A Simple Way to Brighten Your Mood

“A smile confuses an approaching frown.” – Author Unknown

In a funk lately? Lifting your spirits may be easier than you think.

All you have to do is smile.

Sound too simplistic? Maybe. But the beginning of any journey always starts with a single step, and a simple smile might just be your first step to a more positive outlook.

I put this into practice at the place I find myself the most: work. Like most, I am at work 40 or more hours a week. Some days are better than others, but on my very bad, stressful, overwhelming days, I force myself to act in complete opposition to how I am feeling by smiling at every single person I pass in the hallway.

It might sound silly, but every reciprocated smile boosts my morale just a teensy bit. And every “good morning” or “hello” or “how are you?” that accompanies those smiles boosts me just a little bit more. When my coworkers meet my gaze and return that smile, I feel acknowledged. Each smile puts a piece of my humanity back until I no longer feel like an insignificant cog in a cold, unfeeling wheel. I am me. Skylar. I am a human being worth smiling at.

Conversely, this restorative effect is nullified by every unreturned gaze and every unreturned smile. When I pass someone in the hallway and they refuse to even look at me, let alone spare me a slight smile, I can’t help but wonder what has happened in their life to make them feel the need to ignore a simple, positive human interaction.

It’s so easy to let the day-t0-day bog us down until we’re barely staying afloat. We can feel the stress building like a balloon expanding in our lungs until we can barely breathe anymore. Soon we’re taking that stress home, trying to release all that air by blowing it out onto our loved ones.

But maybe, just maybe, we can get that stress under control right from the beginning by taking a deep breath and channeling that negative energy into a positive gesture. And who knows? Your smile may just be the tiny gesture that nudges someone else out of their funk. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you might be paying-it-forward to at least one person every single day? Now that’s a great way to turn a negative into a positive.