Like many women, I am often told to smile more by men on the street. Every time this happens, it leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling. I get a pit in my stomach that sticks with me for the whole day.
I think the reason why it feels so intrusive when a stranger demands that you smile is because a genuine smile is one of the most valuable things you can give to someone. The reflection of joy that you present when you smile is special and should never be faked or forced.
A stranger demanding you to smile did nothing to warrant a joyful display of appreciation…but do you know who did? Do you know who deserves recognition for bringing you happiness? You.
When was the last time that you smiled at yourself? Not to check your teeth for lipstick, but to see the real-time happiness in your own face?
As you know by now, I exercise at The Barre Code. Each studio has mirrored walls that allow you to check your form while you work out. Often times you are right up at the barre staring at your reflection in the mirror.
Sometimes during class I meet my own eyes in the mirror and am surprised by the intensity and fire I see in myself. What is more surprising, however, is how little we smile at ourselves.
It always seemed weird to me when the instructor would say, “look at the beautiful, strong woman staring back at you in the mirror and smile at her, she worked so hard for the last 50 minutes.”
A smile represents so much more than a happy facial expression. A smile shows gratitude and appreciation. Smiling at yourself is just another way to show self-love and be grateful for giving yourself time to become mentally and physically stronger. Smiling at myself after a hard workout has taught me to recognize the aspects of my life that bring me joy.
If you don’t exercise in front of a mirror, I suggest taking a second to smile at yourself every morning when you are getting ready. It might seem silly, but it gives you a chance to reflect and be thankful. This leads me to my next point…
Smiling makes you feel happy. When I’m not having a great day, I consciously try to be a little nicer to others, in hopes that it may reflect back on me. Like karma, if you give smiles away, they usually come back to you.
Small acts of kindness, even things as small as a smile, can make all the difference in your own mood and others lives.
So, I’ll leave you with this, LoveLeighs – I hope you all know the worth of your smile and power of your happiness. It comes from within and when it’s there, it cannot be contained. Create your own joy and spread it to those around you, even when it seems hard to find.