By Beatrice Mokwunye
in my previous post on …Simple Strategies to look more likeable and approachable…, and smiling we talked about various strategies to help you appear likeable and approachable in a new environment. Smiling, if you can recall was among. However, I realised that keeping a constantly smiling face can be much difficult, especially when nothing amuses. Of course, in a situation where recession and MMM saga wrecks most people down, smiling will definitely be the hardest nut to crack. I once asked a man “oga, why is it that you don’t smile even when someone greets you?” guess what he said, “for this Buhari time [sic]?” That’s by the way. Today, I’m going to share with you top six secrets to keeping a smiling face throughout the day. Before then, let’s quickly digest this interesting story on the importance of smiling, culled from Values.com:
“…Every time I saw Joe he was smiling. It didn’t matter whether he had to stop at a stop light, or if he were the seventh person in line at the bank, and the teller closed her bay just before he got there. Joe always smiled. It made me wonder why he always seemed so happy. It made me think…what if I tried to smile more? An experiment of sorts began when I went to the grocery store. I smiled as I went up and down the aisles…and people I didn’t even know smiled back at me. Some even spoke! The little kid in the cart who was giving his mother a hard time saw me smile and stopped talking…and, you guessed it’he made a shy little attempt at a smile. The man in the handicapped cart needed a person to reach something…I could get that for him. The smile even transferred over to him, and he thanked me.
As I drove home, I was smiling. I thought about what I had just learned, and when someone passed me and gave me a gesture, I smiled at him. He looked perplexed.”
Smiling is contagious. It reflects a positive outlook on your personality and automatically draw multitude around you, and as one of America’s famous speaker and author, Les Brown would say, “Your smiles will give you a positive countenance that will make people feel comfortable around you.”
So, to maintain a beautiful smiling face every day, here are few attitudes to adopt.
Smile when you wake up in the morning.
I woke up a particular morning sad. My bones were too weak and the mind restless. I looked at the weather; it was gloomy and scary. Of course, I recognised what lay ahead. They were symptoms of my bimonthly period—depression, but I did something surprising to me: I forced a joyful smile and told myself “this is going be the best day of my life.” My testimony afterwards remain inexplicable. Smiling every morning resonates your mind, invigorates the muscles as well as nerves and triggers the brain into action. It transforms a gruesome atmosphere into a cheerful day as it releases streams of endorphins—happiness hormone–lowering the stress and anxiety hormone, boosting your mood for the entire day. So, immediately you get off the bed, smile.
Look into the mirror every morning and smile at yourself
Make it a date not to leave the house without gazing at the image of yourself through the mirror and when you do, fix your mind on one particular aspect your body you admire most. Smile at it. Smile genuinely with all of you. Watch it, throughout the day, you’ll never cease to smile. Why? That beautiful image of yourself will keep re-appearing and will gladden your heart.
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Feed on your strengths.
Feeding on the positive things about you builds a sense of self-confidence, positive self-image and obviously, joy. We all have had glorious moments in our lives when we did something marvellous beyond our wildest dream. Find at least one and feed on it every day. It could be your change in status. Compare who you used to be five years ago to now. What changed? That little insignificant change is a huge achievement—feed on it. Also cast your mind back to school days. Have you competed with a classmate over best overall? Did you win? Whatever that may be, celebrate it.
One of my greatest achievements so far has been my ability to build a strong, positive mind against depression and negative perceptions about myself. Now, whenever I remember this triumphant…I smile. You took, discover yours and feed on them.
Watch comedy videos
Comedy videos or tapes are one of the natural ways to keep your ribs cracking, none stop. When you remember what some said, how he demonstrated it or even the tone of his voice, you’ll find yourself smiling involuntarily. Like the story we read earlier, even people you don’t know before will approach you and want to strike up a meaningful conversation with you. You know why? Human beings view smiles as harmless, kindness and liveliness.
There’s no magic to it; positive thought rejuvenates the soul, the body and spirit—it breaths live into a soul. Colossians 3:2 says “Cast your mind on things above, not on things on earth.” That is the greatest source of positive thinking—the love and promises of God for humanity. Think of them daily; make them parts of your life. I tell you, if you fix your mind on Ferrari or a beautiful mansions and exclusive clothes and other materials of the world, you will be disappointed and limited—it will leave you with moments so difficult to even fake a smile but looking up above, building your hope on God alone, there you find your greatest joy and the involuntary need to keep smiling. Here’s a simple secret: those people you see parading with broad smiling and happy faces are not necessarily rich; they’re one of a few who have decided never to trust their own understanding nor carry any burden but live for God and feed on His promises alone. Likewise you, Think positively casting your mind on God and His promises alone.
Set a target
A colleague of mine, Stephen, once said something while delivering a morning speech. He said that sometimes we tell ourselves “I should do this.” But at that point, there are chances we will never do it, but the moment we make it a must and say, “look, I must do this,” then, we put in our very best and never flout the rule till the game is over, and our targets are met. Apply the same rule here. Make it a must to smiles, at least five times in a day and set a reminder to help you keep up with time.
Having learnt these few tips, I’m, therefore, challenging us to do this throughout today: smiles to five people you don’t know today. Ensure the smiles are genuine, then come back and share your experience with other readers. So, are willing to embark on this challenge with me?