You are walking down the hall, the street, or even just an aisle in the store, and someone looks up and smiles at you. Smiling: it’s such a simple way of spreading joy, and it has actually been shown to have many positive effects. Not only does a smile spread joy to others, but science has shown that, in times of unhappiness or stress, smiling releases serotonin to improve your body and spirit. As Hayden Hollingsworth ‘21 hyped up the Marist Girls Varsity Swim team before a meet, she told them all to get up on the block, mentally prepare themselves, and then smile! This was the best piece of advice I have ever been given. I hyped myself up in my head, stretched, and then stood strong and smiled wide. In that moment, the smile powered my start and gave me a boost of confidence as I dove into the water.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been my goal to find something in each day to make me smile. Even if it’s as simple as putting on a happy song that reminds you of a good memory, it’s important to find something that makes you smile. Scientists have found that there are 16 different types of smiles, and chances are, there are so many different stories behind all the smiles you see in a day. However, there is one thing that you can control; you can control you. And if there is anything I have learned in my life, someone’s smile or even the smile from their eyes can make your forced smile change to a real one quickly. So reciprocate the smile; after all, isn’t that what you would want?