When most people hear the word contagious, they tend to think of being able to catch a disease from an infected person. They immediately think of ways to avoid one with such a disease, hoping to minimize their chances of catching something they don’t want. But I wonder how many of those same people would think of a smile as being contagious, something that can be spread intentionally from one person to another.
I have read articles regarding this phenomenon, and many conclude that smiling is contagious. Those articles tend to report that when someone smiles at another, more times than not, the other person will smile back. It is something the other person doesn’t have to think about, most of the time, it is spontaneous.
That being said, wouldn’t it be nice if you as one person would start a revolution for one day? Why not take the challenge of smiling at ten people? See how many of the ten will smile back at you. If a smile is contagious like it has been reported, maybe a few of those you smiled at will smile at someone else.
What’s the benefit of such an experiment? First of all, it may lift the other person’s mood. A smile may be just the thing the other person needed to pull him out of a funk. Secondly, instead of being preoccupied with your concerns, for an instant, you looked beyond yourself and considered someone else. As a result of this simple act, your mood can also receive a boost.
So why not jump on board and start your experiment today? Start by smiling at those in your household. Smile at your server. Smile at the police officer. Smile at your teacher. Smile at your neighbor. Smile at someone you don’t know. Hopefully, by your action, an outbreak will emerge. Not the kind of outbreak that brings fear, but one that sheds a bright light on a situation, even if only momentarily.