Smile Like an Optimist
Smile! Smile at every person you meet and pass today. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Check that you are smiling on video too!
Is happiness the underpinning of optimism or is optimism an underpinning of happiness? It doesn’t matter - we know happier people tend to be more optimistic. And we know, optimistic people tend to be happier.
Never underestimate the power of a smile. We know that smiling stimulates brain patterns which reinforce feelings of happiness and optimism. Smiling does so in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match.
In short: our brain feels good and tells us to smile: we then smile: this then tells our brain it feels good and the cycle goes on!
Are you smiling now? Have you smiled at anyone today?
Some easy steps to smile more:
Just smile. If necessary, fake it till you make it!
As Dr David Topor wrote, “A psychotherapy technique to cope with sad feelings is to practice smiling for a few minutes each day. If a full smile is not possible, a half-smile works as well. Notice any impact on your thoughts, mood, and level of optimism.”
As powerfully, Ros Ben-Moshe, author of “Laughing at Cancer - How to Heal with Love, Laughter and Mindfulness" told me, “Optimism can be found in a heartfelt smile that spreads from one face to another."
Myl Duffy, La Trobe University Bendigo Campus
"What makes me optimistic? Knowing I can take action and make changes however small to make things better. Not in a grandiose world conquering way, but in everyday life and work for the people I encounter, even in circumstances where the most I can contribute is a smile or a word of encouragement."
“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”
President George W. Bush
"It's hard to be optimistic if you aren't able to smile. One of the jobs of the President is to create an optimistic vision for the country."
“What makes me optimistic is my inherent belief in the goodness of people. I know there is a lot of bad stuff around us, but it only takes one act of kindness or a simple smile to reassure me that everything is going to be all right.”
"Optimism comes from the innermost me. Small things make me optimistic: Someone's smile. A 'thank you.' A 'we can do it.' We just have to see and to listen carefully."
"This is a fun exercise that builds your kindness and courage muscles. Be first to smile at someone as you pass them on the street and make eye contact with them. We can get so focused on ourselves and shut the world out, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Instead of waiting for someone to speak to you, take that leap to be the first to say hello, or to smile, or ask them how they are. I promise this will be a game changer for you in your life!"
Melanie Gentgall, CEO and Company Secretary of PRAXIS Australia Ltd
"It's not always easy to stay optimistic, especially in the world of startups where the highs are high and the lows can be so incredibly challenging. I'm a true believer in being authentic. So I think it's ok to show your vulnerability at times and show how through optimism you can bounce back from the lows to reach the next high. But when things get tough, I put on my biggest smile, a lilt in my voice and head out into the world. It's amazing how your approach to the day can determine its outcome. Start in the way you plan to finish."
Eric Tjoeng, CEO and Business Stategist
"Simply waking up in the morning and feeling healthy and alive is a blessing from God. Knowing from experience that there is a solution to every problem gives me optimism and helps me smile brightly."
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