Yesterday I wrote about the 15 benefits of smiling. I encouraged you to smile more.
This is all fine and dandy, especially if you are already a smiley and happy person. But what if smiling doesn’t come so easy to you?
I am from Eastern-Europe and we are not ‘trained to smile’ from early age on like Americans are. Smiling is not so common here. But even if you are from a country where smiling is encouraged you may still have trouble with it. Perhaps you are from a big city. Perhaps your family didn’t encourage smiling. Perhaps you have some emotional baggage or physical problem pre-occupying your life and you forget to smile. Or you can have a million other reasons.
Fear no more. No matter how smiley you are, I have a tip for you.
Just think about it, how do we learn something? That’s right: by practice.
So practice smiling.
Next time when you are at the store make sure you smile at every employee. Try to make smile at people on the bus, at work, at home, anywhere you go.
Everything is at first…. Then you train yourself to do it and it become easier.
When I was running competitively we used to do 400 repeats, 800 repeats, mile repeats, and similar speed workouts only to train for a fast 5K or 10K. You see, we built up speed and endurance with consistent practice.
Using this idea of repeats away from my running career, I am now doing smile repeats.
Smile repeats? What am I talking about here? Go one block on the street with a smile on my face. Then relax. Then go an other block. And repeat this six times. The next day do it seven times. Then eight times. Increase the length of your smile. Go for two blocks with a smile on your face. Then three blocks. Then four. And so one. You can of course use a timer. Smile for 30 seconds. Then for a minute. And work it up to 5 minutes. Then 10.
By doing this ‘smile repeats’ workout you will train your body to smile more and smile longer. It seriously works, try it.
Smile. Smile more.