The other day as I made my way through an intersection, I noticed a car that was stopped waiting for its light to turn green. Inside, were two elderly people - who I assumed were a couple - in fully committed, whole body laughter. As soon as I saw this I started smiling, and my first thoughts were, "That is awesome! I hope Randy and I are still that in love when we are their age! So in love, that we are still full body laughing together while we do our mundane tasks of running errands around town." I know they may not have been a couple, and maybe they weren't even running errands, but that is what my brain was thinking. I felt so peaceful as I continued passed them. The next day I was walking around my yard when I noticed a similar scene, but this time it was a parent and child walking past on the sidewalk. My thoughts..."Aaah! That is fantastic!" and at the same time, I remembered that elderly couple, who were still bringing a smile to my face. All four of these people were complete strangers, yet all have left a feeling of peace, love, and laughter inside of me...one that has lingered for over a week now, and one that I am sharing with all of my readers.
It was by coincidence, or maybe not, that I am taking some positive psychology classes, and this week have been researching the science on the power of social connection, compassion, community, and belonging, when I came across a presentation that also talked about the power of a smile! Emma Seppala shares an amazing story near the end of this presentation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlXJnlmAXt0) about the impact of a smile, activating other peoples micromuscles, and how life-changing this can be. When I reflected upon Emma's presentation, I remembered once again, those two separate laughter incidents, and I wondered if others were so positively impacted by their laughter as I was? I truly think so, because now I know, that other people had their micromuscles activated when they saw and maybe even heard the laughter radiating from these people. I then remembered a quote that I had heard and loved when I was in high school...
"Smiling is infectious; you catch it like the flu. When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too. I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin, when he smiled I realized I'd passed it on to him. I thought about that smile then realized it's worth, a single smile, just like mine could travel round the earth. So, if you feel a smile begin, don't leave it undetected. Let's start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!" Author Unknown
So, I encourage you today, to think about something positive in your life as you walk through the halls, on the sidewalk, or even in your car. Allow your inner smiles to shine through your face, and begin a health epidemic that is worth spreading!
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And, I now ask you...How far do your smiles reach? And, will you help us to start a smiling epidemic?!
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