“I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.” —From the movie Elf, New Line Cinema, written by David Berenbaum.
Sad adults are everywhere.
Waiting for the bus, walking down the street, sitting in their cars, eating on a bench or on a restaurant’s patio. They hang their heads and sit or stand hunched over as if their eyes only have the capacity to become fulfilled by the dark grey concrete of the sidewalk or by the ever-so-enticing screens of their electronic devices. They violently throw their trash and cigarette butts out their car windows and spit on the ground as if mother nature (and the world in general) really has made them angry.
This “sadness phenomenon” is not only in my hometown. I’ve seen it traveling recently through America in Tennessee, Florida and especially in downtown Atlanta. It sometimes makes me sad to see what I see, but it also helps me understand my purpose in life.
I believe part of my purpose is to spread as much joy into the world as possible.
I try each and every day to try to make at least one person smile. I also try to make sure I smile at least five or more times a day. It’s a scientific fact that smiling changes the chemicals in your brain and can help your health. According to Forbes.com, “Smiling has documented therapeutic effects, and has been associated with: reduced stress hormone levels (like cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine), increased health and mood enhancing hormone levels (like endorphins), and lowered blood pressure.”
Smiling is contagious. It’s kind of like yawning. In my opinion, you always look better with a smile on your face! I smile as often as I can. I especially smile at people when I go on walks. If they don’t smile back at me, it’s usually because they are smiling at my happy little American Eskimo, Minnie Pearl.
Try smiling at someone and see how they react. If they don’t smile back, at least you’ll know you tried.
For those seemingly sad people that won’t look up from the sidewalk or look up from their phones, I sometimes will say “hello” in a friendly tone to get their attention. Sometimes they say it back, sometimes they don’t. Again, if they don’t, at least I know I tried.
I’m not sure why so many adults are sad. I see children smiling all the time, but the adults could really use some cheering up. According to The Journal, “children smile about 400 times a day…yet adults only manage 20.” That’s a really sad fact.
If you are reading this, it’s for a reason. Maybe you lost your “inner happy” and need my help finding it again. I’ve allowed my light and happiness to dim during some weak moments, so I know what it feels like. I’ve fortunately found my happiness again and work hard every day to keep it going strong. I still have days that are harder than others, however I’m getting better at having more “good” over “bad” days.
Being sad sometimes is okay but if you find yourself being sad day after day after day, then you may need to visit a doctor, a therapist or just take a really good look at your life yourself and see what changes you need to make. One thing I learned recently that helped tremendously was this: I was meant to be happy. YOU were meant to be happy. I wrote an article about this concept that can help get you started on your path back towards happiness and many more smiles-Click here to read it.
Sending my love and light to all who need it!