THE POWER OF A SMILE
Daphna Shavit, 48, Tel Aviv
Hey! Let’s smile. I never understand the magic behind smiling until I stop doing so. I thought, just like many people out there, that smiling is a simple thing everyone can do by choice. No! I and you that think so were wrong.
An experience of sorts began when I was working in the best public relation office in my country. The office was one of the most luxurious offices in the city.
As a smiling lady who was brought up from a family where smiling was an order, where everyone was loved because of our smiling mood, people had always loved me. In my family, they would tell us, “smile”. That is how we were taught. In fact, it is an order to be smiling.
Every morning when I get into the elevator, every one inexplicably smiled at me. As I went up and down the aisle, people I didn’t even know smile at me. Some will even want to engage in conservation with me. What a magic of smiling!
The whole experience, in no small way, increased my enthusiasm for my work. I had always been in good mood and the act of smiling actually my energy and made my job easier and better for me.
Around the age of 40, something went wrong. Depression set in unexpectedly. I was battling with worries and unpleasant emotions. As I was told, it is called “the 40s crises”. I was really depressed. Everything saddened me.
My smiling look suddenly disappeared. I was no longer paying attention to it and neither do I pay attention to the people around me. People, in turn in the elevator, no longer notice me, their mood towards me abruptly changed. The positive energy they instill in me disappeared. My inner peace was lost. The energy that made people clung to me and loved me, the energy that propelled me forward and made me look at everything in positive way was exhausted. I couldn’t even perform the magic of influencing people any more.
These made me think. I decided that I couldn’t go on like this. I began to rehearse my old way of smiling. I decided to do exercises. Science has proven that exercises can keep one in a positive mood; can keep one on both mental and physical alert; can reduce depression and anger. I started running as my daily exercise. I can’t imagine the magic it did. Initially it was difficult for me but I later felt wonderfully improved. The smiling came back to my life and so did all the love around me.