Smiling is a beautiful thing. As of probably only 2 years ago, I was not a smiler. I used to always get the classic ‘smile, it’s not that bad’, or simply ‘are you okay?!’. I was always okay, I was just one of those that suffered from the classic ‘resting b*tch face’. Not a good look. But even after engaging in conversation, with whomever, I don’t remember my face being much happier looking.
Now, as much as my resting face is probably still rather miserable looking (we can’t help that), my engaged and conversational face is now a different story, and that feels so good. I notice a difference now, and it’s nice to think that (maybe) people might remember me as the smiley one.
“I just realised it’s much more rewarding to be happy than miserable”
I realised how much easier and rewarding it is to be happy when I started just simply practising the art of smiling - at strangers, at your family, friends, anyone! Going into shops, and seeing a miserable cashier standing there with no plans to talk or smile at you when you’re at the checkout, what kind of a life is that? By simply greeting them, or anyone, with a smile and asking them how they are, can literally make their day. I give this as an example because this has happened multiple times, and also quite recently. I was in a shop in London, the guy at the till didn’t look particularly happy, so I smiled and asked him how he was, and by the end of our interaction he was chirpy as ever! Imagine how rewarding that is to think that you might have made someone’s day just that little bit better, or even just put a smile on their face for those few minutes, by you simply engaging?
Aside from making other people's days better, the long term of doing this ‘smiling thing’ will help you. After a while of appearing happier, even if I didn’t necessarily always feel like it, now inside I actually feel as though I have become a more positive person. My opinions and thoughts are no longer pessimistic and things that upset or bothered me before now don’t seem to quite the same. I can genuinely say, in terms of optimism, that I am a ‘changed person’. There is so much more to life than holding a grudge, so enjoy it!
“The key to life is happiness, and all that jazz”
We could all do with a little more happiness in our lives. I think London especially is known for the people in it to be miserable, always in a rush, and ignoring each other. But that’s okay, we’ve got things to do. At times, it’s okay to be sad, angry or want to be alone, but I urge you to try it. Try smiling at someone on your commute, when you’re at the till, to whoever you meet whether new or old, and you just wait. You just wait.
Do you enjoy being miserable? No way, who does! Comment below with how you stay optimistic!
P.S. How many times can I say ‘happy’ in one post!?
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOANNE BANKS