Warning: Every once in a while, I get the urge to veer away from my typical life coaching topics and write a “feel good” blog. This is one of them.
Every December, I remind myself daily that this is a season of gratitude, love, and most of all, joy. I do this because, well…it’s true and… to be honest, if I don’t, I’ll start stressing out about my long holiday to-do list!
Apparently, I need a little more reminding because stressing out is exactly what I was doing on a recent Christmas shopping excursion. Let me set the scene: The parking lots were full. The stores were crowded. “Feliz Navidad,” “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas,” “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” and Wham’s “Last Christmas” (all songs that make me cringe) seemed to be playing on a loop on the mall speaker system. I was running late, spending too much money, and getting crabby. Hustling and bustling were draining the holiday spirit right out of me!
That is until I walked into the mall post office to mail a few packages. My sour mood instantly evaporated! Let me explain by sharing the dialogue I had with Mark, the postal clerk who greeted me with a hearty “hello” as I entered the post office.
Mark: “Hello there!”
Mark: “I see you’ve got a few packages to mail.
Me: Yes, just a few packages I’m sending out of town. I’m trying to mark a few things off my holiday to-do list.
Mark: “Well, alrighty then, Little Lady, let me see if I can help.” he said with a smile, “Do any of your packages contain anything liquid, fragile, perishable, or potentially hazardous such as lithium batteries, perfume, mercury, baby toes, or hand grenades.”
Lynn: “No. Wait…what did you just say?”
Mark: “Aha, I got you! I knew I could make you smile.”
Lynn: “Yes, you did. Thank you. I can’t begin to tell you how much I needed that today.”
Mark explained that he made it his mission to make as many people smile as he could every.single.day. He told me that the world is full of negativity, and he’s determined to make a difference using his smile. He ended his speech by telling me that he may look like an ordinary postal employee, but he’s really a “Smile Ambassador.”
The Power of a Smile
I thought of Mark’s comment for a long time after that meeting. One of the definitions of an ambassador is “An authorized messenger or representative.” I don’t know about you, but I want to be a “smile” representative. I want to be a “Smile Ambassador,” just like Mark.
They say the shortest distance between two people is a smile. Mark proved to me that this is true.
Smiles pack a lot of punch.
- A smile can break the ice. When conversations are uncomfortable or hard to initiate, a smile can initiate. Smiling at someone can make them feel accepted, comfortable, and less guarded.
- A smile is attractive. I’ve heard it said that a smile could be the sexiest curve on a woman’s body. Psychology Today shares that a smile can make you look younger, more attractive, and thinner. Christie Brinkley is quoted as saying, “A smile is an instant facelift and instant mood lift.”
- A smile is contagious.
Smiling can have a domino effect. Consider this: You see someone smile, and your smile too. Here’s why: A study by two social psychologists found that we “try on” the emotions of others when we are communicating with them. So, for example, when a friend tells us some gleeful news and looks happy and joyful, we may unconsciously display the same emotion through our facial expressions. In doing so, we have a chance to feel and understand their emotions. Smiles really are contagious. We should all aspire to be a carrier and pass them on.
- A smile can change a perspective.
According to research, the act of smiling can inspire feelings of joy and lift your mood. Making someone smile can change the world…well, maybe not the whole world, but their world.
Friend, there are so many difficult, tragic, and weird things going on in the world right now. A smile can be your “fight” song. Draw a line in the sand. Use your smile to change the world. Don’t let the world change your smile.A smile can be your “fight” song. Draw a line in the sand. Use your smile to change the world. Don’t let the world change your smile. Click To Tweet
There is always a reason to smile. Find it.
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