As I entered work today the security guard gave me a big smile, the sort that goes from ear to ear and I returned it. It felt Goooooood! I walked into the offiice and smiled at my boss and colleagues who also smiled. I had a crappy day later on, and just as I was leaving, the same guard was on the gate again and seeing me, he smiled broadly and waved. It instantly made me feel so much better despite the heavy traffic.
It's a simple concept - we all know this, it's not new information but sometimes we need reminding; smile and the whole world smiles with you. My doctor told me that smiling actually lowers your blood pressure too. And what's more it can be proven.
When I was studying for my psychology degree we did a simple experiment linked to body language. We were let loose on the unsuspecting public with one simple order: smile at passers by and record how many smile back. The overwhelming majority smiled back. The second part of the experiment I seem to remember involved following up the smile with a question for directions or asking for direction without smiling first. Of course, more people helped when the apparently hapless lost soul smiled, in fact I got personally escorted across town to the railway station as the person 'was going that way anyway' and had to keep up the pretence by going into the station until the coast was clear.
We also will all have seen those emails that go around telling us it takes less muscles to smile than it does to frown. So...it seems odd that if you look around, almost everyone is almost constantly frowning. Driving, shopping, walking along the street, in the supermarket, at work... almost everywhere are people who seem weighed down by their own existence and the trials and tribulations of life.
So smile, even if you don't feel like it. You will feel better and once someone returns that smile, you'll feel better still, and so will they. I did :)