Have you ever had one of those days where everything went wrong, where you just felt so exhausted and helpless like you can’t get anything to go right, but then someone made a small gesture that made you smile? A gesture that probably didn’t take much effort or planning. A gesture that happens in a quick moment, like when you accidentally drop your bag or your phone and someone else quickly picks it up for you. When you’re struggling to carry something and someone lends you a hand or even when you’re in a rush and a car stops to let you cross the street. It’s that gesture that made the tiny smile on your face grow and suddenly your day didn’t seem so bad. A gesture that even if wasn’t meant to, lifted your spirits and changed your mood.
This may sound a bit cliché, but smiling IS good for us, for our health and for our mood. Smiling has a strong influence on how we go about our day- we’ve been told all this ever since we were little. What you may have not known is that when you smile, your feel good neurotransmitters – dopamine, endorphins and serotonin – are all released. This not only relaxes your body, but it can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure! Smiling starts a positive feedback loop of happiness, which simply means when our brain feels happy it tells us to smile and when we smile our brain feels happier. This can happen even when our smile is fake, all our brain knows is that there is a smile on our face so the positive feedback loop begins.
Smiling, genuine or not, affects our mood and state of mind.
We can spread that good mood and make someone else's day a lot better by putting a smile on their face as well. Here's our three favorite ways to boost the moods of the people around us, it is so simple, but be careful because the second you start it might be hard to stop...
1-Just Smile :)
The easiest way to get someone to smile is to smile at them!
Putting a smile on your face is effortless and yet it can make all the difference to the person you’re smiling at. A smile from a friend or a stranger can brighten the entire day.
Try it out! Smile at the cashier, at the bus driver or even at a stranger just as your passing by. Notice how they can’t help but smile back, or at least lighten up a bit. Hopefully this will not only brighten up their day but encourage them to smile at someone else and affect their day as well.
When you smile at someone, their automatic response is to smile back. The second that smile is on their face, their spirits lift even if it's just for a second and the positive feedback loop begins. It's their choice if to keep their spirits up but you gave them the option.
2- Tell someone how much you appreciate them
Telling someone that they are doing a good job will raise their confidence and make them smile. If it's telling your parents thank you for something special they did, reminding an employee how valuable he is or even telling a stranger they are doing a good job. Compliments that may seem obvious to you will cheer a person up when you pay them to him. You can tell them face to face or write them a note, as long as they get the message.
3- Do something good
Yes, we know how vague that is. It's vague because there are just so many ways to do it.
You can do something big like a longtime volunteer commitment or something small like picking up trash from the street. You can help someone who’s lost on your way to work or use some of your spare time to make something for the less fortunate. You can volunteer at your kids’ school or help regularly at a soup kitchen. Doing something nice for someone else can brighten both your day and theirs. I challenge you to find your own special way to help. Be creative and think of something original that you’ll enjoy doing.
In addition to the obvious reasons to do good things, because it’s the nice thing to do, when someone sees you doing these things it will put a smile on their face.
A small act of kindness done by you can easily inspire someone else to do good as well.
The thought of doing good will help release their feel good neurotransmitters, due to the smile that is now on their face.
Doing good benefits the person it's being done for, the surrounding people who notice and the one who is actually doing the good deed.
Interested in volunteering in Israel? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call *9093 (international: +972-3-5436866) to find the perfect volunteering opportunity for you.