What is the most simple way to brighten your day? What is the most simple way to connect with another person? How profoundly cool is it that the answer to these two crucial questions is the same? Smile.

You can gather your own data to support the medical evidence that if you contract your facial muscles the right way, it will improve your mood. You don’t even have to call it a smile. Try holding a straw in between your teeth and it will form your face in a way that has you start to feel better.

The dual purpose smile is also the fastest way to connect with someone. Of all the facial expressions, the smile is the one you can discern from the greatest distance. It communicates “I mean you no harm.”

So to feel better, connect with others, and to help others to feel better, here’s a game to play. When you are going about your day, see if you can get everyone you meet to smile. Give yourself bonus marks if you get them to laugh. Yesterday, I was feeling kind of neutral while shopping for some groceries. I decided to try this smile amusement as I approached the cashier. Your genuine smile is the easiest way to put a smile on another’s face. This worked fine and them some quip in response to whether I needed the chicken in a separate bag cracked her up. I’m clear I brightened her afternoon and I knocked myself up a few notches on the mood scale as well.

When you are doing your holiday shopping, give the smile game a whirl. If you want a little attitude enhancement, try flexing your face. Smile and the world smiles with you. Cry and, well, it’s just not as much fun and you don’t meet as many people.

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