Ah, ‘The holidays’. We are now into the home stretch with less than a week away. As I have been out and about in the busyness of the season, I found little evidence of people enjoying all that this supposedly ‘most wonderful time of the year’ brings. So, I decided to run two experiments.
The Gift You Can Give Yourself —
Stuck in traffic, circling endlessly to find a place to park your car, worn out from seeking the ‘perfect gift’? Give yourself the gift of the prefect breath. Consciously focus on your breath and slow it down, slow and deep, in and out. You will feel your body and mind relax as you give it the oxygen it most likely is craving. I did this in the midst of a snowstorm when my husband and I headed south to meet friends for dinner. Roads impossible with snow, windshield wipers freezing over, the ever present drivers who maintain 50 mph and those who creep with the emergency flashers. What’s a gal to do? Breathe! My entire demeanor changed and as mine did, so did his. We agreed that we were insane to make this trip in this weather, it was important, and we would make the most it and and enjoy the ride. Two hours later we arrived at our destination and within minutes were into the evening’s fun.
The Gift You Can Give Another —
How many people do you see whose entire being feels tired with downcast eyes, sagging shoulders, and weary eyes? Give them the gift of your smile. While I was intent on sharing the good that I was feeling, I received much by those who chose to smile back at me. Some even lit up with delight!
Smile research is about what you can get (make a sale, win a game, or convince others to adopt your goals). According to Danielle Shore, a PhD student at the School of Psychology at Bangor University, “genuine smiles appear to act as a form of social currency, a valuable reward that people will pay to receive … in fact the monetary value was placed at 1/3 of a penny.” But why not change that thought to what you can give?
THE VALUE OF A SMILE
It costs nothing, but creates much.
It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
It creates happiness in the home
It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged,
sunshine to the sad and nature’s best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen,
for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away!
How will you make a difference today?