There is a tool to increase positivity and to overcome other weaknesses of mind. And do you know, what is the best part? You already have it. What I will tell here is the way to apply it.
One wise man once said to me that if I smile in front of a mirror in the morning the day will be better. I never believe in esoteric nonsense, but I believe of secret powers of mind, still undiscovered by science. So, I started a short 30 days challenge of Smiling To Myself In Front Of The Mirror.
I had a 365 days challenge before, but this time, I decided that 30 days are enough, because I am not sure how is it working and if it is working at all.
The rule was the only one:
Each morning after brushing my teeth, just before leaving the bathroom I will look at myself in the mirror and smile.
At first, such play-act seemed weird. Absolutely no one sees me but seems that the other person on the other side of the mirror looks at me with a crooked smile, because I am so funny trying to make a … crooked smile. Muscles of my face do not listen to me and the smile is not natural at all. I feel like an idiot.
Suddenly I had an idea to make it easier – just to raise the lip corners a bit and that’s all. But this seemed like cheating, I need a real smile here – I can see in the mirror is it real or not. Such training of face muscles lasted one week. After that time, I was really able to smile at myself and sometimes really naturally.
Later I had a problem, that I started forgetting my challenge. All the to-do’s were waiting for me, I was hurrying out of the bathroom as quick as possible! I was angry at myself and decided that from NOW, I will not forget my challenge anymore! Guess what? I kept forgetting…
When I forgot 3 days in a row, I understood that something needs to be done, otherwise I will fail my challenge. Instead of getting angry again I did a simple thing – a reminder. I draw a smile on a piece of paper and stick it on the mirror. This helped me not to forget the challenge until the end.
The positive energy of the smile reflects from the mirror and returns back to you.
What is actually happening when you smile in front of the mirror? Now think about yourself. Any situation – in your job, in your class, just anywhere. How do you look like? It is quite possible, that you will remember yourself exactly as you saw yourself the last time in the mirror. So, how do you look like? Sleepy? Matted hair? Squinting because of a too bright lamp? Frowning because you need to get up early? No good, right?
And now imagine, that whenever you think about yourself you remember yourself smiling! Of course, you will remember it because in the morning you felt really weird doing it, it is a clear memory. You will see yourself smiling at you, and the positive energy of this image will reach you no matter the situation you are in right now. Each moment when you think “How do I look like now”, you will get a boost of positive energy right from your memory. Not from outside, not from other inspiring people, but from YOU!
If you worry that the smile is not natural, then believe me – each time you remember yourself struggling to smile in front of the mirror, you will smile naturally and honestly because it was so funny and awkward. And when you smile honestly no matter why, other people will see it and they will have no idea what is the real reason behind your smile.
It was so unexpected that smile can turn around the awkward question, that usually makes us feel worse: “How do I look like for others?”. Now when you remember this question you can feel more positive and less awkward because you know that you are smiling. Sometimes I was thinking intentionally how do I look like for others – and I knew that they see a smiling man. Maybe they think that too much smiling is silly, maybe they see a smiling loser, but anyway, I feel positive and inspired.
I am not trying to convince you to repeat the experiment. I did it and recorded the result here. I am trying to convince you to smile more. To yourself at first, and then to others.
When you have a bad mood – let yourself smile. Because when it is good you are smiling anyway.
After this experiment, I started noticing how people smile. I noticed that western and eastern people have different smiling patterns.
Western people use mouth for smiling, their lip corners go up, but the shape of eyes changes only a bit.
Eastern people use mouth just to show the teeth, the eyes really smile, their shape changes significantly.
How does your smile look like?
You might enjoy my series of articles about positivity.