Smile All Day at Everything and Anything: An Experiment for a Day

Photo: Ron Hansen

Smile All Day at Everything and Anything: An Experiment for a Day

I know it may sound silly and people around you may think you’ve gone crazy! Try it just the same and see what happens and how you feel and most importantly, how your day turns out. I’m not suggesting you do it every day. You’ll find that trying to do it for one whole day is more than you can handle. So, all I’m asking is choose a day and just have fun and who knows, you may end up getting something. If not, no harm done. In fact, I’m smiling while writing this.

Okay, so why would you want to do something so silly? You may have heard “Laughter is the Best Medicine.” It really is. Smiling has the similar benefits. The one you’ll be doing for this exercise is a forced smile for the day if you can’t find any reason to smile. It’s like fake it until you make it.

Many benefits of smiling

Smiling can neutralize bad energies between you and the other person. Why? Because it is contagious. Most people will smile back at you. It definitely lowers stress level and reduces blood pressure. If you love sitcoms, watch how you feel after watching your favorite show. Studies show that smiling can strengthen your immune system. One thing I’ve noticed that it helps me reduce fear. And if I am feeling uneasy at a new place for example, smiling sort of keeps me grounded. You get better service at restaurants, airports, and just about anywhere. And let’s face it, if we want to attract someone, we have to smile. Feel free to find out more about the benefits. In this article, I’m asking you to try smiling for one day and see what happens.

Let’s begin…

In the morning, when you open your eyes and still in bed, just smile. Give yourself a reason if you must. You’ve made it through the night. You’re alive. Good enough.

A kid comes running to you demanding something. Just smile. If the kid is used to seeing you really grumpy in the morning, this behavior may startle the child, and you may be left alone not being bothered.

Maybe the bathrooms are occupied and usually that’s enough to irritate you. But today, you leave behind all that and smile and wait for a bathroom to be available even if that means you may miss your train or get stuck in the traffic for leaving home later than usual, so be it.

A chaos in the kitchen every morning with your wife trying to get the kids ready for schools and all you want is a cup of coffee. Today, you walk in and smile as you say good morning to everyone. Then patiently sit and wait for your turn. Try to keep a smiling face.

Are you getting tired already? Keep going. We’ve only just begun.

If you live in California like I do, chances are your car is your only means of transportation to work. Usually you get annoyed at the traffic, especially when a rude driver cuts in front of you where there is no room to get in. Instead of honking, just smile. At least the other driver didn’t hit you and you’re safe. Keep the fingers in and cussing off for today.

Finally, you make it to work, 5–10 minutes later than usual and the parking lot is full. Just smile and allow yourself not to get stressed out over this. Drive around with a smiling face until you find a spot. If you’re relaxed, you may be amazed that sometimes a spot just becomes available. Even if that didn’t happen today, you keep smiling and park somewhere else and walk back taking a few extra minutes. Perhaps you can tell yourself that during lunch you’ll have a chance to steal someone’s spot. With that plan, you walk into the building and sit at your desk. Before you can even take a deep breath, someone is already waiting for you at your desk. Just smile and greet the person, who is not used to seeing you smiling in the morning. Keep smiling even though all you want is a cup of coffee. You graciously accept the person’s request and promise to take care of that as soon as possible. If you’re still smiling, you’re doing great!

You manage to get through the lunch time smiling as much as possible meaning anytime someone stops by, you smile. At lunch time, you succeed in moving your car closer by taking an empty spot. Now smile big!

After lunch, there are some issues to deal with, some unexpected, urgent meetings while you have so much work to finish. You go to the meetings smiling and get through them as best as you could. All the while people are wondering, what’s the matter with you. Some may think you’re on medication. Just smile. You’re almost there.

Somehow the workday ends and you’re on the freeway getting home. You’re tired and nothing is moving. Just smile and tell yourself that you’ll get home when you do. Listen to some music or try smiling at someone in the car next to you. Experiment.

Did you notice something? So far you haven’t lost it yet. Kudos.

You’ve just taken your exit to get home after being on the nightmare traffic for a long time and the cell phone rings. It’s your wife asking you to pick up the dry cleans as she couldn’t. The dry cleaner is on the opposite direction from your house, about a mile. So instead of making the right turn on your street, you’ll now be making the left turn. You comply and smile even though all you want is to be home NOW, get a cold beer and chill out.

Finally you get home and the kids are at it again. The same scene that you left in the morning. Just smile and greet everyone, and get your beer. And whatever happens in the evening until you go to bed, just smile and keep calm.

Even if you have been faking it all day, by now you must be good at it. The muscles on your face that you hardly use, now you can count them. Your wife wants to know and asks you about the smiling. Just smile and say goodnight.

Closing your eyes, take a note of the day. What just happened? A lot! You practiced patience all day and stayed committed to smiling and let all things go by. The things that weren’t important, that are never important. You’ve managed to ignore them all and kept your calm by faking a smile at everything. The hidden treasure you can run away with it all is that you’ve been grateful all day.

How do you feel now? I hope a little better.

Was it fun? May be.

Will you do it again? You want to think about it. Then again, there was no harm done and in fact, you feel calm tonight. So, you’ll most likely do it again.


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