November 5, 2010


It's Friday.  A day that's typically pretty easy to enjoy.  Today, especially so.  Heading out my door this morning, the first person that I saw was an older gentleman.  He was carrying his cane slung over his shoulder with two full grocery bags hanging from it behind him.  As I was about to bike away we greeted each other and when I asked how he's doing he responded with, "If I was doing any better it would scare me" and flashes the biggest grin.  (Nothing sketchy!  Mind out of the gutter.  He then mentioned how he just retired and how it's nice to have time to do things you love.)  You know how genuine smiles are contagious?  I rode off smiling like a crazy person.

Then I headed over to campus to get some work done.  I found a good place to study near the gym so that I can get in a workout this afternoon.  And what do I see when I get there?

I actually stuck my head into the shop and asked, "are those really free?"  Yup.  Free t-shirts.  Why?  Who knows.  Is it the most amazing t-shirt I've even gotten?  Nope.  Pretty generic & they only had larges - which are too big.  But as a grad student, I'm not one to be snobby about the free things I accumulate.  I can always use another pajama shirt.

I've decided that for the rest of the day I'm gonna be in a good mood and I'm gonna smile like a crazy person.  I'm hoping someone will see my ridiculous grin and start smiling, too.  And even if your day isn't going well... Smile!  Smiling, even when you fake it, can actually improve your mood.  The research isn't rock solid, but it does suggest that your facial expressions can influence your mood.  If you "fake" a smile or a sneer, subjectively that has been shown to result in emotion change.  (A pdf of one of the studies with these findings can be found here.)   So, give it a shot.  What's the worst that will happen?

(I would like to thank the Rally to Restore Sanity for providing my with endless awesome pictures & slogans - like this one - which I plan on using for months to come.)


  1. they say, the first 5 minutes when you wake up can determine your mood for the day. so if you set it right, by, like you said -- smiling -- then you're sure to have a great day. =) good for you! a smile is really infectious =)

  2. WOW! What an awesome old man!! Thanks for helping me shift my perspective today...I have not smiled enough!! Once again I just love your blog!

  3. Great post...Such a good thing to read something like this...

    --kizzy smartwool