I’ve been experimenting with this idea for several months now . . . does the simple act of smiling to yourself shift your own energy?
This experiment came about quite innocently when I would be feeling a bit frustrated (like lots of us) when trying to take care of household business calls that seem to have no end. It’s not the fault of the person on the other end of the phone (when I actually am able to talk with someone) but it seems like nothing is simple and almost always one call necessitates another two or three calls. I’m thinking of calls like scheduling medical appointments for family members; sorting out errors on bills, arranging for car/dog/house maintenance etc. etc. You know what I mean.
So I tried experimenting with putting a smile on my face (none can see me) to observe what would happen. Interesting, several things would almost always occur quite quickly. First, I noticed that my voice would soften and become a little lighter. It also had a warmer quality to it. My shoulders relaxed a bit and I sat back slightly in my chair. I also was more attuned to the conversation and was listening a bit closer. And if I really wanted to test the waters, I would find a moment to just laugh slightly to see if that created a nice connection with the other person.
I was pleasantly surprised at the result of my experiment. Each time I coached myself to smile, my energy had clearly shifted in a very subtle way. It was not dramatic – I hadn’t done anything extraordinary but my energy had simply shifted to a more positive and collaborative posture.
Did the smile get business done any faster or better? Maybe not or maybe so. But it does make it easier on me. I’m being a bit kinder and gentler on myself. Now on to more phone calls . . .