me to move my face from a frown.
A study in 1988 asked a group of people to take a pencil and hold in their mouth; half of them were to hold it between their lips as if sucking a straw, the other half between their teeth as a dog holding a bone. They were then asked to view some comic strip and rate how humorous they were. The group holding the pencil like a dog bone rated the comics more humorous.
Holding the pencil in that way engaged their face as if they were smiling.
The smile changed how they perceived their surroundings. I dare say it also affected the people they came into contact with.
Contracting facial muscles in different sequences can produce thousands of different messages that provide cues to our overall emotional state.
I probably had something serious on my mind that day at the gym or my to-do list was churning in my thoughts that day at work.
I move through my day with more energy when I set my mind to think positive thoughts. Nothing changes about what has just happened or what I have to get done. I do perceive and act on things differently. Nothing else changed.
A few months ago I wrote a post A Daily Pep Talk where I listed some things I need to remember each day before walking into the office.
After the two ‘no smiling’ encounters it looks like I need to add, ‘remember to smile.'