When You’re Smiling
“When you’re smiling the whole world smiles with you and when you’re laughing, the sun comes shining through” sang Louis Armstrong. I believe this wholeheartedly and I do whatever I can to bring smiling and laughter into my life and the lives of others as much as I can, whether that is through teaching positive psychology, running free community laughter sessions, or writing about the subject.
Smiling connects us
If I smile at you, you are almost guaranteed to smile back because humans are built that way. Mirror neurons cause you to react to my smile and a signal is sent to the muscles that control your smile. Even when you don’t think you have returned a smile, research shows that the muscles associated with smiling are affected and your brain releases chemicals associated with happiness. Therefore, no smile is ever wasted. Chances are though, if I smile at you, you will smile back and you will feel a positive benefit as a consequence and so will I. Smiling must be the easiest way to feel better and look better (people who smile are rated as more attractive by both sexes). So, really there isn’t a reason why we shouldn’t smile frequently.
What a difference a smile can make
Just think of times in your life when a smile made a difference. A smile can tell you that you are welcome, you are loved, you are appreciated, you are accepted, you are valued, you are safe. In a perfect world, everyone would smile frequently and we would all feel happier as a result. The World is not perfect though and there are some places where smiling and laughter are not experienced very often. Understandably, when people live in war torn countries and feel oppressed, hungry or stressed, then smiling may not feel as natural as it should, but sadly this can happen in countries where people are living in what would be regarded by many as a privileged environment. Isn’t this sad?
A Million Smiles
Mike Worsman thinks it’s sad too and he wants to do something about it. He has created an incredibly ambitious project called A Million Smiles that promises to make positive changes in the world through the power of our smiling.
First things first
The first stage of Mike’s ‘A Million Smiles’ campaign was to build a global community by sharing photos, videos and stories which have been viewed by more than 25 million people. Next he is going to create a feature film and a series of books to be released in 2017/2018. The long term vision is to establish a mass social movement of caring people who want to help others to flourish in whatever circumstances they live in.
You can get involved
You can get involved in this wonderful initiative in a number of ways. Visit the website A Million Smiles to find out more and I hope, like me, you’ll will be inspired to become part of a community that cares about making the world a better place for all of us.
A really happy birthday
To celebrate his 30th birthday, Mike launched a Kickstarter project to raise AUD $40,000 to create ‘The Happiest Book and Photo Exhibition on Earth’.
Watch his video below to learn more about this initiative and please consider supporting it.
And smile !
If you do nothing else, please share a smile today. It could make the world of difference to someone – including you !
Creating positive change through the application of science based processes