Some people think that an authentic smile is there or it’s not. You have the juice or you’re dry. Well, that’s just not true. (tsk-tsk)
You can create an authentic smile for anyone and everyone you meet.
I call it “throwing the love”. In a previous article I wrote about “throwing hearts”
that involves creating a gesture of love in the form of a heart that you “throw” at another person to show your connection on an idea or a thought…or that you just care.
“Throwing the love” is a genuine smile that radiates through you.
In starting the smile contagion it needs to be real and from the heart. You need to link your heart and your mind to pull it off.
Yes, that means that you need to introduce your heart to your mind. They actually aren’t separate. They are one.
Let’s geek out for a second. When someone smiles at you with their crow’s feet showing and their pearly whites ablaze you feel something. It’s your brain and your heart. Through that genuine smile that person made you feel valued and safe. Your brain, specifically your limbic system, kicked in. The hippocampus and amygdala interpreted that smile and gave it meaning. That meaning, value and safety, was then stored for future use for that specific person and that type of smile. BAM, neuroscience.
You can do that for someone too. You can create how people feel about you through your genuineness. You just need to link your heart and your mind.
So, how the heck do you do that? It’s as easy as…
Find a Moment
Go back in time for a moment. You need to close your eyes for this one. Concentrate. Think about a moment that you felt happiness, love, and/or joy. It only takes a moment…however fleeting. To make that memory POP bring up the details of that specific event or time. Who was there? What were you doing? What was around you (i.e. environment, snow, sun, breeze, etc.)? What did you see, smell, feel, hear, and/or taste.
Capture that moment.
Actually, capture that feeling. Your brain has stored that memory, or more appropriately, that feeling in the limbic system and you can bring it up whenever you want. By connecting to the emotion and memory you are having your mind say “hello” to your heart. You are connecting the two.
Release the Emotion in Your Smile
Now, you’re ready to release that emotion into your smile. How? When you go to smile look at someone and think about that feeling. At first you are going to have to think of a trigger. When I started doing this I thought of my son’s laughter. That ignited that happiness, joy, and love (positive emotion) that I had stored in my tricky-tricky gray matter (Hello, limbic system) and brought it into my smile. I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t keep a straight face when I thought of his inhibited giggles at age 3. I still can’t.
The fourth step is advanced. When you start doing this for awhile you won’t need to access your trigger memory, as much. You can just access that feeling to throw them the love through your smile.
When you use this technique you feel warm and fuzzy. Those around you will feel warm and fuzzy. It also changes how you look at people. When you smile at people with warmth and feeling you begin to think of people not as their deficits but as their strengths.